Cause vs. Effect

When it comes to suffering I think we tend to focus on cause instead of effect. We want to know why. And that is normal and natural. Nothing wrong with wanting to know why bad things happen, but that isn't the primary issue. The primary issue is effect. Why it happened is less important than who you are becoming as a result? You can get bitter or better. It can make you stronger or weaker. And that is up to you.

In a sense, you are not responsible for suffering but you are responsible. Let me explain what I mean. You may not have caused it, but you are response-able. You have the ability to choose your response.

Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl, said it this way in Man's Search for Meaning: "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms--to chose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances."

Honestly, I think the reason why so many of us have such a problem with suffering is that we're more concerned with our comfort than God's glory. Suffering is all about sanctification and glorification. If I am sanctified and God is glorified then the suffering is redeemed. God uses a bad thing to produce a good thing in us. That doesn't ease the pain or lessen the sorrow or stop the bleeding, but it does redeem it. There is spiritual gain through the pain. If our goal is to become like Christ and glorify God, we will experience some suffering along the way. A relationship with Christ is not an immunity card. But we have a High Priest who identifies with our suffering and through our suffering we identify with Christ.