God produces goodness from our suffering as we walk in harmony with him, both in our lives and in the lives of those within our circle of influence.
The nature of this goodness depends on our needs and circumstances. We may recognize it immediately, or it may become apparent only in retrospect.
Here are examples of the goodness God may produce through our suffering.
- God may reveal new aspects of his excellence that we did not comprehend previously.
- We may realize anew that he is the source of true contentment.
- He may teach us to love him unconditionally, based on who he is, rather than conditionally, according to the temporal blessings he bestows.
- Our affliction may motivate us to surrender our will to God and let him lead us in a new direction.
- Suffering may raise our awareness of the good things God has provided and make us more grateful for them.
- He may teach us that nothing—including suffering—ever separates us from his unfailing love.
- God may use hardship to clarify our values and realign our priorities.
- He may build in us a patient perseverance that produces character, courage, and hope.
- Our pain may help us realize how much Jesus suffered on our behalf.
- God may enhance our authenticity and make us kinder, gentler, and less judgmental toward others.
- God may teach us to put the needs of others before our own.
- He may contrast his might with our insufficiency and remind us of our dependence on him.
- God may simplify our desires so that we can be content with less.
- He may free us from superficiality and pretense.
- If someone else caused our suffering, God may teach us about forgiveness.
- The assistance we receive from others during our affliction may help us discover our divine destiny.
- God may use our unfortunate circumstances to protect us from hidden risks and temptations.
- We may gain confidence by learning that we can overcome any soulful adversity when we rely on God for strength.
- Affliction may motivate us to purge our lives of unrighteousness.
- Distress may prompt us to take better care of ourselves physically and live a healthy, balanced life.
- Suffering may change our attitude about money and make us more careful financially or more generous to others.
- Adverse circumstances may force us to move in a new direction, one we would have never considered before, but one God has intended for us all along.
- God may generate a spiritual legacy through our example that benefits our family and friends.
- If we require the assistance of others, God may use our dependency to teach our helpers about serving unselfishly.
- If our suffering stems from the bad decisions of others, God may use our forgiveness to draw them to himself so he can change their lives.
- Those within our circle of influence may learn from our situation and take steps to avoid the same misfortune.
- Our righteous response to distress may inspire others to seek God and his will for their lives.
- God may build a unique message into our lives so that we can share it with others. Out of our mess comes his message.
- God may enlarge our circle of influence and create new ministry opportunities as others hear about our plight.
- Our affliction may prepare us for upcoming events and circumstances that utilize the wisdom and knowledge we gained through adversity.
- Our misfortune may toughen us for impending battles that require resilience and courage.
- God may permanently humble us so we can achieve future success without pride.
- Suffering may heighten our anticipation of heaven.