“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” Psalm 4:1
This is one of the grandest testimonies ever given by man to the moral government of God. It is not a man’s thanksgiving that he has been set free from suffering. It is a thanksgiving that he has been set free through suffering: “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” He declares the sorrows of life to have been themselves the source of life’s enlargement. (Streams in the Desert)
To be completely honest, most suffering I endure is self-inflicted.
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:3
The prevalence of sin is no excuse to play the victim; instead, it is a call to battle. Moral decay is not inevitable. Choices have a lingering effect; poor decisions harm, but good ones heal. I must deal ruthlessly with every thought that threatens control of Christ’s dominion.
“It is only when God has altered our disposition and we have entered into the experience of sanctification that the fight begins. The warfare is not against sin; we can never fight against sin: Jesus Christ deals with sin in Redemption. The conflict is along the line of turning our natural life into a spiritual life, and this is never done easily, nor does God intend it to be done easily. It is done only by a series of moral choices. God does not make us holy in the sense of character; He makes us holy in the sense of innocence, and we have to turn that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices. These choices are continually in antagonism to the entrenchments of our natural life, the things which erect themselves as ramparts against the knowledge of God. We can either go back and make ourselves of no account in the Kingdom of God, or we can determinedly demolish these things and let Jesus bring another son to glory.” (O. Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest)