God’s sovereign use of suffering was one of the “minor” themes from the Mark 2:1-12, “healing of the paralytic” passage that I just did not have time to cover in the sermon last Sunday (Who Can Forgive Sins?).
I found this extended quote from J.C. Ryle to be thought provoking…
Who can doubt that to the end of his days this man would thank God for his palsy? Without it he might probably have lived and died in ignorance, and never seen Christ at all…The palsy was indeed a blessing. Who can tell but it was the beginning of eternal life to his soul?…They have learned wisdom by affliction. Bereavements have proved mercies. Losses have proved real gains. Sicknesses have led them to the great Physician of souls, sent them to the Bible, shut out the world, shown them their own foolishness, taught them to pray. Thousands can say like David, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn thy statutes” (Ps. 119:71)…Every sickness and sorrow is a gracious message from God, and is meant to call us nearer to him. Let us pray that we may learn the lesson that each affliction is appointed to convey.
J.C. Ryle (1857; 2012). Expository Thoughts on Mark, Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust.