For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, (Philippians 1:29)

I can tend to think of suffering as an annoyance that descends upon me  out of random chance. I go through the day, doing my day to day things, and out of no where: a call, an email, what someone says, plummets me into suffering. Where did that come from? Why is that happening to me? Am I the recipient of random events of pain?

God’s word tells me that is not the case. In fact, The Bible puts the appearance of suffering on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum. Far from being random, it is granted!

granted? In the sense that God likes making His children suffer? Again, the answer is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Just as God lavished us with grace by granting us to believe, so to He lavishes His grace upon us by granting us trials and suffering.

This is such a mind blowing way to view suffering. Suffering is not random nor malicious events upon me by God. God is not distant nor mean when it comes to trials. Instead He sends suffering as a gift as He sent salvation as a gift! I still cannot wrap my mind around that. I can only pray that my eyes would be open more and more to this truth.