57. As it passes through God, all suffering becomes restorative.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. {1 Peter 5:10}

So, in case that last one left you feeling a bit overwhelmed and hopeless, take heart, because there is very good news! And the good news is that all suffering—no matter where it comes from—passes through God, and as it does, it takes on a new purpose: restoration.

This means that it doesn’t really matter if the suffering you’re facing is a painful situation you’ve created on your own or if it’s the result of the choices made by someone you love or if Satan has just singled you out for persecution. No matter what has caused the suffering, God can and will use it for a restorative purpose in your life.

God may not bring the suffering, but that doesn’t stop Him from using it for our good. This is exactly what Joseph discovered after he’d been sold into slavery in Egypt, then ultimately catapulted to a position of power where he was able to save his nation and all the surrounding nations, including his own family. When he unexpectedly encountered his brothers again later in life, he said, “Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good and life for many people.”

This is really an incredible thing to understand about God and about suffering. God doesn’t get rid of suffering by erasing it; He gets rid of suffering by transforming it. He takes what has been meant for evil and transforms it into something He can use for good. He doesn’t deal with curses by taking them away, but by converting them into blessings. No matter where your suffering came from, no matter how bad it is, God can and will take that ugly thing in your life and make it beautiful.

If you want to dig deeper—
Psalm 119:67
Matthew 10:39
Romans 5:3-4
2 Corinthians 4:17
Hebrews 12:7, 11
1 Peter 4:1-2