Featured Items Ritchie Christian Media

Suffering (Rom 8.18)

R Elliot

There is a mystery about suffering, and it raises questions of deep importance. How can we reconcile a suffering and groaning creation with the thought of a God of love? To show that the Bible sees no discrepancy here, and no difficulty, we find in this chapter that the inspired writer employs almost every word in the English language indicative of pain, suffering, and sorrow, and yet side by side there is the strongest affirmation of God’s love. To say that the Bible thus presents the case is only to say that that is how God views it. He sees nothing discordant between the two things. Nor does the Apostle, a man equally eminent both as to his intellectual calibre and his saintly character. “I reckon”, he says, “that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (or, to us)”.

If we are to have a right understanding of this matter, otherwise so perplexing, we must regard it not merely from the point of view of the present time, but in relation to the future. How this would help the children of God to bear their sufferings and trials.

Moreover, the chapter reveals the fact that God has entered into the suffering and taken His part in it. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all” (v.32). Had God withdrawn from a groaning creation and left his creatures to suffer alone there might have been something to say. As a matter of fact, God has suffered more than any, and so suffering, instead of contradicting His love, has become the deepest proof of it.

Further, suffering is a means of moulding our character and refining it. Only in the fires of affliction can we be purified; and only in tribulation and distress do we learn fully what God can be to us, for it is in such circumstances that His love is most fully known. And it is through Him who loves us we become more than conquerors. The result is eternal gain. We are saved in hope; and we wait for the redemption of our body, when the pain and suffering and weakness will have passed away forever.



Back issues are provided here as a free resource. To support production and to receive current editions of Believer's Magazine, please subscribe...

Print Edition

Digital Edition

Copyright © 2017 John Ritchie Ltd. Home