“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts.” Romans 5:3-5a1 Peter 5:10-11
A researcher from Rutgers University found that in times of drought, some tree roots probe hundreds of feet deep and even break through cracks in rocks searching for water. In a similar way, as we search deeper in the Bible in times of suffering and lack, our relationship with God grows.
John Piper observed this truth as a pastor. “I have never heard anyone say the really deep lessons of life have come in times of ease and comfort. But I have heard many saints say every significant advance made in grasping God’s love and growing deeper with him has come through suffering” (2012).
Very few of us could begin to compare our life’s afflictions with those of Martin Luther or of Charles Spurgeon, but listen to their words: “Whoever does not know God in suffering does not know God at all” (Luther, 1527); “I am certain that I never grew in grace one-half so much as I have on the bed of pain” (Spurgeon, 1871). Let these words, born out of great pain but staked on a great belief in a loving God, go deep into your heart today.
Father, as we go through the drought of suffering, help our roots to grow deep in you and your Word. Amen.