Take a moment right now and envision the worst possible personal Hell you could encounter in this life. What would that look like? Read those slowly, and let your personal fear settle on you.
Would you be 40, 50, or 60 and never married?
Would you devote yourself to education and accomplishment, only to never rise above minimum wage employment at a dead-end job?
Would you suffer miscarriage after miscarriage, only to discover that children will never be yours to hold?
Would you be fired for unjust reasons, losing your home, your car, and every provision?
Would you be defined as the one who never gets anything right, never achieving recognition among your peers?
Would you bury a child? How about a wife? A husband?
Would you become confined to a wheelchair?
Would you lose the ability to hear your children laugh, or to see your wife dance, or to remember even your own name?
Now think about this.
Jesus is your greatest need. You need him more than a husband. More than a child. More than your health. And he is infinitely more valuable than any of those.
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:17).
God is sovereign. And God is all good. And God is all knowing. His interest in you is so great and profound that he would choose for you suffering in this life over immediate healing and bringing you home to Heaven for the purpose of growing your experience of appreciating and savoring him as your ONLY provision. It is better for you, infinitely better, to discover the rich goodness of the all-satisfying Savior than to find comfort in the less satisfying trappings of a comfortable life.
After writing, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:11-13) Paul late wrote, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). Paul knew that the ultimate need is satisfied in the ultimate richness, and this treasure can never be taken from us. We possess indestructible joy in Jesus. And we possess unshakeable security in a God who knows exactly how much suffering we need to experience to shake our hope in lesser joys and remedy our hearts to the greatest joy which cannot be shaken.
“Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy.” Charles Spurgeon