God sometimes allows Christians to suffer, in order that they might learn the secret of obedience. But it’s also obvious that some are unsuspecting victims of others’ bad decisions or of seemingly random events. Privacy Policy  Terms of Use. In Jesus, God suffered. But we can have faith that suffering isn’t arbitrary or meaningless—that even when we don’t understand it, He always has our best interest at heart. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). God has not left us alone in our suffering. Courage—the determination to overcome our fears to continue to follow and trust in God. It’s suffering to not fight evil for evil but overcome evil with good. Appreciation—the realization that, even in our most difficult moments, God has given us much to be thankful for and hopeful in. In addition to endurance, character and hope, there are other qualities we develop when we experience difficult times, such as: Each of these qualities makes us stronger, more stable and more mature. The purpose of this post is not to attempt a theodicy, that is, a defense of why God allows suffering. . Eternal suffering is the result of rejecting God’s love and mercy while in this life, coupled with paying the ultimate price for it throughout … © 1995–2021 All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.org. Pain always has a purpose. So let us not consider anything we suffer unfair because we do not know the meaning of the word. For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. If your spirit is separated from God for eternity, it will be lost forever. Sin is the reason that we have afflictions, including death. The word “discipline” has two applications. A cancer patient will come in after being diagnosed and they look fairly healthy in the beginning but once treatment starts I can not stress enough how it wreaks havoc on their bodies. A song came out in 1995 with the lyrics, “God is good, all the time, He put this song of praise in this heart of mine…” After hearing it for the fifth time, I was already tired of the song. In His loving wisdom, God is teaching us powerful lessons that will strengthen us for future experiences and help to prepare us for our place in His eternal Kingdom. God intends to use you to glorify His name. But this does not mean that every instance of personal suffering is a direct consequence of one’s own sin. Parents have the unpleasant responsibility of punishing their children to help them learn from their wrong behavior. We make the wrong decisions and we do the wrong things. Whether it happens to us personally, to our loved ones, or to our communities, we have a natural desire to find answers. It’s evident that Jesus suffered and that we will too. Why would a loving God allow suffering? “Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, New Revised Standard Version). “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” ( Isaiah 53:1-7 ). In this lifetime we’ll never completely understand why God allows some events to take place. God walked into suffering unjustly, unfairly, and He did so voluntarily because He loves us. For example, the Bible says that when we go through trials, it would be a mistake to say: “I am being tried by God.” Why? Once you come to understand where suffering comes from and why we so often go through trials, you can start working through your suffering. Another word for unjust suffering is testing. He loves people. It’s suffering to live for the approval of God and not man and get persecuted for preaching the gospel. How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? Why now? For example, what role does Satan play in mankind’s suffering? Much (if not most) of the suffering that we experience is the simple result of our own sin. In fact, it's part of God's plan for humanity to get rid of all sadness, sorrow and pain. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Why Am I Suffering? But as parents, since we love our children, we have to be willing to help them learn even the hard lessons. Why are not times of judgment kept by the Almighty, and why do those who know him never see his days?" God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? Question: "Why do I face the consequences of Adam’s sin when I did not eat the fruit?" Job accuses God of being unjust and not operating the world according to principles of justice, and his friends believe that Job's sin caused his suffering. It’s clear that some people bring suffering upon themselves by the choices they make. From the January/February 2014 issue of Discern Magazine, [From the January/February 2014 issue of Discern.]. Their suffering has truly just begun. If God is an all-powerful and loving Father, it seems He should be able to protect us from illness, accident, crime, natural disasters—or any other source of anxiety and sorrow. He has been in the pastoral ministry since 1986, previously serving congregations in Oregon, Tennessee and Ohio. In His vision of the Kingdom of God, the apostle John wrote of a time to come when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. He gives us hope. 13:23–24). It was not until after great sorrow and much affliction that David learned obedience to God. While we may not learn the specific purpose behind each struggle, we do know that God uses suffering to increase our dependence on him. I am suffering so much! Where was God when this happened?”