An Open Letter To The Suffering.

My fellow sufferer,

To be completely blunt, these past few months have been really tough for me. Life has not been fair to me. I’ve gone through so much emotional pain and physical hurt that I wasn’t sure what to do anymore.

Have you ever been where I am? Where I was?

Things just not going your way. Life hurts.

Maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend dumped you, maybe your spouse threw out the “D” word, maybe you’ve lost a close friend or family member…maybe even a child.

Yeah. It hurts, right?

It feels as if the whole world is falling in on you.

Like you have nowhere to go…like you’re being crushed on all sides.

Yep. I know that feeling.

What if I told you that God is using that for your ultimate good, and that He knows exactly what you are going through..and that He is even allowing these things to happen in your life…crazy, right?

But listen to me.

God uses the hard times in our lives to make us look more like His Son!

Scripture is clear about how God uses suffering and affliction for our purification and transformation to look more like Jesus.
Consider these verses:

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.”
[Isaiah 48:10]

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
[Rev 3:19]

Heck, the whole book of Job.

God allows, and uses the hard times of our lives to shape us, and mold us.
He is working all things for the good of those who are called according to his purpose and love Him [Romans 8:28].

That doesn’t mean that right now, in this moment, you are seeing the good that is coming of this pain and hurt…but in the future – when it’s over and you look back – you will see how God really is using this for your good.

If you want a prime (one of many) example of how God uses bad in our lives to work for the good of those who love Him, look at Joseph in the Old Testament.

Thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his brothers, framed, and even imprisoned for years Joseph finally was set in a place of power. Eventually he became literally second-in-command over Egypt and developed a unique way for food storage; so he was able to save and provide food for his family – including his brothers who already did so much negativity to him!

Do you think Joseph was always happy-go-lucky about his situation?

You think he was okay with what he was going through?
Probably not.
He probably thought it sucked real bad.

But in the end, Joseph was able to say these words in spirit and truth:

“What you intended for evil, God used it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Gen 50:20

He was able to boldly and confidently tell his family that what they had intended for evil, God used for good.

The word ‘intended for’ is the Hebrew word ‘knit together’ – so it reads literally:

‘What you knit together to harm me, God came behind and re-knit for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’

Not to mention, in Chapter 45 of Genesis, Joseph tells his brothers 3 (or four) times that is wasn’t them that did this to him, but God. God is the one who allowed this to happen so that He could be here…to save many lives.

Going to the New Testament, we see Paul.

He tells us to join in Christ in His sufferings, so that we can be molded more in the image of Him.
 (Consider Phil 1:29, 1 Peter 3:13-17, Romans 8:17, 2 Cor 4:11)
Pretty intense words there…but it also (suddenly) makes sense, doesn’t it?

To bring the point home; God used the evil hearts of man to accomplish His ultimate goal:

Sacrificing His Son to save the lives of many.

He used the evil hearts of man (once again) to accomplish His plan.
Thank God that He does this sort of thing!

Over and over in scripture we see examples of God using wickedness (and allowing it) to accomplish His will.

We shouldn’t be confused and feel helpless when we run into hard times, and we should trust Him when we do have hard times…because He is in it, knitting away…working away…making it all work for your ultimate good.

I don’t know what you’re going through.
But I can tell you, boldly and confidently, that God IS USING this for your good.
Even though it doesn’t feel like it right now – He is with you.

He is holding your hand.
You’re going to make it through this.

God is on your side.
He is knitting together this evil for your good, and for the good of many.

He has your best in mind – He promises this.

You may not see the results right away, or even in your lifetime…but His plan is always for the best.

I am rooting for you.

He is rooting for you.
Let’s fight this fight together.

Let’s run this race well.


  • Enjoyed the piece. With anything negative that has happened the fact of Gods promises is what keeps me going. … “For I know the plans I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11. Keep writing
    I remain…In His grip.
    Steven G. Moore

  • I sure enjoyed your remarks. I too have experienced my times of tribulation whether from my own doing or by the means of others. I tend to look at it like this: tribulation separates us from God and the atonement of Christ pieces us back together as one. Keep rolling!

  • Howdy!

    I love how you’ve implemented html5 in the header of your blog. Love it! I found your blog through Empire Avenue and this is a fine example that “EA” does work and woks extremely well, when implemented correctly. I’ll now be a regular reader.

    Greg Smith

    • Thank you for checking it out, and the encouragement!
      I am glad you found the blog – looking forward to connecting with you, Greg!

  • I especially liked the “re-knit” thought from Joseph. Never heard that before.

    I feel like I’m drowning. It’s not the first time I’ve gotten to this point of desperation and pain, but every time you go through it you’re never quite sure you’ll make it out the other end. It’s difficult in the midst of it to see beyond your pain or situation. Let alone trying to see something GOOD in it. I know what you’re saying is True. My mind knows it, but my hurting heart has difficulty grasping it. And yet, that’s the moment of faith, isn’t it. I was talking to God this morning telling Him that I wish He’d just show me a miracle in the midst of this, to know He was indeed in the midst of it. He reminded me of the verse that says, “Blessed are those who don’t see, but believe…” In the muck, in the pain, can you still say simply, “I believe. I believe You. I trust you.” I guess that’s the type of faith He’s looking for.

    Good job, John!

    • Amen! I am praying for you, Holly! Keep the good fight. God is with you! This pain is not meaningless…you’re gonna make it.

  • I would welcome pain any day over being numb. Your introduction is misleading. You didn’t share how you are a ‘fellow sufferer’ instead you used emotional traction to be able to tell readers that God allows bad things to happen to them because He ‘loves’ them. Great Gospel message?

    • Instead of going into the details of my pain and hurt – I’d rather encourage those who are going through their own.
      I could give personal testimony all day – but that won’t bring real healing…the Gospel will!

  • God bless you John. I’m going through some things right now and reading this helped me so much. I got a better understanding and it warmed my heart. Thank you

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