Suffering can be defined as misery resulting from affliction; feelings of mental or physical pain; psychological suffering, or states of acute pain. Suffering is also defined as distress, inconvenience or loss; torment and agony. Some pose the question “Why would a loving, compassionate, and merciful God allow so much suffering in this world?” Others further question why the Lord would allow Christians to suffer. On many occasions Christians have to withstand being placed under a microscope of scrutiny by society in general, and even the body of Christ. Some are very quick to be contentious, or quick to criticize in a judgmental way. Questions such as, “Did you sin?”, “Is God punishing you?”, “Are you trusting God enough?”, and “Why isn’t God answering your prayers?”, are asked of individuals who are already suffering miserably, and in pain, whether physically, financially, emotionally, psychologically, or in some other way.
The 9th chapter of the book of John tells of the man blind from birth. The young man was known of his neighbors to sit and beg. When Jesus and His disciples passed by where the man was, the disciples asked Jesus, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” Yes, sometimes when we suffer, we suffer because we bring things upon ourselves, but God also uses suffering to manifest His works in the earth. God uses suffering to work a work in our lives, and that we might bring glory and honor unto Him! Sometimes, our circumstances don’t change, but the change occurs within us!
Christians who suffer, are often embarrassed needlessly. We are not our own, but we have been bought with a price. We can’t hurry God. Sometimes we just have to wait on Him, no matter how long He takes. God is Sovereign, and He is in control of our lives. I Peter 4:16 says, “Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” The 12th chapter of II Corinthians tells of Christ’s strength being made perfect in our weakness. Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet him. He besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from him. However, God’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul decided he would rather glory in his infirmities, that the power of Christ would rest upon him. He took pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake, because he knew that when he was weak, he was strong through the strength of the Lord Jesus. So, hold on to God’s unchanging hands. Though we suffer with Christ, we shall also reign with Him. Therefore, let us glorify God through our suffering. Jesus will bring us through, and that with a mighty hand. If you are suffering, wait on the Lord, and be of good courage. Allow the Lord to strengthen your heart. Some of the lyrics of a song by Tre’ Nelson titled, “Bad Days” are “When you’re above the clouds someone needs to see you. And when you’ve hit the ground someone there will need you. Everyone feels pain. Sometimes it’s for somebody else to see that you’ll make it through, and they’ll be inspired by you. Praise Him while He takes His child through tests and trials.” Allow the Lord to get the glory out of your life. Wait on Him. Persevere! Be very courageous! Jesus will bring you through. May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!
Read: John 9:1-27; II Corinthians 12:1-10; I Peter 4:12-19