Suffering is a universal experience. It comes to the believer and the unbeliever. It comes to the rich and the poor. It comes to the young and the old. Whether we like it or not suffering of some kind will most likely come to us or has already came our way at some point in our lives. And though it is not pleasant it is a tool that God uses to mold us and shape us into the image of Jesus. God can use suffering to cause us to grow as believers and i believe that there are some things that He cannot accomplish without allowing us to go through the fiery furnace of trials.
Job suffered the loss of virtually everything he owned, including his health. In his pain he complained about his situation. Im sure we have all done that at one time or another. But in the end he also learned something as we can see in this passage of scripture. Job said,
"i have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear ; but now mine eye seeth Thee"
Jobs experience changed the way he viewed God. He went from knowing about God to actually knowing God. Jobs relationship to God took a turn for the better despite all the trouble he went through. To know God in a personal and experiential was, is far greater than knowing simple some facts about Him. When we know God we see Him work in our lives. We actually communicate with Him. We dont simply rattle off prayers like saying the Pledge Of Alegiance.
We actually experience Him providing for our needs, speaking to us through His word, and responding to us on a personal level. That is not the same as going through the motions of prayer. When we do this we "see" Him as Job said. But the truth is that Job would not have experienced this new understanding of God had he not went through the trials he went through. We will never know that God will be truly faithful to us unless we are placed in a situation that will give Him the opportunity to prove His faithfulness. Until we are in a situation of suffering and we see God provide for us we will not know for sure that He is trustworthy, our faith will be weaker.. It is then that God uses the tool of suffering to show us that yes God can be trusted, and yes He will take care of us.
No suffering is pleasant. It is foolish to adopt some kind of Polly Anna attitude and act like the suffering doesnt bother us. It is ok to acknowledge that fact. But we should allow God to use the suffering to bring us into a closer relationship with Him. One where we do more than just know some Bible facts about Him, we are learning about Him on an intimate and personal level. And that is how God wants us to know Him, intimately and personally.
Are you going through a period of suffering right now ? You can rest assured that God is up to something that will in the end be for your eternal good. He wants you to get to know Him. He wants you to experience Him, not just know some facts about Him. Does that make things easy ? Of course not. Suffering is hard. But its in these times that we can see Him the clearest. It is these times that give Him the chance to keep His promise to comfort you and take care of you. Is the end result of our suffering worth it ? Yes it is. So as we go through trials let us lean on God, trusting Him to reveal Himself to us so that we to can "see" Him.