HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND TO SUFFERING?
In the last blog we talked about why God allows suffering in India and elsewhere. Why doesn’t He remove it? It’s important to understand that God always has a purpose for allowing suffering in the lives of His people. It is always for our growth and His glory.
Then, since God has a good reason for allowing suffering, how can we best face it when it happens to us? First, if God is allowing it to show sin in your life, confess that sin and live for Him (1 John 1:9; Romans 8:28). If you are a believer and aren’t aware of any sin in your life, then make sure you are in God’s will in all you do (1 Peter 4:19). Realize God is allowing it for your benefit (John 15:2; Romans 8:28), like the parents who takes their child to the doctor for vaccinations. When you get to heaven, you will know God’s purpose in allowing difficulties in your life (John 13:7). Until then, don’t be ashamed of your suffering, and praise God anyway (1 Peter 4:16).
WHEN WILL SUFFERING BE GONE? We’ve seen that God has not destroyed evil because He would have to destroy us. We have looked at some responses to evil and suffering. There is another response: that response is to look ahead. You see, even though God won’t destroy evil, He will ultimately defeat evil. And what a glorious day that will be! Satan and his deceptions will be done away with forever (Revelation 20:1-10), and we will no longer be at the mercy of a world gone mad, because we will be in the presence of God forever (Revelation 21:1-22:21).
I don’t know why suffering happens, but I do know God is in sovereign control over it all and that what He does is ultimately for a good reason. By very definition, God is omnipotent and in control of everything. We know God is also full of compassion and love. He’s proven His love for mankind by leaving heaven and coming to live on earth with us so He could ultimately die on the cross to pay for our sins and make a way for us to be with God in heaven for all eternity. Love is the guiding force behind all God does. Knowing that God is in control and that He is motivated by love in all He does is the rock we must hang onto when we don’t have answers for the ‘why’ questions that keep popping up in life. Don’t look at the circumstances around you and try to understand God in light of them. Instead, look at our faithful God, who proved His love on the cross, and face your trials with faith in the One who died for us. Don’t try to understand God’s character based on His actions. Instead, try to understand His actions based on His proven character of love and goodness. His character has been proven, but the reasons for His actions are something we won’t understand until later. So, based on His character and His actions in the past we can and must trust Him despite whatever happens now. That’s what Job did and what we must do as well.
Job 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 13:15 Though he slays me, yet will I hope in him;
How do you usually respond to suffering and pain?
Can you trust God even though you don’t understand all that is happening in your own life?
Pray now and say you will trust Him even when you don’t understand.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
Copyright © 2023