Not much is preached about suffering, only a false message on prosperity and happiness. But, God never intended us to be “happy”. There is no place in the Bible that God says that we are not to suffer.
We know that God loves us and cares for us..(in my previous Salvation blog). Yet we wonder why He allows suffering. When a tragedy happens, the media instantly puts the blame on God. God uses our suffering when things happen in our lives. What we fail to realize is that even though we cannot see what God is doing, He is patiently at work fulfilling His will. One of the most important and awesome ways of God is that He uses our suffering. When my son committed suicide, did I blame God? No, because even though I was so broken then and wanted to die myself, I had had enough Biblical teachings and was grounded enough in faith to know that my son was in Heaven (saved) and that while I didn’t understand His will; I had enough faith even in my mourning, which lasted through a mini stroke I only faintly acknowledged, and pain and tears for 3 1/2 years. But, God used me, and used my talents, and in the process, healed me. Now, I can be a testimony .
Peter wrote a letter to suffering believers in the first century. He said, “therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (I Peter 4:19). Paul was in jail, had horrific arthritis, Jacob walked with a limp, Moses stuttered, Peter had a temper, and it shows that none of us are above suffering or perfect, except Jesus, yet He suffered the most at the CROSS for our sins.
Suffering is the result of anything that causes us pain in some way. In such a sinful world, all of us suffer. Some of our suffering may take the form of persecution for our faith. There are other kinds of suffering we bring on ourselves, such as violating good health principles. God USES suffering in order to get our attention. We now are like Sodem and Gomorrah in America. We refuse to repent and turn from wickedness. The wages of sin is death. In verses 67 and 71 of Psalm 119 we read that affliction helps us to learn God’s ways. When He sees that we are moving toward sin and disobedience, the Lord allows suffering because our pain drives us back to HIM. God uses suffering to develop personal righteousness and maturity. When my son killed himself, thank God I at least had the maturity and knew my scriptures, even in pain, I knew the truth. As Christians, we are often unaware of sinful activities that remain in our lives. God is in the process of developing maturity through us, and suffering helps to reveal those issues that He wants us to resolve.
God uses suffering for the purpose of pruning. Pruning as we prune a tree, that once its’ done and the roots spread in the ground it is able to finally bear fruit. Corinthians.. Else we can never be productive for the Kingdom of Christ. What does God prune? He “cuts away” our attitudes and our actions so that godly ones may grow, thus maximizing our potential as children of God. Suffering too, teaches obedience. Even Jesus had to learn obedience. Hebrews 5:8 He was always perfect, yet always learning obedience. Focus on what God is teaching you. Accept His discipline because it applies to those whom He loves. God uses suffering too, to teach us to trust Him. In 1Peter 1:7, we read that our faith when tested by fire, is more precious than gold,which is perishable. God makes no apology for sending us suffering because He loves us so much. He wants us to have continuous dependence upon His grace. He allows suffering to manifest Christ’s life in each of us. He wants our heart to be purified to make us holy. In going through suffering, He teaches us to praise Him and give thanks for everything. For he is perfecting us in HIS image…like clay..He is the potter and we are the clay. It is allowing us to build CHARACTER! Someone said , our talents can take us to the top, but, only our character can keep us there.
He allows adversity to enable us to share the suffering of Christ. Philippians 3, Paul writes that he desires suffering because Jesus Christ suffered on his behalf. Since both Christ and Paul suffered, we know that God calls us to endure trials as well. It is a false Gospel that claims our faith should only bring us health and prosperity. God allows suffering to prevent pride and keep us humble. He wants to reveal man’s evil and God’s righteousness. When we are in a trial and in pain, hard as it may be, ask God what He wants us to do. Was this pain we are going through caused by our own sin, or though some other influence? As God for strength and discernment during this time of testing… Some of the above in excerpts were taken from a teaching by Dr. Charles Stanley, “the Ways of God 7”
Dr. David Jeremiah, also did a teaching from II Corinthians. I Cor. 4:7-12 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the Power may be of God and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, perplexed, but not in despair Persecuted but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (we live the resurrection life by understanding that we have been planted together in the likeness of His death. jwexpositors) “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.” He ALLOWS us to go through things to see Jesus through our pain. It’s not about us, but about HIM. For the ultimate is settled in Heaven.
The one thing that you should not do? Don’t give up, and don’t blame God. Faith works! So does prayer! If you are going through a trial now, ask Jesus into your heart and ask Him to lead you step by step and to heal your emotions and pain. It may take time…but, He has never failed me, no matter how long it took. I never doubted for one moment that my Jesus had His arms around me holding me up…Thank you Jesus for loving me..I pray my testimony aids someone out there that needs help now…