"To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ."
I often hear my dad speak of Bonhoeffer and the stand he took. Bonhoeffer was a 20th century martyr that was imprisoned for his part in a plot to assassinate Hitler. He believed that suffering was needed in order for our relationship with God to grow. That suffering increases our faith and teaches us to find comfort in God as well as presents the opportunity for us to share this with the world. Summed up, our suffering is for the greater good.
"But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."
This verse can be found in the Old Testament, Genesis, chapters 37-50 which tells the story of Joseph. The short of this story is that Joseph was rejected by his brothers and thrown into a pit where he was then sold as a slave for 20 pieces of silver. Can you even begin to imagine that feeling? To be rejected by your own flesh and blood and sold for nothing.
Have you ever found yourself in that pit? Have you known the fear of being rejected and abandoned by those that claimed to love you? You do not have to fear because though you may feel alone, you are not. God has not left you. He knows every tear you have cried, and hurt you have experienced. He has a greater plan for you just as He did for Joseph.
After several years, Joseph was promoted to second in command in Egypt. He had predicted that a drought would take place and because of this Egypt was able to prepare and survive. Joseph's brothers traveled to Egypt to buy grain and came face to face with the brother they had "thrown away". This became the perfect opportunity for Joseph to take revenge but instead, he forgave and his family was reunited.
When you choose to let down your guard and trust God, you will find a measure of restoration that you would never have known on your own. More often times than not, it is easier to hold tight to the pain but that kind of thinking will only keep you in that dark pit where your hurt continues to grow. God has so very much more planned for your life.
Whatever evil has taken place in your life, God wants to use it for your good but you have to make that choice. You again can choose to focus on your pain and horrible circumstances but by doing so will miss the blessings that God has for your life. You can choose to take a chance and trust God and forgive those who have hurt you believing that God has an amazing plan for your future and experience the blessings He has for you.
There will always be a cross to bear and there will always be some kind of suffering that you will face but redemption can be found from your suffering when you choose to live in the presence of God and His comfort. Be assured that your pain will never be in vain or that you ever have to go through it alone. Instead, discover the God who suffered for you. He is truly your help and your comfort in every situation.