But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.
Here is another of the Lord’s many words of comfort to those who suffer. It was spoken by the young man Elihu, the last one to try to “comfort” Job. None of the others had made a dent, and we have no reason to suppose Elihu did either, but he spoke the truth: those who suffer He rescues through suffering, and teaches them by the discipline of affliction.
It is always our salvation that God is working on. While we are actually on the ash heap it is next to impossible for anyone to get through to us. We are convinced that our situation is unique and they have no idea that we suffer. There is One who understands it thoroughly, and He waits to reveal Himself if we will look away from the blinding trouble and look up to Him. The very suffering, this word tells us, is God’s means of rescue. Without it, we would have lost sight of things that matter far more than the things we have lost. God is a ploughman, and, as Rutherford said, “He purposeth a crop.”
**Excerpt originally published in Guided by God’s Promises, p. 125.