[LIGHT ARISES IN THE DARKNESS] Chapter 1 (Part 2): What is the Purpose of Suffering?

in writing •  last year

In my last post, I shared with you a portion of the first chapter for the book, Light Arises in the Darkness: How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy.

Originally, I put all of Chapter 1 into one post, but it was too long, so I broke it up into two segments...

Victory in Surrender_sm.jpg

"Victory in Surrender" 16 x 20, acrylic on canvas by Matt Philleo

The question in that first post was...Why is there suffering?

I talked about the reasons why--what causes it, but now you may be asking, "What good can come out of suffering? Why is it necessary?"

Let's dive into that today. We'll finish up Chapter 1 where we discuss, "What is the Purpose of Suffering?


Light Arises in the Darkness

How to Go Through Suffering and Experience Incredible Joy

Copyright 2017 by Matt Philleo. All rights reserved.

(To help you navigate through the book. I'll be including links below to various posts...)



  1. Why is there Suffering

  2. Acknowledging Your Suffering

  3. Suffering Caused by Financial Problems

  4. Suffering Caused by Health Problems

  5. Suffering Caused by Loss Problems

  6. Suffering Caused by Relationship Problems

  7. Suffering Caused by Internal Problems

  8. Seeking the Lord in Your Suffering

  9. Responding to His Presence and Encouragement

  10. Becoming an Encourager


"Still Before Spring," 11 x 14, acrylic on canvas by Matt Philleo

“This is one of the sad conditions of life, that experience is not transmissible. No man will learn from the suffering of another; he must suffer himself.” ~ James H. Aughey Read more

There is a good purpose in suffering.

We have to realize that God didn't create suffering. But He does allow it. Why?

Suffering involves a measure of pain. And pain involves a measure of resistance. The resistance is the tension we feel when move forward and don't things don't happen like they should or we thought they should. Progress doesn't come easy.

When the first man Adam sinned against God, by disobeying a clear command not to eat the forbidden fruit, he was kicked out of the garden. It didn't mean God was through with him. Do you remember when kids were expelled in school? The expelling wasn't meant to be permanent. It was supposed to be a wake up call. Of course, Adam couldn't get back into the garden, but God still wanted to be a part of his life.

And just like in being expelled from school, where it is much harder to graduate, so it is was with Adam being kicked out of the garden. Life got tough. Really tough. His job as a gardener would not be a walk in the park in anymore. He couldn't just drop a seed on the ground like he used to and watch the thing grow like Jack and the beanstalk. No. He had to break up the ground, pull out the rocks, put the seed in deep, water, and remove the weeds, all to get a crop large enough to eat a few kernels and repeat the process. It was hard work now. And for farmers worldwide, it still is today.


But hard work brings muscles. If you've ever gone to a gym before and worked with weight training, you've probably seen and heard the big guys grunting, grimacing, and nearly shredding their tendons apart to go for that burn. No pain, no gain, right? It's true. Suffering, which seems painful at the time, brings the reward of strong and beautiful muscles. There's no other way to get it.

Suffering involves a measure of pain. And pain involves a measure of resistance. The resistance is the tension we feel when move forward and don't things don't happen like they should or we thought they should. Progress doesn't come easy.

So also God can use suffering in this fallen world to build endurance and reliance on Him. People that are blind to Him will have their eyes opened up, seeking the God they were previously convinced didn't exist or they didn't care about, through suffering. People that already know their God will seek their God more, stop relying on their own limited strength, and discover the unlimited power that comes from trusting in Him.

In addition to this, we see the goodness of God shine all the brighter against a pitch-black backdrop of human suffering caused by human sin through human choices.

So what does this mean for you? You are either in the middle of suffering now, or you just got through it, and you're going to go through it again. Count on it.

But don't lose hope.

There's divine purpose in the suffering you can't always see. And although God doesn't always let you know what that is, He has a good plan in it, if you'll trust Him. Jesus said "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world."


That will finish it up for today. In the next post, we'll move right into Chapter 2: Acknowledging Your Suffering

Be blessed and be encouraged,


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To receive email updates on this book and see more of my art, visit: MattPhilleo.com

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Well said. I'm going to reread this one again to ponder it. Deep truths. Our expectations play a lot into this. We should expect troubles, not for things to be a merrily we go along ride through life.


Thank you. Yes, we hope for the best, but expect to have some trouble. We don't lower our expectations of having the good things in life we were dreaming for, but we set those expectations aside during times of trouble, especially if we realize God is allowing the trouble to happen for a reason. We don't want to be complacent and just let the waves buffet us, but neither do we want to fight against the tide, if God is blowing on the water. It takes some discernment, time with the Lord and in His word, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to know whether to roll with it or fight.

Nice post
Love it so much