I have not suffered a lot for Christ, but I want to tell you that those times that I have suffered and I knew it was for Jesus, have been some of the happiest times of my entire life. I cannot tell you the indescribable joy that has come into my heart and my life.
Often, we endure trials seeking God's deliverance from them. Suffering is painful for us to endure or to see those we love endure. While our instinct is to flee trials, remember that even in the midst of suffering, God's will is being done.
Our sorrows are all, like ourselves, mortal. There are no immortal sorrows for immortal souls. They come, but blessed be God, they also go. Like birds of the air, they fly over our heads. But they cannot make their abode in our souls. We suffer today, but we shall rejoice tomorrow.
For those who have not yet turned to the Lord for His salvation, their condition of suffering often creates compelling opportunities for them to cry out to God for His help. To those who do so in truth, He shows His mercy for their temporal plight and provides grace for their new life in Christ and their eternal destiny.
For the believer in Jesus, every trial of suffering is an opportunity to grow in the faith, to grow in our relationship with the Lord, and to see Him work in our lives in a uniquely personal way that demonstrates His compassion, His comfort, His tender mercies, His loving kindnesses, His grace, and His endless love. Only God knows what each of us needs to experience and learn in order to be "conformed to the image of his Son".
Simply put, I believe suffering is compatible with Gods love if it is medicinal, remedial, and necessary; that is, if we are sick and desperately need a cure. And that's our situation, Jesus said "It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick ... I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
On my door is a cartoon of two turtles. One says, 'Sometimes I would like to ask why he allows poverty, famine and injustice when he could do something about it.' The other turtle says 'I am afraid that God might ask me the same question.'