Suffering is a privilege


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

July 20, 9:51 AM

I just got a blast from the past today, a phone call from the man (he was practically a kid then) who led me to the Lord about four decades ago. I hadn’t heard from him since 1978, except for a very brief meeting in 1990.

Bob, and no one else, was able to midwife me into the Kingdom back in the day because I saw the Holy Spirit in him in great measure—in his counsel, in his wisdom, in his incorruptibility, in his unwaveringness, his bigger-than-average faith. As he had been an addict and a small town criminal prior to conversion, the transformation was all the more convincing, and I put my faith in the Christ he believed in.

After we parted I fully expected that God would bless him richly in the rest of his life. I didn’t necessarily think he would become something cool like a millionaire, or televangelist. But I imagined for him, for lack of a better word, a “happy life.” What I learned was the contrary: He is experiencing so much suffering on so many fronts that I was drained after the hour conversation. It is evident that his faith has not diminished a whit; it’s still the same Bob who gave me a hand out of darkness and into the light.

If this is the way God treats a godly man—one of his noblest specimens—then I am shaken. It means that God may reserve His greatest tests for His greatest saints. It means that if I ever become as faithful and obedient as Bob, I may have to expect an increase, not a decrease, in trials. After we said good-bye, I remembered what God told Ananias about a young man named Saul, a branch newly plucked from the burning:

“I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16).

I guess God really has blessed Bob, after all. In the economy of the Kingdom of God, suffering is a privilege bequeathed to those most worthy to be 4 Comments to “Suffering is a privilege”

  1. 1.
    BY HOPESPRINGS 07.20.11 AT 10:10 AM When God wants to drill a man,
    And thrill a man,
    And skill a man
    When God wants to mold a man
    To play the noblest part;
    When He yearns with all His heart
    To create so great and bold a man
    That all the world shall be amazed,
    Watch His methods, watch His ways!
    How He ruthlessly perfects
    Whom He royally elects!
    How He hammers him and hurts him,
    And with mighty blows converts him
    Into trial shapes of clay which
    Only God understands;
    While his tortured heart is crying
    And he lifts beseeching hands!
    How He bends but never breaks
    When his good He undertakes;
    How He uses whom He chooses,
    And which every purpose fuses him;
    By every act induces him
    To try His splendor out-
    God knows what He’s about.
    ~ Unknown