. If God ignored our misbehavior and allowed us to continue in it, He would not be expressing the love of a Father who wants the best for His children. Why am I suffering God: Final Words. Jesus realized what was ahead. That was why He became one of us — to suffer for us. How you handle the consequences of your sins (just suffering) determines if God will give you another job. God is punishing Job. Answer: The Bible says, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Why must I suffer? There are many ways God works in the lives of His children to prepare us for our place in that Kingdom. Get the latest blog posts from Life, Hope & Truth straight to your inbox. Hope is a powerful resource that is the result of tested and proven endurance and character. It also gives us the hope of how to get through trials and sorrows. I know this is the enemy’s attack. Endurance and character are not easy to come by. To refine our character, to prepare us for ministry, to comfort others with the comfort we’ve received. United Church of God is a 501(c)3 organization. We grasp for answers to the urgent questions of the moment: “Why? Why Am I Suffering? Paul wrote of a process of growth that starts with anguish and leads to absolute confidence in God. Yet He suffered terribly, both mentally and physically. For example, one way God teaches us “proper rules of conduct” (His law) is through our study of Scripture. Why doesn’t God at least protect those who sincerely try to live a good life and obey His law? In order to answer this, we need to take a step back to consider our circumstances from a wider perspective. You may be going through pain and suffering right now but God can offer hope for any situation. Through the Holy Spirit, He gives us knowledge, understanding, confidence and hope (Ephesians 1:15-19). We live in a world of hurt, but should it be like this? Not all suffering is the direct result of God disciplining us. All rights reserved. In fact, He acknowledges that at times we will suffer. How could a loving all powerful God allow terrible things to happen? How is God the answer to our question: “Why am I suffering?” Sproul writes: “But over all injustice, all pain, and all suffering stands a sovereign God who works His plan of salvation over, against, and through evil.” Our goal should be to hold firmly onto this truth even in the midst of all the pain that we may be … Often, our pain comes from the mere fact that we live in a world that is not what God had intended. In God's mercy He showed us the key in the Bible. He loves you. It may BE unfair according to our standards, but our standards are flawed. Posted on October 25, 2017 October 25, 2017 by Succeed in Life Church. Why specifically you? Do you have other questions? Patience—a willingness to wait with confidence for God to take care of us in a difficult situation. Suffering does not have to have the last word in our lives. “Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. His plan is for every man, woman and child to live in peace and harmony in His Kingdom. Because “with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.” In God's mercy He showed us the key in the Bible. Endurance and character are not easy to come by. Even though He had no sin of His own, Jesus identified with us so completely that He took the burden of our inward brokenness — our sin and sin-sickness — upon Himself. But I am suffering so much. But why? The answer provided is that suffering is caused by desire, and one can escape suffering by detaching oneself from the world through right thinking, right speech, and right action. And He also uses suffering to draw our attention to changes we need to make to put us on the “straight paths” of life. As we encounter hardship, it’s helpful to be reminded how much our Savior suffered. Why we suffer. The Superficial Theology of Job's Friends . They are forged in difficult times, giving us the strength to remain steadfast and exercise our faithfulness as we suffer. Why would God create a world of chaos and evil? Second, the word “discipline” means to punish for the purpose of improving behavior. We can have faith that suffering isn’t arbitrary or meaningless—that even when we don’t understand it, He always has our best interest at heart.Continuing in Hebrews 12 we read that the purpose of this kind of discipline is to strengthen and heal us spiritually, so we can continue in the “straight paths”—the way God wants us to live (verses 12-13). But because I am suffering the attacks are working. God doesn't want bad things to happen to people. How could a loving all powerful God allow terrible things to happen? Hope is our sure footing when life seems slippery, based on our certainty that even in the hardest of times, God has not forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5). If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. His purpose is to create a family to live with Him for eternity in the Kingdom of God. Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/evil-and-suffering/why-am-i-suffering/. Why not me? There is comfort we never thought was possible. If we turn to Him, there is strength we never thought we had. : A Bible study aid present by BeyondToday.tv - Ebook written by United Church of God. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). God is creating within us qualities of character that cannot be gained except by difficulty. Throughout the book, Job, his wife, and his friends speculate on why he, an upright man, suffers. And though suffering is painful and we should do whatever we can to avoid causing it, God can even use suffering to produce good. When we submit to Him through repentance, baptism and obedience, He grants us the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32). He promises to provide for our physical needs as we make His Kingdom and righteousness our highest priority (Matthew 6:33). Why Am I Suffering? Job argues that he has not sinned to cause his suffering, so God must be treating him unfairly. When tragedies happen, we ask why. Working in the Oncology field has opened my eyes to this even more so. The most important thing to realize is that God cares for you actively. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.org. I am suffering greatly but I want the world to hear my testimony. See our article “Why Does God Allow Suffering?” on the LifeHopeandTruth.com website or download our free booklet by clicking below. Each is an aspect of character that God is looking for in His children. It … I must suffer because of my transgression if I sin I deserve to suffer. “Why am I suffering?” and “How can I escape from suffering?” Those are the big questions that drive Buddhism. When God is challenging your faith, you are likely to experience moments of sorrow to the extent of wanting to despair. What are we to learn when we experience severe difficulties? The Bible teaches that Satan is the author of sin. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? I don’t know what your story is and what you’re going through, but I want you to know that you will get through it. The friends argue that God is a just God and so Job must have sinned to bring about his suffering. To deepen our faith and draw us closer to him. When tragedies happen, we ask why. But when we suffer, we have an opportunity to look carefully at our lives, to consider the lesson of obedience that we can learn from the circumstances. And He allows us to suffer (Acts 14:22). But on another level something much greater is being accomplished. Often when we're faced with a trial that seems too hard to handle, we feel abandoned. No doubt God uses that to our good also but we make it harder on ourselves (and those around us) than it needs to be by not obeying all that God instructs us to do. God gives us answers. Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. All of our problems and our suffering, including death itself, are a result of man’s rebellion against God. Can you trust God is good? My human heart simply can’t comprehend why does God allow pain and suffering sometimes. (23:3–4; 24:1; cf. In the same way, there are times when God allows us to suffer the consequences of disobedience so that we can learn from our sinful mistakes. Why this? Truly, suffering in general is a result of the brokenness of the world, that which finds its root cause in human sin (see Genesis 3). God has a plan for us individually and for all of mankind. When we have learned those lessons and are prepared to become part of His Kingdom, there will no longer be any need for suffering—it will have served its purpose and will no longer be part of our lives. I’m in constant doubt. In this video Evangelist Gabriel Fernandes deals with the question: "if God loves me then why am i suffering?" Every belief system has to account for suffering in some fashion or another. It’s fundamental, though it may be confusing at first, to understand that God doesn’t promise to prevent all loss, heartache or stress in our lives. First, it means to train a person in accordance with proper rules of conduct (Louw and Nida). Once you come to understand where suffering comes from and why we so often go through trials, you can start working through your suffering. He wants this new world even more than we do. He understands it all, because He bore it all — the whole weight of it, all for us. I have seen God work in my life. Why Am I Suffering? The Bible clearly teaches that God does not cause us to suffer. The problem of suffering has been with us since the Garden of Eden and it will be with us until Christ comes back. On that same occasion Jesus made it clear that those who follow Him must also be willing to suffer. According to Sproul, what is the relationship between suffering and sin? Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. On the night before His death Jesus cried out to the Father in emotional agony (Luke 22:42-44) because He understood the incredible burden of responsibility that He carried, and He realized the excruciating death He was facing. God will not let you go through this without there being provision to see you through it. The Bible is the very Word of God, and it reveals the reasons for pain and suffering. I am suffering greatly right now. Job's three friends had taken the position that the severity of Job's suffering must be the sign of some grievous sin in his life. Paul was not the only one who learned that living, trusting, abiding faith is more important than physical health and long life. You may feel discouraged or be in a dark place right now but know that there is hope. It’s typical to think of the problem of evil like this: we picture ourselves in … Why me? He did this to give us life, so that the evils we face need not absorb and overwhelm us. