No one in his right mind wants to suffer. Sometimes suffering comes quickly: the stroke that robs your mom of her dignity; the heart attack that takes your dad’s life. Other times suffering comes slowly: the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s; the slow, painful divorce. Or, in our days, the languishing effects of a pandemic.

Suffering is unavoidable. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it this way:

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Peter, writing to suffering saints in the first century, put it this way:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)

Peter agreed with Longfellow: suffering is inevitable. Into each life some rain must fall. Suffering is the common plot of every human being. Life languishes. Problems persist. Grief grips. The difference between Peter’s words and Longfellow’s dirge is this:

Longfellow depends on the sun shining behind the clouds. Peter points to the God who shines through the clouds.

He is the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ.

Your suffering is not wasted. God himself shapes you through suffering. When suffering has reared its ugly head and left you mangled and marred by the pain of life, God himself shows up and restores, confirms, strengthens and establishes you. Take heart. God has not forgotten you. He sees you, not as you are, but as you will be.


  1. My devotion this morning from the book New Morning Mercies for March 31 says that the Cross is evidence that in the Hands of the Redeemer, moments of apparent defeat become wonderful moments of Grace and Victory.Your father is committed to taking what seems so bad and turning it into something that is very,very good.I am thankful that I can serve the God of all Grace.Thany you Jerry for being a good Shepard for your flock.


  2. Thanks Pastor, for all you are doing during these troubled times. I sure that a pastor who can’t see his flock suffers a great deal. Know that we are praying for you and our Grace family.


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