The Upward Spiral (A Paradox)

Here’s a question…

Where do our sufferings come from?

Isaiah 45:7 (ESV)
“I form light and create darkness,
I make well-being and create calamity,
I am the Lord, who does all these things.”

Amos 3:6 (ESV)
“Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the Lord has done it?”

Lamentations 3:38 (ESV)
“Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?”

And, in a more personal sense…

Exodus 4:11 (ESV)
“Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”

But, why? Why would God allow us to suffer?

Suffering is the means by which He causes us (Christians) to rejoice. It’s what I call The Upward Spiral.

Paul demonstrates this in his letter to the Romans…

Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

The Upward Spiral demonstrates a “paradox.” A paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true. It is seemingly absurd or self-contradictory to assume that anyone would rejoice in suffering. However, this is exactly what the Christian experience will lead to.

You might be thinking…

“Wait, it does? That doesn’t seem logical. Shouldn’t suffering lead one into, if anything, a downward spiral of anguish, leading to a breakdown of one’s character, producing in them anger, leading them to inner torment which destroys all hope, bringing even further suffering, which then leads to an even deeper anguish, resulting in an even further breakdown of character, prompting more anger, and so on, and so on… and so on?”

But, through Christ, it’s the opposite for us. The paradox of The Upward Spiral “when investigated or explained,” proves to be “well founded or true.”

How is this possible… you ask?

“…because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5b (ESV)

May you rejoice in your suffering, because of what God has accomplished through Jesus Christ and His Spirit on your behalf…

Godspeed, to the brethren!


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