But the Lord said to [Ananias], “Go, for he [Paul] is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
God’s good plan for your life includes pain and difficult times!
David Wilkerson said, “Jesus didn’t save you so you could cruise to heaven in a luxury liner. He wants you to be useful in His kingdom! The moment you got saved, He enrolled you in His school—the school of suffering and affliction.”
That doesn’t mean God is the source of all hardship in your life. You may experience attacks from the forces of evil in this world, or people may hurt you with evil motives. But God’s supreme authority means that His good purpose overrules all of those evil motives. He’ll even use those terrible things done to you out of evil motives to produce spiritual growth in your life.
Pain enables you to grow and mature spiritually in ways that nothing else can accomplish.
Years later, Paul wrote, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).