I read Ezekiel 24 just now where God kills Ezekiel’s wife as a sign to the Israelites. He was told ahead of time and commanded to not mourn for her.
Of course my initial reaction is, “God, how could you do this?” Especially after all the miracles I’ve witnessed God do to bring my husband back to me, this breaks my heart. But the point here and in my own life is that we know He is God and He does everything for His glory alone. He loves us and does all things for us to know Him, but our lives are only to give Him glory. Our happiness does not matter. John Piper said it best, “In the end, what matters is the effect that God produces in our lives through his written word by his Spirit.”
Yes, bad things happen…unimaginable things, but God is still Sovereign. And our circumstances don’t change what God requires of us. And God doesn’t require any more from us than He, Himself, has given. Lest we forget, it was His Son who was mocked, persecuted, tortured, and murdered. Just like Christ, the things God calls us to are not easy, painless, or happy, but the suffering makes us like Christ and gives the Father all the glory He requires. Therefore, our lives are not our own. They were bought with a price. At a cost that requires we forego our temporary lives for that (whatever that may be) which gives the Father His glory. Although it is a hard lesson, it’s one in which reaps the only eternal benefits. Ezekiel knew that and lived it. The question remains: Do we?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Peter 2:19,21 (KJV) 19 For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps
2 Corinthians 4:15-18 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Acts 14:22 (NKJV) strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
1 Peter 1:6-7, 9 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Romans 8:17-18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
1 Peter 4:18-19 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Hebrews 11:24-27 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Acts 20:22-24 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
I was a fool to think I could live in prosperity without ever suffering and become like Christ. That way of thinking is totally unbiblical.
Good resource for suffering: