A Biblical View of Suffering

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    Many people think that life will be easy and pain-free after giving their life to Jesus. But the Bible says differently. There are many verses in the Bible on the suffering of the saints. Here are just a few:

    “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Acts 9:16

    Why do Christians suffer? Why do we sometimes go through very difficult and painful trials? This is one of the most difficult questions to address. Although some suffering is simply the consequence we receive for our sin, do we deduce from this verse that God allows suffering, even possibly requires it, in order to bring us fully into His plan for us, and place our trust entirely on Him? If we are going to fully commit ourselves to God and His purposes, we must be willing to go through whatever He wants us to go through.

    Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good… 1 Peter 4:19

    Choosing to suffer is wrong, but choosing to do God’s will – even if it means suffering – is something very different. While we don’t go looking for suffering, as Believers we must be willing to accept it as part of God’s plan for us. Are we willing to accept whatever God may have for us, whether it is a blessing or a trial?

    Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:2-3

    Here we see God’s purpose in our suffering – to test our faith, and by this testing we develop perseverance. We go on to read in verse 4 that “perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”. Can we consider our trials as “pure joy”? What makes us different from non-believers? What draws them to want their own relationship with Jesus Christ? One factor might be our demeanor in times of crisis. If we can maintain an attitude of joy regardless of our circumstances, perhaps this will be the very thing that leads that person to Jesus.

    “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job 2:10

    God is sovereign, isn’t He? True surrender means allowing God to deal with us however He chooses; it means I am His to bless, to crush, or anything in between. Will we accept anything from God?


    Dear Foster hello…

    Well put… The suffering is really a mystery in the workings of Divine economy in our lives. It is the old, well known question about the existence of evil and suffering in a totally loving God made universe… The answers given stay far short of giving a satisfactory explanation, it is true. It is openly a question that can not be answered by purely intellectual means. Mystics say that they ‘see’ the reason (beware… they do not say that they ‘know’ it) but that they can not communicate it because it is ‘something’ that does not belong to the category of things that can be shared in an intellectual plane. It is a ‘reson’ not perceptible by the analytical mind. To be percepted it needs the transendence of analytical perception.

    Beside, Christianity teaches that the intellect is one only of the percepting faculties of human being’s structure and that it is not the higher one… So it sees, also, as a sign of ‘sin’ riddeness to stay imprisoned in it. Man/woman has to transend it to come to the fullness of their existence so as to be existentially free… They have to be ‘saved’, that’s to say to be ‘whole’… There, living in the fulness of being, they can touch the essential meaning of Being and see, further, what was the reason keeping them in imprisonment… It is not a matter of knowledge gained by studying but of ‘seeing’ in Spirit, using the Biblical expressions, which has to do with ‘purity of heart’. And… strangely (for the usual worldly approaches) gaining authentic knowledge in the Biblical sense is not a matter of studying but a matter of purification by means of sincerity, before ourselves and before, of course, God.

    But let look at it not from the viewpoint of a believer but that of an agnostic: The suffering is there, be a believer or not. The difference is that in believer’s life it has a meaning, in a non-believer’s life it is a totally maddening event… it is not even ‘tragic’ because the word ‘tragic’ too in its original meaning has to do with an inherently meaningful universe (in ancient Greeks’ worldview). Being so… in an unbeliever’s life suffering is a hell experience, being totally meaningless.

    I am noting this for having a basis from which to begin the questioning… Even if I was an agnostic, that’s to say someone who is not sure of universe’s being an inherently meaningful process, I would prefer to adopt the ‘meaningfulness’ narrative… It is more hopeful at least. Seeing things from a meta-modern perspective, even if everything is a ‘description-narration’, why not choosing the benign one?… :-)))


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