This is Part 2 of 5 parts answering the question, “What are the Benefits of the Suffering God Allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 3-5 will be posted on succeeding days.
Suffering Reveals Human Weakness
The fact that suffering reveals human weakness many not seem like a good thing, until you recognize that only God has all strength and He never designed us to independent of it. If fact, just the opposite is true. He desires that we be dependent upon Him for all situations. Paul wrote,
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9-10 NKJ)
It doesn’t matter how many times I go to the gym every week or how much I can bench press,if I contract a virus or come into contact with a fast moving object such as a bullet or a car. It this happens my body is going to reveal how weak it really is! Daniel Thomson, who has practiced physical therapy in both rehabilitation and home-health settings for twelve years writes,
In weakness his plan unfolds. Though human weakness his purposes are accomplished. When churches as a whole grasp this concept, understanding its full implications, individual affected with disabilities should be seen as essential in the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:22).3
While the body is fearfully and marvelously made, it is still very weak when compared to all the outside forces of Divine beings or microscopic viruses. Disabilities and other human frailties prove that it was never intended to be invincible. These weaknesses may be humbling, but they are actually a benefit that can lead people to depend on the Lord. Consequently, some suffering may prevent sinful actions.
Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.
3Daniel Thomson, “A Biblical Disability-Ministry Perspective,” Why, O God. (Wheaton, Crossways, 2011), p. 24.