Why Do I Have To Suffer Like This? Is Suffering a Burden or Blessing?
This is a common question, and people usually ask it in a negative way, in unbelief towards God, or to try to prove that there
isn’t a God, who loves us, that there is only evil in the world.
I am going to address this issue of suffering and the way I am going to do it is not to answer why people have died in tsunamis,
earthquakes, and other disasters. This is usually the angle that the questions come. Why did so and so die of that disease?
Why did God do this or that if He is God? Why did He allow that to happen?
People often take a self-righteous stance against God and say things like: “If I were God I would not have let this
happen or that happen. They want to be God, they want to be king.
Or they blame God for their troubles and say that if He were love He wouldn’t let them suffer. They wouldn’t be
poor, they would be rich. They blame all their negative circumstances on God, or religion, and don’t see that they need
to take responsibility for their own life.
I am not going to even try to explain away suffering. I really wish that people didn’t have to suffer too. I often wondered
why I had to suffer the things I did, and go through the things I went through.
I have had many pains and sorrows. When I was experiencing these things it was always difficult to see any rhyme or reason
as to why these things had to happen to me. Like that old popular complaint: “Why me, Lord”?
It was when I took Jesus, and studied His Word, got filled with the Holy Spirit, and started applying the Word of God to my
life that I started seeing the answers to many of my questions about life, suffering and death, as experienced in my own life.
I know I cannot speak for other people, as I am not accountable for their lives. I can only speak from my own experience,
and how I have dealt with suffering in my own life.
I don’t think anyone can give a sweeping answer as to why there is suffering in the world and give all the answers to
why so many people have had to suffer and die.
I certainly cannot give an answer that would be acceptable to every human being who has suffered or lost a loved one, or why
even seemingly innocent people including children suffer.
The best I can ever hope to do is to look at my own life, and my own sufferings, instead of asking why in a complaining, self
– righteous attitude.
I can look to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Words to me, and see how I can apply them to my own life, and what the sufferings
I have experienced mean when they are viewed through the filter of God’s Word.
First of all, to get anything positive out of a life filled with sufferings, you have to look at your own sufferings in a
positive way. You have to compare your life now to how it was before you suffered that thing.
How about your understanding? Are you able to have more understanding and compassion for people who have suffered or gone
through similar experiences than you did before you had them?
If the answer is yes, then through your sufferings you have grown in character. You have grown in spiritual strength and love
for others. You no longer look down on people who have weaknesses and can say now that you understand.
Don’t you think that this would help you in your interaction and even communication with your own family and perhaps
others too? Wouldn’t that have made you a better person?
Not only do sufferings help us to be more understanding towards other people and their weaknesses, but they also teach us
things about how to take better care of ourselves and others too.
Pain is a symptom of something being physically wrong in our bodies, so if we never had any pain then we would not know anything
was wrong. We could get a sickness or disease, or have an accident where our body was damaged and never even feel it. We would
never know something was wrong so we would never go to get it fixed.
You could die from something you didn’t even know you had if you never felt any pain. So any pain you have helps you
to know there is something wrong with you that you need to get taken care of somehow.
Jesus suffered and died for us, and through that He also was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” so
that He could learn what it was like to suffer, and through it learn obedience.
Suffering is also a teacher of obedience to God. Not that God willingly and purposely afflicts us as the scripture says, but
because sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, suffering is the also result of sin’s entrance into the world, and
death and suffering through sin.
Sin, suffering and death was a by-product of the fall of man, and is manifested in the suffering of our bodies. This very
suffering and death is the proof that there was a fall, and that man did fall short of the glory of God, and is therefore
an imperfect being needing to be saved. In short, we need a savior.
An interesting scenario would be to imagine that Adam and Eve, after they sinned, and ate the forbidden fruit off of the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, also partook of the fruit of the tree of life.
The reason, if you read in Genesis 3, that God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden was not because He was angry with
them and was punishing them. If you read, you will find that the reason God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden was
to prevent them from eating the fruit of the tree of life.
People sorely misunderstand this and think that God was being mean to Adam and Eve for not letting them eat of the tree of
life and get eternal Life that way, but listen.
If God had allowed Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of life and live forever, in their sinful state, and that sinful state
would still be passed on to the next generation and the next and so on, without a savior to take away their sins, then Jesus
would not have been able to come and die for the sins of the world.
The sufferings in the world would have been multiplied hundreds or thousands of times more than they are now, because man
would not have been able to die. He would have kept living in his sinful, evil state, and sin and evil in the world would
have increased and multiplied to gigantic proportions, and would probably have ended up in God destroying the whole creation,
and mankind being judged like the angels that fell.
If things had been allowed to continue until today, you would not see the world as it is now. You would see unlimited suffering.
You would see people who were born with or contracted diseases never getting healed. Birth defects would be multiplied and
people who were born with birth defects and handicaps, blind, deaf, lame, etc., would have been suffering the effects of those
conditions for hundreds and thousands of years without there ever being any hope of healing!
There would not have been a savior that God would send into the world to suffer and die for the sins of mankind since no one
could ever die. This world itself would be thousands of times worse than it is now. The world we live in would be a physical
The sick, diseased, maimed and handicapped would never have any chance of getting better or their condition improving because
Jesus would not have come to die for the sins of man and suffer for our healing.
