Why The Suffering?

Read: Romans 5:1-11
In the Old Testament books of Job, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Psalms of Lament we learn that suffering in the world is just a fact of life.  When we look around us even today this reality is still painfully obvious with all kinds of different ways that people suffer. Why do people suffer?  Why do we suffer? Often those answers are beyond our human comprehension.
But in Romans 5 in the New Testament we are given somewhat of an understanding as to why suffering in our world exists.  Verse 3 says, “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” We are also reminded in scripture that during those times of suffering God does not leave us alone.  While our faith is being refined by fire, God is there to be with us and bring comfort during the trial. God will also bring forth redemption.
While we usually cannot answer the question of why suffering comes we can learn how those times challenge our deepest convictions and strongest beliefs.  The With-God Life Bible shares these things we can learn from the reality of suffering. 1) It can teach us patience and endurance. 2) it can lead us to trust in God so as to avoid despair.  3) As we persevere through suffering we can see that God’s reality is beyond the scope of our individual wishes and desires. 4) Suffering is redeemable. All things do “work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
No one would choose suffering over all the other options in life, but when suffering comes we can be thankful that Jesus will be there to see us through it.  In those times is when we truly experience the caring, loving, and abiding presence of our God who holds each of us in the palm of his hand. We should also remember that Jesus suffered all the way to the cross for each one of us, therefore, we should have no doubt that he understands what we are going through.
Make it Personal:  In what ways have you experienced suffering or are currently experiencing suffering in your life?  How have you responded or how are you responding? Depend on God to see you through your times of suffering, ask Jesus to sustain you, protect you, and grow you during them.
Have a blessed week everyone, Pastor Glen Rhodes