Tada SufferWhat does God do to those he loves? What kind of conditions does he put them in for his purposes? Is it possible that God would will suffering SO THAT he is glorified and others (Not you) are encouraged? Big question: Is YOUR difficulty actually proof of God’s love for you?

Jesus had three favorite Apostles… Peter, James, and John. Of those three, John was his favorite. In John 13:23, 20:2, 21:7, and 21:20 he is described as “The one Jesus loved.” While we only know a few of John’s life events, consider one event Jesus/God orchestrated for “The one (he) loved.”

When John was old (Possibly in his 90s), he was exiled to a remote rock in the Mediterranean Sea… Patmos. John MacArthur writes about his living conditions (MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Revelation {1:9-11})…

John was probably sent to Patmos as a criminal (as a Christian, he was a member of an illegal religious sect). If so, the conditions under which he lived would have been harsh. Exhausting labor under the watchful eye (and ready whip) of a Roman overseer, insufficient food and clothing, and having to sleep on the bare ground would have taken their toll on a ninety-year-old man. It was on that bleak, barren island, under those brutal conditions, that John received the most extensive revelation of the future ever given.

Imagine being old (90+ years old), forced to work long hard hours, whipped, shabby clothing, little food, sleeping on dirt with a rock pillow. Would you wonder if God loved you? Would you doubt or question what God was doing? Would you wonder why he would allow such a thing? You might think, “I wish I was like the other guys… preach for a few years, then killed quickly. At least then I’d already be in heaven and all this hardship would be over!”

BUT… God had a purpose for putting John on Patmos. He got him away from all distractions to give him a vision of the future. To allow him to see how Jesus would triumph over Satan and sin. To show him what eternity in heaven would be like. To show him what The Holy City of Jerusalem would look like. From that perspective John must have been blessed because one of the last things he wrote is found in Revelation 22:20…

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Whatever is happening in your life… God is in control and has a purpose. He is glorifying His name and blessing you by increasing your rewards both now and in eternity. Trust God. Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)