Nancy Guthrie writes for Crossway.blog, asking “Must we be hurt deeply to be used significantly?”

My husband David remembers sitting in chapel in Bible college when a speaker said that a person can not be used significantly by God until he has been hurt deeply. David also remembers feeling that if significant suffering is what is required to be used significantly by God, then perhaps he would rather not be used.

Most of us who are honest feel the same way. We want to be used by God and we might be willing to suffer some, but we want to determine the timing and intensity and method. The truth is, we want our grand abilities and keen insights to make us usable to God, not our broken hearts and crippling weaknesses.

I’ve heard variations of the same statement David heard in chapel throughout the years, and when putting together a collection of material by classic and contemporary theologians and Bible teachers about suffering for Be Still My Soul: Embracing God’s Purpose and Provision in Suffering, I looked for where this quote might have originated.

I found something similar by A.W. Tozer, included in his book, The Root of the Righteous where he wrote, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” What I found most intriguing is the context in which Tozer makes the statement. He draws a picture that helps us to see the sense in his hard-hitting proposition…

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