So when you think of how much more suffering there would be in this world if Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of the tree
of life and lived forever, the suffering that is presently in the world is pretty light in comparison.
Here is a Bible verse that always encouraged me.
2Cr 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of
If you take your present affliction, problem, trial, or suffering whatever it is, and measure it next to the scenario I pictured
above, then jump to the future when
There shall be no more suffering, sorrow, death or pain, in the New Heaven and Earth revealed in Revelations 21 and 22, your
present situation or condition, no matter how terrible you may think it is, will weight in as only a “light affliction”,
when you see the glory that is going to be revealed in you.
We are going to get new bodies. Spiritual bodies that look like our physical bodies without all of the weaknesses. Just like
Jesus had when He was resurrected from the dead.
1Cr 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Cr 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Cr 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
1Cr 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall
be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
This whole chapter of 1Corinthians 15 is about the awesome, new, glorified, indestructible bodies we will receive at the resurrection.
You will be able to do much much more than you can do now, and even if you never get healed in this life, you will be healed
How’s that as opposed to never having any hope of getting healed? Of course even now there is hope of our getting healed
from our sicknesses and afflictions.
There are all kinds of promises in both the Old Testament, and the New that you can look up in any concordance or Bible search
web site, on healing and how that with Jesus’ stripes we were healed. For a born again Christian it is already in your
born again new spirit. The seed was planted there when you got saved. What the Christian life is all about is learning to
put to use through faith what God has already given us by His grace through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
You’ve already got the needs, prosperity, health and healing, miracle working power of God on the inside of you if you
are a saved, born again believer. You may not have seen it working or manifest so much because of bad teaching.
You may not have learned how to make it work for you. How to transfer that unlimited power of God from your spirit to your
body to get it working in your everyday life.
This is what the Christian walk is all about. Not perfecting your flesh in order to receive the blessings of God, but walking
in the truth, applying and appropriating all the blessings and gifts God has already given us and promised us, and growing
in our relationship with God and the appropriating of the blessings and gifts of God and sharing that knowledge and blessings
To Love God, with all your heart, mind, spirit, soul and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
It’s a whole lot easier to learn how to use something you’ve already got and appropriate it, than it is to try
to get it if you think you haven’t got it and that you’ve got to get it , but you don’t know how.
Or you know these things and promises are the will of God , you just aren’t sure if it is His will for you, and if it
what God wants for you.
The walk of faith is not trying to get God to give you something He has already provided by grace. It IS His will for all
those who come to Him.
It is believing those promises are for you and receiving them knowing that God is willing and wants you to have the thing
you ask of Him.
But back now to suffering. How do you feel after you have been healed or have recovered from an illness or accident or some
mishap? Don’t you appreciate that health and the pain being gone more than you did when you were healthy? Isn’t
it true that you now appreciate your health and are more thankful for getting healed or recovering than you did before?
It’s hard to truly appreciate something unless we have to go without it for a while, and then it is restored to us.
If we went through life with perfect health and no problems, not only would we not appreciate our good health, but also we
would never know what it was like to go without it and would take it for granted.
Not only that, but we would not learn to trust in God, who loves us and knows our deepest heart cry, and we would not learn
to bring our troubles to Him for the answer.
That’s not to say we have to believe that everything bad that happens to us is right from God or God is doing it to
us or allowing it because we are bad or for some reason.
That’s just it. There are enough things that happen to us in this fallen sinful world that we cannot help, so why accept
everything even the things we can help or can prevent from happening, and while we are at it, why not do our best to learn
how we can resist and fight and get the victory over the things that we can?
Some people have a passive attitude thinking that everything that ever happens is God’s will after all, He allowed it
to happen so it must be so. Well, I’ve got good news for you! Everything that happens to you is NOT God’s will,
but WE are the ones who make the choices that lead us into MOST of the situations or troubles we find ourselves in.
They want to put all the responsibility on God, the devil, or other people and that is called being self-centered. So a lot
of what we see in the form of troubles, trials, tribulations and suffering could be a form of self-centeredness. Only thinking
You have a choice! You can choose! The devil can’t force you to do anything and God doesn’t force you to do anything
either. God does not base His love and blessings in our life according to our performance, but if we love Him we will try
to keep His commandments out of love and because of our relationship with Him. (Love God, Love others)
Surely there are things we can do to keep certain things from happening, prevent ourselves from getting sick or having accidents
by avoiding the conditions and circumstances that cause them. No one is perfect, but if we do what we can do, obey the health
rules so we will stay in good health, live wisely and not foolishly, you ‘d be surprised at the things we will be saved
from without having to suffer.
There is enough suffering in this life that we can’t help without inviting even more suffering upon ourselves that we
can help or prevent from happening.
So depending if you are a positive thinker or a negative thinker. You can either be positive or negative.
If you are a saved, born again believer, and have a positive outlook, then you are exercising the faith you have and appropriating
it in order to stay out of trouble and save yourself and others as much as possible, from the troubles of all the pitfalls
resulting from living in a fallen, degenerated world.
What we don’t get delivered and saved from now will still be used in some way by God to teach us or to make us a better
person. But whether you get delivered from all your problems or not, you will someday, and that will be a permanent deliverance
that will never again have to be repeated.
The New Heaven and New Earth, Heaven on Earth and no more crying, sorrow or tears from suffering, only tears of joy.