“Why is there suffering?” is a question that is asked by many! It’s especially thought about and asked during a conversation about God, our creator.
It’s asked by non believers to believers. Have you ever been asked this question before? What was/ is your response?
It’s also asked by believers, especially when they are going through suffering themselves.
It is this suffering that can really test a persons faith. Has it tested your faith before? What is your response to suffering? (Feel free to comment below.)
When Suffering Began
Believe it or not, the world hasn’t always been the way it is! It began, perfect. It began the way God created and designed it. It began in the garden of Eden.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
If you know Genesis, you will know what comes next. If not then…
The Lord then asked Adam to take care of and work on the Earth. He told him that he could eat from any and every tree that he wanted to, except just one tree, which was called “the tree of knowledge” otherwise known as the tree of good and evil. God told Adam that if he were to eat from it he would die (Gen 2: 15-17). Next, the Lord created a companion for the Adam, the man, this companion was female she was named Eve (Gen 2: 22-23).
It was idillic! Wouldn’t it be great if that was how we all lived now??
But what happen next was the fall.
Initiated by the serpent, Satan, enticing and persuading Eve; they both ended up eating the fruit from the tree.
God was NOT happy! And He had something to say to the 3 of them!!
- To serpent, Satan: he was cursed (Gen 3:14).
- To Eve: Women will now experience a painful labor during childbirth and men will rule over them (Gen 3:16)
- To Adam: the ground has been cursed
The ground- Earth was cursed and pain came into existence!
Why Suffering Continues
We have been given freewill! God did not make us to be his puppets or toys! He did not make us to rule over us and make us do anything that he wants. He made us for his pleasure and company.
As we read above, the ground has been cursed and the enemy, Satan, is on it too!
But God has given a way in which we can deal with life on earth and all the suffering that comes with it. Through Him; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit we can be guided by Him and know and experience His peace, love and joy through all times!
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
-Schemes of the Enemy
There are many, many ways in which the enemy, Satan, likes to cause suffering and destruction. But before we get into that-
What is the reason He does it?
You’ve seen in Genesis that Satan has been cursed. He has also been given the promise of eternity in hell (Matt 25:41). He knows his fate, he also knows the fate of all God’s children too and that DOES NOT make him happy! He wants to take as many with him as possible!
Here are just a few examples of how he does it, so you are aware and can be on guard!
Ex 1: Distractions
Do you ever go to read your bible or pray and “something comes up”?
Or you know what you are meant to be doing (according to God’s purpose for your life) and new ideas come to mind, perhaps what may appear like a “better option”?
These are distractions and are there to take our focus away from what we really need to be concentrating on.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Ex 2: Temptations
Again, another thing we all experience throughout our lives. Even Jesus was tempt by Satan! (Matt 4:1-11) The difference is we’re not perfect, like Jesus is. But we CAN learn to deal with these and to develop resistance against them.
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
1 Timothy 6:9
Ex 3: Circumstances
This is quite broad, but situations, sickness and events that are happening to us, around us and throughout the world are other ways in which suffering occurs. All of which you will all experience throughout your lives. Sorry to say but, they are inevitable whilst we are living on this earth! But we can learn to build up resilience against these things. (Check out the below resources.)
All these different ways of suffering can really put our relationship with God and our faith to the test! I imagine you all have a story or two to tell on this!?
But persevere, stay strong and grow in faith and your relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and you will receive
- The fruits of the Spirit- which will keep you strong
- The promise of eternity with Him!
Which will help you through your own struggles and suffering.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
The resources below are to help you through those times of suffering.