From Jennie Allen's Restless study -
Every time I want to be mad at God because of suffering, he shows me Jesus.
"I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings." (Philippians 3:10)
And it is true. I have known Jesus most deeply in suffering; he seems to inhabit suffering, and he endured it first. He is not a God unfamiliar with suffering and he is near the brokenhearted. He is near our broken hearts.
So what if the greatest thing you have to give to the world could be hidden in your darkest moments? What if your scars point to a greater story?
Our lives are a breath, and if we are here for just a minute, I'd like my one little breath to feel more like a mighty gust of wind. And that takes surrender. It takes perseverance and not wasting my minutes away on Facebook or on complaining. The apostles walked away from painful persecution, "rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering" (Acts 5:41).
Hear me. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, it is an honor to suffer. It is a privilege. And we are not to waste it. God wrote suffering into our stories and wants to redeem it for his glory. If we stop shaking our fists at him, we could possibly sit down and see we are running from a life in flames toward a great purpose—one that could never exist without the flames.
Joseph was a brat with a vision. And God was preparing him for that purpose. Joseph would save and lead nations, but first he had to learn who this story was about.
When Joseph first had a vision, he thought that vision was for his own glory. When that vision finally came true and his brothers were bowing before him, Joseph said these words:
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20).