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it’” (verses 23-24). And each grows within us as we encounter and successfully work through difficult times. ” It’s in your time of suffering that God has an opportunity to reveal His love for you. Suffering is a gift from God. Just as physical endurance is built by exercise, spiritual endurance is established in troubled times. Jesus Christ Is the Way Through Your Suffering. I pray for my faith to increase. The key is trusting in Jesus Christ. It may sound fine in theory but in practice most Thai Buddhists find it very difficult. Never miss a post! The key is trusting in Jesus Christ. As Proverbs 24:10 states, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.”. What’s next? Empathy—an understanding and compassion for others based on a shared experience. The Psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word” (Psalm 119:67). God also allows us to suffer to turn us toward Him, helping us to make a strong, deep and complete commitment to Him. But it won’t always be this way. Jesus lived a perfect life, completely free of sin. Paul made the point in Romans 5:5 that as we grow in the qualities of endurance and character, we build a foundation of genuine hope—unshakable confidence in God’s love and the anticipation of His promises. Faith—our trust in the love, power and mercy of God to watch over us and care for us at all times. Just as a person being led to crucifixion was required to carry his own cross, Jesus said that His disciples would have to be willing to carry the burdens of life while faithfully following Him. Hardship establishes and strengthens our resolve. Yes, we do live in a world of hurt. What It Takes To Be You. Job decides to talk directly to God. Hebrews 12 says that God disciplines His children: “Endure trials for the sake of discipline. : A Bible study aid present by BeyondToday.tv. He knew He would suffer in many ways and eventually be murdered by the religious leaders. In these dark times our cares and worries overwhelm us with negative and even hopeless thoughts. Used by permission. We only develop this kind of strength by working through the severe challenges of life. From the pain of divorce and death, to financial setbacks or the loss of health, perhaps you have asked the question: If God really loves me, why am I suffering? Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (verses 7-11, NRSV, emphasis added). I’m losing trust in God. Suffering is deeply personal, and we experience it in many ways. Perspective—the ability to see our situation from God’s point of view and the good that can come from our circumstances. That’s part of His plan for us too. . He wants us to grow closer to Him, to obey Him, and to find true peace and comfort in His love and way of life. Abandoned by friends, abandoned by family, and sometimes especially abandoned by God. Whether it happens to us personally, to our loved ones, or to our communities, we have a natural desire to find answers. The way we conduct ourselves in the face of hardship reveals who we really are at our core—our values, beliefs and commitment to continue to faithfully follow Jesus (“carry our own cross”) even if life seems unbearably difficult. God gives us answers. Earlier, when Peter expressed on behalf of the disciples their understanding that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah), He told them, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Luke 9:22). And He also uses suffering If God is good, why am I suffering? Because I'm human because I'm susceptible to illness because I'm susceptible to disease because I am an internal soul inhabiting a physical vessel. Like a loving parent, it hurts Him to see His children in pain. Not because He is arbitrary or cruel or takes any pleasure in our pain, but because there is a dimension of personal growth that can only be achieved through difficult and challenging times. Don Henson, along with his wife, Rannie, is currently the pastor of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, congregations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling, West Virginia. January 10, 2019 / in Life Concerns , My Life / by WAJ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For example, by His grace God offered His Son so that we can be reconciled to Him (Colossians 1:19-21) by repentance and the forgiving of our sins (1 John 1:9). The enemy’s attacks are working . This is why in James it says to “ consider it all joy when trials come your way. In times of severe distress there don’t seem to be adequate words or explanations. Scripture calls that repentance, which is at the foundation of our relationship with God. 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