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Why Suffering?

I know that many people in our world today suffer greatly with all manners of disease, persecution, distress, pain or whatever it may be and at times it causes them much frustration and anguish. I would like to take this time to try to answer the question of "why suffering?" First, may I encourage anyone who is in the midst of a trial or painful situation to remember to stay strong and encouraged in the Lord and that our rest and help is in God. He is always there for us. When men fail (and they will), once thing is an absolute certainty, God will never fail! We must turn to Him and rest and trust in Him. He is perfect and His plan is perfect.

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Now as far as why people suffer? It is a very good question. First, let me start by saying that part of the problem is that we have sadly been fed a lot of lies and false assumptions in our society here in America as well as around the world. You see we have been taught that man is primarily and overall good, with only a few bad people which we are told is the exception. Well, God says quite the opposite and He is truth and His Word is truth.

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."(Romans 3:4)

What does God's Word say about the condition of ALL men:

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known:"(Romans 3:10-17)

You see nobody is good or innocent. We are all guilty.

So where do these lies that we have been indoctrinated with (Psycho- babble as I like to call them) come from:

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

Now, where did the evil come from and why do men suffer? Because of the disobedience and sin of Adam we live in a fallen world with death and suffering. He listened to satan in turn by listening to Eve and not God.

"And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."(Genesis 3:17-19)

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)"(Romans 5:12-17)

Now having said all that we know that no one is exempt from suffering. What we must NEVER do is question God or say that He is unjust or unfair. God forbid. He IS just, holy, righteous, and His ways are perfect. He is the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent One True Living God and who are we to argue.

"For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Remember God's ways are not our ways. They obviously are much better. How can we the creation tell the Almighty Creator what our feeble minds think is right or wrong. God does not make a mistake nor does He every error. Remember God is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end and He is omniscient which means He is all knowing. He knows what is best for us at all times and leads us in the direction to help us grow in Him. Even though we may not like suffering and persecution the fact is that it purifies our lives and should draw us closer to God.

"Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake."(Psalms 79:9)

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"(1 Peter 1:7)

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

One thing to keep in mind regarding sin and rebellion is the fact that we are all in it and if we are honest with ourselves we will have to admit that even children are rebellious and are disobedient at a very young age. Let us look at God's Word and the commands to children:

"Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."(Exodus 20:12)

"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord." (Colossians 3:20)

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."(Ephesians 6:1)

If being truthful, we know that children do disobey their parents, are non-compliant with parents requests on many occasions, and of course they do tell lies at a very young age. So right there we simply have rebellion and there is no other way to say it. For example, when a 3 or 4 year-old child gets caught doing something they are not supposed to, what is generally their response? Is it not to tell a lie to get out of trouble? Now where did they learn that response? Surely they were not taught it by parents I should hope, but no rather it came "natural" to them because man is fallen and sinful.

I think the best way to answer the question of why suffering is to look at the innocence and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He willingly left the glory of heaven to come and live amongst us and all of the world's filthiness and sin. He lived a perfect and sinless life, never transgressing the law one time. Being completely innocent, He took scourging, beating, being ridiculed, being spit upon, and suffered the most painful, horrendous form of death known to man, and He did this all for us. Not to mention the spiritual agony of taking the sins of the entire world upon Himself, a pain that our minds can not even comprehend. Again, He willingly out of love, did this for us. He paid the penalty we could not pay, and made provision for those that repent of their sin and turn to Him and trust in Him as Lord and Savior to be able to live with Him in glory for all eternity. That is the most incredible LOVE! It is 100% PURE love!

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."(John 15:13-14)

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."(2 Corinthians 5:21)

"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.(1 John 4:8-10)

Did he deserve to go to the cross or do we deserve His precious sacrifice? The answer is a resounding NO. He willingly died for us to allow us to escape an eternity in the lake of fire for those that believe in Him and receive Him as Savior and Lord of their life. Doesn't that just want to make you give eternal thanks and praise to His Holy Precious Name and to sing and shout Hallelujah! He is worthy!!!

I think what would really help us is if we began to live our lives from an eternal perspective and not get so caught up in the here and now. I believe if we start to do this it will really change our lives and give us a new perspective on how we live becuase our life here is really about loving God first with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving and caring for the souls of men. Because the reality is that our time here is very short and it is where we will spend eternity that really matters and counts.

"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."(James 4:14)

I will illustrate this point in this way. There are only two gates and two ways in which we can lead our lives. Sadly, most will choose the wide gate and broad way which leads to destruction (an eternity in the lake of fire) and only a few will find and choose the straight gate and narrow way which leads to glorious life eternal with God.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

For the children of God that repent and believe on and receive Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, they will live in eternal joy with God and there will be no more sorrow or suffering. HALLELUJAH!!!

"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)

Now for the children of the devil that reject God's gift of salvation through His glorious Son the Lord Jesus Christ, all suffering and sorrow felt in this brief life will pale in comparison to the pain, loneliness, and torment of an eternity separated from God in the lake of fire.

"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."(Revelation 14:9-11)

We must choose who we will serve and this is the most important decision of our entire life, one that reaches for all eternity. This is why I say it is so important to look at our lives and live our lives from an eternal perspective for this is what really matters.

One other thing I would like to mention about suffering is that many people tragically and very mistakenly try to blame God, shake their fists in anger at Him, or lose their faith when they or someone they love is seriously hurt. How very, very wrong, scary and eternally dangerous this is. As much as we may hurt at the time this is the not the response we should take. We must NEVER turn our back on God. First of all, understand that God does not actively inflict people with diseases, cause someone to be physically assaulted, or make them get in car accident etc. So where does all of this come from. Once again it is back to the fact that we live in a fallen and sin filled world as well as the fact that as my friend's grandfather called him "ole' smutty face" (the devil) is seeking whom he can devour."

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"(1 Peter 5:8)

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

Could God root up the wicked sinners of this world and the devil and his minions right this very moment and cast them into the furnace of fire forevermore thus ending all the trouble and suffering now. Of course He could, but you see and this is the important part to remember, it's all about God's love, patience, longsuffering, and mercy in desiring that none should perish but rather that all would come to repentance. Like we discussed before it's about the souls of men and life from an eternal perspective, and where they will spend eternity. You see it means that more people are going to come to a saving knowledge of Christ Jesus and become children of God. God in His wonderful mercy and longsuffering allows the world to continue as more souls will be saved, but please don't misunderstand there does come a day when all are saved that are going to be saved and then the end will come. This is why today is day of salvation because we don't know when that time is, only God knows, and there absolutely are no second chances.

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matthew 13:24-30)

Families really need to spend time in God's Word and in prayer at all times and not just when there is trouble. This is how we grow in the Lord and in our relationship with Him so that when trouble comes we are solidly grounded on the rock Christ Jesus. This is tremendously important and must be a priority. Really a persons children and family is their first ministry.

"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."(1 Timothy 5:8)

Of course the above verse of scripture is referring to providing spiritually as well as financially for ones family and I believe even more so spiritually because God is obviously more concerned with the spiritual condition of people than the financial.

People need to not just say that God is first and most important in their life, but they must show it in their actions.

"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

Yes, suffering will come but we can sing "Hallelujah anyhow" because God has dealt bountifully with us.

"I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me." (Psalms 13:6)

We must receive the Lord Jesus Christ with childlike faith and rest and trust in Him!

I of course don't have all the answers but, I hope this has been helpful and a blessing to you. All thanks and praise to God for He and He alone is worthy!

Your caring friend in Christ,


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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001