Why Does God Allow Christians to Suffer?

Why does God allow us to suffer?

Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).  The 80-100 years we may live on this earth will certainly include times of suffering, and when we look back on it from eternity, we will see how God used each and every moment of it for our good and for His glory.  Whether it be suffering for our faith in Christ, sickness and decease, or due to sin, whether our own or someone else’s, God allows us to suffer for His good purpose.  This is why Paul can also say, “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5).  He does not say rejoice FOR the suffering, but IN the suffering, which is to say, as we go through it, we rejoice.  So, what then is the object of our rejoicing?  It is the same as the object of our our faith, it is Christ.  We can rejoice through our suffering because of the person and work of Jesus Christ, His redeeming us from sin, His working in our lives, and His promise of eternal life in heaven.  So, if we could put it all on a scale, we would find that “…the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).  So, keep your eyes on Christ through the suffering, focus on Him and His will and purpose for your life, keep your hands to the plow (Lk 9:62), because “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).  

God is making something beautiful, in us, with us, and for us.  So, I am sure that God does not waste our tears, our pain, or our prayers.  Also, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).  The ultimate will of God is His own glory, and by His redeeming grace, and the work He does within us, we are a part of that.  May we continue to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2).  

~ by James M. Winslow on 2019/10/15.

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