Sufferings. What do you understand by the term? There is a common thinking that sufferings are a result of sins committed by man. But the Bible says about Jobin Job 2:3. 3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”,and even the he suffers much more than any human can endure in a life. And even at the time of suffering he did not complain or sin against God. Job 2:10, 10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
The Bible says that suffering is not just due to sin but to display the works of God. John 9:1-3, Then Job replied: 2 “Indeed, I know that this is true. But how can mere mortals prove their innocence before God? 3 Though they wished to dispute with him, they could not answer him one time out of a thousand. When the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into blazing furnace because they disobeyed his orders. The Lord protected them (Daniel 3: 27, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.) Then what is suffering?? Suffering is not just a result of sin but its lord’s way to show His greatness. The Lord has given knowledge and right to decide what is good and what is wrong. A drunkard suffers the result of excessive drinking. Due to carelessness, man suffers from accident or loss. Is God responsible for man’s carelessness?? Irresponsible living leads to doom. Is God responsible?? The moment there is shortage in easy and pleasant luxurious living man calls it suffering. The hunger for wealth leads man to temptation and away from God. It is man’s own choice/ decision as to how he lives on earth. Greed, materialistic hunger, lust , envy, jealousy leads to temptation and destroys the spirit. This leads to suffering and man blames God. Thus, it is clear that it is the result of man’s sinful living and a life polluted by temptations. Is God responsible??
Hebrews 12: 3-15, 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”…12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. The Lord punishes those He loves. Lets believe that He is punishing us. Is there any father who has not reprimanded or punished his sons or daughters?? Punishment is not pleasant we agree but it results in discipline and the child does not go astray. Thus we see it serves its purpose. E.g. Joseph(Genesis 37). Joseph is sold by his envious brothers to the Ishmaelites who then sell him to Egyptians. Separated from parents, Joseph suffers a lot at the hands of the Egyptians, seduction by Potiphar’s wife, imprisonment. But these suffering end and he becomes the governor. Thus the suffering he endured were to show God’s greatness. It turned to be a blessing as he is able to help his family in famine. He serves God’s purpose. He submitted himself to God’s purpose and God worked wonders through him.
Why do we humans dislike the lessons taught by God? If we look at God as the father who punishes and teaches us lessons in life, it will be easy to face the trials. If we try to emulate the qualities of our forefather Abraham i.e. total submission before God, we will sail easily through problems and understand His purpose behind them. Romans 8: 28, 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Man’s life on earth is like a soap bubble. To seek comfort man resorts to drinking. Some take drugs while others commit suicide. To push away the darkness that enveloped his life Job sought relief in God’s presence. And it turned to be a blessing for him. When we suffer from trials, we must have faith and believe that God has not left us. Just like gold is purified in fire, God purifies us through these tests. So face the tests with the thought that they are the ways to prepare us for the happiness that awaits us later and helps us walk with God. So pray that He gives us strength, faith and a steadfast heart that looks up to Him.