Letter About Suffering - I

by Paul K.

Someone sent me a copy of the devotional “Our Daily Bread.” In it, two consecutive days, September 2 and 3, ministered to me in a deep way. The devotional for September 2nd was titled, “PATIENCE IN PRISON” and shortly told the story of Joseph in prison. A poem at the end said:

Tune your anxious hear to patience,

Walk by faith where sight is dim;

Loving God, be calm and trustful

And leave everything to Him.

A thought for the day in BOLD print at the end said:

“Patience means awaiting God’s time without doubting God’s love.”

The Sept. 3rd page was titled “JOURNEYS” and told of Paul’s missionary journeys, and how that his last one was a one-way journey to Rome.

The thought for the day in BOLD print said:

“For the Christian, what looks like a detour may actually be a new road to blessing.”

I’ve been meditating on those two thoughts. From the first, “awaiting God’s time” means I haven’t been dumped into prison and forgotten, with God washing His hands of me, but that rather He has a plan, and at the proper time, He’ll reveal it. My part is to wait for it, and know that He loves me.

I think this doesn’t just apply to me being in prison, but also to anyone who has a terrible setback, such as terrible health issues or financial hopelessness. God hasn’t forgotten us. He has a plan, just for us, and it awaits the right time to unveil, while all the while He loves us.

That second devotional page’s thought also helps. The first line reads:

“For the Christian, what looks like a detour...”

For me, the detour is prison. For others, it may be the death of a spouse, or a foreclosure on the home, or serious health concern, or whatever hurts deeply.

But, the second line reads:

“...may actually be a new road to blessing.”

For the apostle Paul, that last one-way journey meant the salvation of souls in Caesar’s own household. For me, I can only speculate and guess what blessing God might have in mind. For the brother or sister who lost their beloved spouse, their dearest friend, or a child, it may not even be possible to guess, at the present moment, what blessing God may draw out of it.

But as Romans says:

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:16-18)

Note that I underlined two places that spoke of suffering. We each, at some point in our lives, suffer, whether it is being in prison with all your hopes and dreams destroyed and removed, or whether it’s a death of a loved one, or a spouse who cheats, or loss of a job, or children getting into trouble with drugs, or any one of a million things gone wrong.

Yet, glory is coming, a glory so great by comparison to the suffering, that the suffering, even at its greatest and deepest, is nothing compared to that wonder, awe and glory coming to us.

Is it any wonder that Paul writes just a few verses later in that same chapter:

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

No matter how bad our current suffering is, a stupendously greater glory will utterly outmatch it and overwhelm it. God CAUSES all things to work together for good...


There’s a Christian song that applies here, GIVE THEM ALL TO JESUS (I think that’s the title; it’s from memory, so forgive me if I missed anything).

Give them all

Give them all

Give them all to Jesus

Wounded hearts

Shattered dreams

Broken toys,

Give them all

Give them all

Give them all to Jesus

And He will turn your sorrow into joy.

I haven’t “arrived” yet. I’m still learning to “give them all to Jesus.” I’m still learning that “patience means awaiting God’s time, without doubting God’s love. I hope all at Rapture Ready learn this too. And one day, He will turn our sorrow into joy.

In His Grace, Mercy and Love,