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If You Suffer, You Are Closer to God: Here is the Proof

The word “suffering” isn’t something we associate with God. It isn’t talked about much in Church. We associate God with the good stuff. Suffering sure doesn’t make that list.

However, I am certain that if there is any time God is closest to us, it is when we are in trouble. This is where He rescues us and reassures us.

David says, 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” 

Psalm 23:4

How God Showed Up in My Pain

Suffering is something I am quite familiar with, and I can’t forget how much influence my experiences have had on my faith—especially when I went through my first life-threatening health ordeal.

You see, I was born again and loved God, but I wasn’t a serious believer. To me, my faith was just a religious obligation. Deep down, I only felt I needed God once in a while, or for my eternal security.

Then, I started having painful stomach aches that no doctor could figure out. Drugs were prescribed, and medical treatments were administered, to no avail.

It got so bad that I had lost all hope. All my family and I could do was pray daily and leave it all to God. Then, the pains and afflictions just sort of vanished. To this day, I cannot say how it happened.

All through the years after this experience, I have realized that whenever I suffer, I turn to God. It’s almost natural for me now. This also includes times when I am suffering because of my own foolish mistakes.

How Do I Know I Am Closer to God When I Suffer?

1. My need for God is revealed.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26

2. It purifies me and makes me holy.

“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” 

Acts 14:22

3. It strengthens my faith and builds up my patience.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.”

Romans 5:3

4. I appreciate God’s love even more.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Jeremiah 31:3

5. Suffering humbles me.

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.”

1 Peter 4:19

6. Suffering cuts off my distractions, keeping me focused on Christ.

“Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ.”

Philippians 3:18

In fact, suffering and pain teach us the difference between the important and the transient, and what truly matters. 

As a result, we come out more refined and better positioned to be a vessel of God without compromise, a child of God wholly dependent on Him.

But What if I’m Afraid?

Should the believer fear suffering? No, there is no need. If God does permit suffering in your life, no matter where it comes from, He has a good purpose for you through your trial. You just have to trust Him in the process. 

God doesn’t cause suffering. But when He does permit it, He is using it as an opportunity to draw you closer to Himself and deepen your relationship with Him. 

Even when God seems distant, He is closer than you think.

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