suffering

October 23, 2015

churtch

Why? Why me? Why my family? What is the meaning of this suffering?

These are familiar questions which are asked by Christians and non-Christians alike. No one is immune to suffering and adversity. “Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7, KJV). There are the pressures of want, need, sorrow, persecution, unpopularity, and loneliness. Some suffer for what they have done; others suffer because of what people do to them. Many suffer because they are victims of circumstances which they cannot control.

Pain is distressing. There can be nights of agony when God seems so unfair and it seems that there is no possible help or answer. Temporary relief may seem adequate, but the real solution to suffering ins not to isolate it in an attempt to do away with it, nor even to grit our teeth and endure it. The solution, rather, is to condition our attitudes so that we learn to triumph in and through suffering. When the Apostle Paul sought relief from his “thorn in the flesh,” God did not take it away, but reassured him with: “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV). IN another encouragement to the Corinthians, he wrote, “And God is able to make all grace abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, KJV).

Except for physical pain, handling suffering seems to be a question of attitude: “What am I going to do in the face of suffering in order to learn from it and use it for my advantage as far as God’s eternal purposes are concerned?”

Some of the most pathetic people in the world are those who, in the midst of adversity, indulge themselves by wallowing in self-pity and bitterness, all the while taking a sort of delight in blaming God for their problems.

Job’s attitude is an inspiration: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15).

The sufferer will be blessed if, in the midst of great agony and despair, he can look into the face of his Heavenly Father and, because of His eternal love and presence, be grateful. Again, our response to suffering should lead us to look beyond it in the attempt to determine what God’s higher purpose are and what He is trying to teach us.

What are Some of the Reasons for Human Suffering?

  1. Sometimes we bring suffering upon ourselves.

Dissipation and lack of discipline bring unhappy consequences. Longterm abuse of our bodies may bring on sickness. Wrong choices come back to haunt us.

The counselor may ask the caller: “Do you think this is happening to you because of your own bad judgment or intemperate action? Can you take any steps which may alleviate your suffering?”

  1. Sometimes God is taking corrective action because of sin and disobedience. God will correct and discipline His own. Through chastening He proves that He loves us and that we are truly His own (Hebrews 12:5-11).

  2. Sometimes God permits us to suffer so that we may learn to respond to problems and to Him in a biblical way. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8, NIV).

Our goal should be not merely relief from suffering but rather learning to please God by being responsive and obedient to Him and to His Word (see Romans 12:1,2).

  1. Sometimes God permits us to suffer so that we can understand that pain is a part of life. Nowhere does the Bible teach that the Christian will be immune to suffering and adversity! Paul points out in Philippians 1:29, KJV, that it is “given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Adversity can be a gift from God. Why should it be so difficult to think of it in this light?

Christ did not evade the Cross in order to escape suffering. Hebrews 12:2 says he “endured the cross, despising the shame.” Why? “For the joy that was set before him.” He knew that the final word was not crucifixion (suffering); it was resurrection (victory).

We may suffer briefly, or all our lives. The end never seems to come for some sufferers. But let us not give up hope or engage in self-pity or bitterness. It is the end-result to which all look forward. Being with the Lord in heaven will put all things into perspective!

  1. Sometimes God permits suffering because He purposes our well-being through it. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV). We must accept this by faith and pray that God’s highest good for our lives will come as a result of our suffering. It is only through adversity that some of the deeper lessons of life are learned. Trust God to work out His own will and purpose in us so that we might be more Christlike (see Romans 8:29).

There is no redemptive merit in our suffering as there was in that of Jesus, but if we are faithful under adversity we may be able to share in “the fellowship of his sufferings” (Philippians 3:10, KJV).

  1. Sometimes God permits suffering so that He may speak through our life and testimony to bring comfort to others. Jesus said that the sufferings of the blind man in John 9 were so “that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (NIV).

God might be working in your life through suffering so that others might be inspired by your example in adversity. Those who have endured adversity can sympathize and identify more effectively with others in their sufferings. We learn to comfort others in the way we are comforted. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4, NIV).

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

            Romans 8:28, 29, NIV

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

            Romans 8:35,37, KJV

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Blessed is the man who perseveres under trail, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”        James 1:2, 3 and 12, NIV

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”

            John 14:1, KJV

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

            1 Peter 4:12,13, KJV

“Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on his behalf. Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” 1 Peter 4:16, 19, KJV

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

            Revelation 21:4, KJV

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Freddi, she is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease

Pray for Steve M, suffering from Ms

Roger C, severe arthritis

Those that were praying for Rolfe, he died today, without ever accepting the Lord into his heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: