Suffering is a universal experience. All of creation is in pain (Romans 8:22). And, in our globalized environment, we are aware of suffering all around the globe. We suffer from those we see if we have sympathy for them.
"If God is good, why should I suffer?" we begin to despair. Why doesn't God deliver me if he is all-powerful?" It's tough for us to reconcile our pain with our faith in God.
Some Christians believe that Christians should not suffer or become ill. Christians, on the other hand, do get sick. Christ's atonement on the cross does not guarantee that we will not suffer, but it does enable us to deal with it. "Every tear from their eyes will be wiped away, and there will be no more death, sorrow, sobbing, or agony," God promises one day (Revelation 21:3-7). Believers have hope in their suffering because they know that suffering is temporary and that their joys in paradise are forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
Suffering Has Five Causes
Fallen world: While it is true that God rewards the virtuous and punishes the wicked in general, there are instances when both the righteous and the wicked suffer (Job 1–2). Our relationships with God, each other, and creation have been shattered since Adam and Eve sinned. We may still go hungry, get sick, grieve, and die in this life (Romans 8:18-24; Philippians 2:25-28).
Sin: God may punish a person for their sinful actions (Numbers 16:1-38; Joshua 7:1-26; Acts 5:1-11; 12:20-25). God enables people to suffer as a result of their immoral decisions in both the Old and New Testaments (Jeremiah 2:19). However, not all pain is caused by sin. Suffering, according to Jesus, can be used for God's glory (John 9:1-7).
Correction: God is a nice dad who wants his children to develop. He uses suffering on occasion to train us for our good (Hebrews 12:7-13)
Examining: (2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-14; James 1:1-19). Suffering can strengthen our faith, allowing us to better serve God. "In his compassion, God called you to share in his eternal glory through Christ Jesus," Peter asserted. So, after you've endured for a while, he'll restore, support, and strengthen you, and he'll set you up on a solid foundation" (1 Peter 5:10). God shapes us into persons who honor his name and bless others through suffering.
Suspension: (John 15:18-26; 16:1-3; Acts 14:21-22; 2 Timothy 1:11-12). Suffering and tribulations are a part of following Christ. Paul considers it an honor to suffer for Christ: "I wish to suffer with him [Christ], sharing in his death" (Philippians 1:29; 3:10).
How to Deal with Suffering
Even though the Bible provides at least five causes for suffering, it does not provide a simple solution as to why a specific individual in a specific scenario is suffering. For example, Joseph suffered as a result of the sins of others. Even though Joseph's brothers tried to hurt him, God intended for his suffering to accomplish good things, including saving the lives of many others (Genesis 50:20). It's not always easy to see how God is at work in our misery.
Rather than informing us why we suffer, the Bible teaches us how to cope with it. Death's ultimate power over believers is defeated by the Cross. Even though we are currently suffering, faith believes that death will pass away when God establishes his new creation (Revelation 21:3-4); suffering will come to an end when Christ's victory over sin and death is complete. So, how do we deal with suffering?
To begin, Christians find the heart in the fact that Jesus Christ triumphed over pain on the cross. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, has and continues to suffer for our sake. The cross symbolizes God's presence with us, even when we are in pain. The cross serves as a reminder that God will never abandon us. As a result, we can meet and overcome adversity with courage.
Our suffering should be absorbed by the church. When we are in need, our church brothers and sisters pray for us and love us. Food, money, and other material help may be provided by the church community. Suffering hurts us, but we can become wounded healers by sharing the love and care we received with others.
Suffering can either strengthen or weaken a person's character. When we go through a difficult time, our character may never be the same again. Our response will determine the outcome. In times of adversity, some people become bitter. Others get stronger as a result of the Holy Spirit's strength (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Suffering allows us to demonstrate our faith, endurance, and God's work in our lives to others.
We Have Reason to Believe
Finally, we anticipate the cessation of pain in the next life. We know that God did not design for the earth to be a painful place and that He will not tolerate suffering indefinitely. As a result, we serve God joyfully because we wish to share in his delight. The apostle Paul went through a lot. "The Holy Spirit informs me in the city after city that jail and pain are on the horizon," he stated. But my life is worthless to me unless I use it to complete the task at hand... the task of telling others about God's wonderful grace" (Acts 20:23-24).
Meanwhile, as people of the cross, we care for the oppressed and stand with our Christian brothers and sisters in their suffering. We have life to share with the ill and dying because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cry for others' pain because we know that others will cry for hours. We fight for peace in the church and the community because of Jesus. Our faith equips us to face adversity without fear.
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