(Photo courtesy of: Kelly Needham)
Suffering is nothing by itself. But suffering shared with the passion of Christ is a wonderful gift, the most beautiful gift, a token of love.
~ Mother Teresa
Time and again, people have wondered why they suffer, why good people suffer or struggle so much. Why would God let us struggle/suffer if he loves us? What we don’t know is that suffering is part of life and is important.
Below are a few reasons why Christians suffer.
1.Our faith is refined by fear.
We have more faith and reverence towards God when we go through suffering and fear. When in this helpless state, we seek God as our consolation and render ourselves to him fully. God uses these sufferings to bring us back to him and strengthen our faith in Him. In 1Peter 1:6-9, Pete tells us that the suffering and grief we go through will result in praise, glory, and honor when Christ comes back.
2.Renowned fellowship with Christ.
God uses suffering to bring us close to him. Suffering and loss helps us to renew our relationship with God when we have drawn away from him. Amidst the suffering, we would surrender all to him and have renowned fellowship with him.
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge, sin was introduced to the world. Pain and suffering became part of life and inevitable for man to avoid throughout his life.
God tests our faith by allowing us to go through pain and suffering. Job, in the Bible, went through suffering. He lost everything he had and not at once did he curse God or denounce him even when his wife asked him to. This showed that he was a true servant of Christ, that besides all the testing he underwent, he never forsook God.
Following Christ involves suffering. In Philippians 1:29, the Bible tells us that we should not only believe in Jesus but we should also suffer for him. This means in rendering ourselves to Christ, we suffer for him just as he suffered for us.
God is a merciful God who loves us. However, when we do wrong or sin as his children he lets us go through suffering as discipline. This happens for our good and so that we may also speak of his goodness afterward. Hebrews 12:7-13, Jeremiah 2:19
May we always pray for grace and that we may learn or acquire that which we are supposed to when we go through trals, pain and suffering. Amen