I'm just going to say it suffering is hard. It does not matter if you are sick for a long time, it does not matter if you are separated from loved ones, or going through a death, or are being bullied for being who you are, suffering never feels good while you're going through it. This brings up an interesting questions for Christians, "Why would God allow His children to suffer so greatly?" In Romans 8 it states that believers are children of God, so why does God allow His children to suffer, and what do we do when we do go through suffering? First we must understand that God allows this suffering to come, but He does not produce it. The cause of our suffering comes from sin. We live in a fallen sinful world. Word by its nature is destructive and causes suffering. So with so much sin, there is a great deal of suffering. Why does God allow this suffering? That question is not as easy to answer because it requires knowing the mind of God, which can only truly be known as it has been revealed through His word. In God's word it says that all things work for good for those who love the Lord, and it states that suffering is a form of discipline and that it is done out of love for His people, and that it is to remind Christians that this is not our true home. Christians are apart of God's kingdom, and God's kingdom is not of this earth yet, so we must remember that we are strangers in a strange land which is why at times we will suffer. So what do Christians do when they go through suffering? The first thing I would suggest would be to understand that the Bible never tries to hide suffering from you. There are many believers who suffered in the scriptures. Joseph was sold into slavery and went to prison. David had to be on the run multiple times for his life, the entire book of Job, Steven was stoned to death, Peter was put into prison, Paul was stoned and put into prison, John was exiled to an island to die, Jesus was crucified after being beaten and whipped. Jesus even says those who do not pick up your cross and follow me are not worthy of me. In that time, to say, "pick up your cross" meant to join the death march. Suffering is not a hidden subject in scripture and so as Christians we should first understand that be Christian is to suffer. This is not the most encouraging thing to say I know, however while reality might not be comforting it is more useful. This brings me to my next point which is that Christian should understand that one day their suffering will end. Christ has promised to carry us through this life and into the next, and in this next life every tear will be wiped away, and there will be no more suffering, or sickness for the old way(which is present) will have pasted. A time is coming believer where we will be through with our suffering and so hold on to the hope of that coming day, understanding the suffering we are going through now will not even compare to joy we will experience in the new heaven and the new earth. The next thing Christians should is stand together. It is important that all Christians have a group of fellow believers they can share their burdens with. Although it should be understood that Christians will suffer, it never has been taught that Christians should suffer in isolation. Part of the reason why believers are called to gather together is so that they can help one another with their burdens including advice, prayer, sound doctrine, and sometimes just an ear. In this same way believers should also cast all their cares upon God because He cares for you. Paul had a thorn in the flesh that he prayed about and Jesus prayed in the Garden that if it were possible for Him to not go through what He did then for the Father to take that cup away from Him. Both Jesus and Paul came to God with what was on their heart praying for their affliction. In both cases God did not remove their affliction. Christ went to cross for our salvation, and God told Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you." Both times these men went to God with their suffering, and while God did not remove their suffering, He did comfort both of them. The Bible states that suffering never feels good while you're going through it, and so this blog is not serve as a means to remove discomfort, but it is aimed to give anyone who cares to read it, the biblical worldview of suffering and how Christians should respond to suffering when it comes. Please understand that God is with you believer, and He cares for you, and your suffering will come to an end, and please remember that God is working all things out according to His will. What do you think of suffering? Is there something that I did not cover or something more that should be said? Comment below and let me know. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of this blog, and if you have an idea for a blog you can comment below and I'll be sure to write on it.
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor