Will you suffer in this life? The answer is yes you will. Nobody can escape suffering, but we can use these times of struggle to draw nearer to God.
Many people ask how a loving God could allow so much suffering in the world. Does God want us to suffer?
Let’s look at the causes of suffering in the world and how we can best respond to difficult circumstances.
Why Do We Suffer In This World?
God has given all people in this world free choice and free will to do whatever they want. In the beginning, before Adam and Eve sinned, they were in a perfect relationship with God. They obeyed and loved God, and as a result, everything was perfect and good. But when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God it totally changed the world and everything in it.
When they sinned, control of this earth went to three things: the world (the combined effects of all sin); the flesh, which is our personal sinful nature; and the devil that now has authority to do a lot of what he wanted.
The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Let’s look at each one in a bit more detail. Firstly, consider the world. Because the amount of sin has been growing since the time of Adam and Eve we now have evil world systems that are totally against the good things that God intended us for. Other people’s sins also affect us and cause us to suffer.
Secondly, consider our own flesh. Even though our spirits have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb our flesh is still of this world and must be trained to walk in the ways of God. As a result, we sometimes sin and cause our own suffering. Other times, our quest for holiness can feel like suffering, but in truth it gives us freedom once it is achieved.
Thirdly, let’s consider the Devil, who hates every single person on the face of the earth and will do anything to destroy you. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
How The Battle Is Won.
Here are 3 weapons that you can use against the world, the flesh and the devil to win.
1. The Word of God
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12a). When we speak the Word of God it has an effect in our lives and can move mountains. Find scriptures that relate to your situation and speak them out continually. It will build your faith to believe God for the impossible.
2. Worship and Thanksgiving
These are two powerful weapons in God’s arsenal because both of them take our eyes off of our problems and put them on Jesus who is our very present help in times of trouble. Try to begin each day with one of these morning prayers.
3. The Church
Your church family can be a powerful weapon against the suffering you are going through because they will encourage you, help you and pray for you. They will keep you grounded and love you through anything.
Suffering is an inevitable part of life here on earth, but it doesn’t have to defeat us. Even though it may not seem that way, the difficulties and crises we experience are all part of God’s plan and are opportunities to grow in our faith and relationship with Jesus.
In the scriptures and in prayer, God has given us powerful tools for getting through times of crisis and struggle. If we trust in the Lord and his promise of eternal life, continue to pray and read the scriptures, and reach out to our Christian family, we can get through our suffering and use it to glorify Him.