2016-04-21 - Why do God's Children Suffer?
Sometimes it is due to wrong choices we make as His children. Numbers 13:31(NIV) But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And then they wandered in the desert for 40 years.
We also suffer because of disobedience to God. Hebrews 2:2 (NIV) For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,
Some suffering and pain is for correction which leads to repentance. 2 Timothy 2:25 (NIV) Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
Often times our suffering is for our personal growth toward maturity and becoming more Christlike. Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Our suffering can also be due to Satan’s desire to hurt God’s people. 1 Peter 5:8(NIV) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Occasionally, our painful suffering is for the sake of God’s wider purpose. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Many of God’s children suffer because of natural disasters. God gets all of the credit for this, and yes, some of it is due Him. He sent the flood during the time of Noah, He caused the earthquake during the time of Amos, He caused the storm that got Jonah’s attention, and there are many more times annotated in the Bible, when He used the weather for one reason or another. Satan can also, with God’s permission, control the weather. Think of Job and the lightning and whirlwinds/tornado. Man also has his due. By this I mean, think of the earthquake/tsunami that hit Anchorage, Alaska, and the surrounding areas in 1964 If they had not built close to two tectonic plates that ruptured (caused a fault) all of the deaths would not have occurred. How about New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005? More than half of the city is built two foot below sea level, and they counted on pumps and man-made dikes to keep the water out. I have also heard many times of people building homes next to a river or on a floodplain, and then cry, “Woe is me,” when the flood comes
I do not pretend that what is written above is all-inclusive, so I will end this with what I call a catchall, and that is: Some causes for suffering will not be known until we get to Heaven. However, I truly believe that when we arrive in Heaven, and gaze into His wonderful face, and hear Him say, “Well done Brother/Sister… Welcome to your new home,” all thoughts of the suffering and pain we incurred on earth, will be the furthest things from our minds.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy and for the privilege of calling You our God and Father. Father, please remind us, when we are suffering on Earth, that it will only last for seconds, compared to the years of bliss that we will have in eternity with You..We love You, Your Son, and the Holy Spirit. All of these things we say in the name of Jesus. Amen.
All verses are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted.