Why does God make Christians suffer?

271 why do christians suffer?As servants of Jesus Christ, we are often asked to comfort people as they go through various kinds of suffering. In times of suffering, we are asked to donate food, shelter or clothing. But in times of suffering, in addition to asking for physical help, we are sometimes asked to explain why God allows Christians to suffer. This is a difficult question to answer, especially if it is asked at a time of physical, emotional or financial distress. Sometimes the question is asked in such a way that the character of God is questioned.

The image of suffering Christians in an industrialized Western culture is often very different from that of suffering Christians in a poorer economic region of the world. What should be our expectation in terms of suffering as Christians? Some Christians are taught that once they become Christians, they should no longer suffer in their lives. They are taught that suffering is caused by Christians through lack of faith.

Hebrew 11 is often called the Faith Chapter. In it, certain people are praised for their trusting faith. Among the people listed in Hebrew 11 are those who suffered hardship, who were persecuted, abused, tortured, beaten and killed (Heb 11, 35-38). It is clear that their suffering was not caused by a lack of trust, as they are listed in the chapter on faith.

Suffering is a consequence of sin. But not all suffering is a direct result of sin in the life of the Christian. During his earthly ministry Jesus came across a man born blind. The disciples asked Jesus to identify the source of the sin that caused the man to be born blind. The disciples believed that the suffering was caused by the sin of the man, or perhaps by the sin of his parents, because the man was born blind. When Jesus was asked to identify the sin that had caused blindness, he replied: Neither he sinned nor his parents; but the works of God should be revealed to him "(John 9,1-4) Sometimes God allows suffering in the lives of Christians to give an opportunity to present the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Christians who lived in the first century certainly did not expect a Christian life without suffering. The apostle Peter wrote the following to his brothers and sisters in Christ (1.Pet. 4,12-16): Beloved, do not be struck by the fiery trial that has arisen among you, as if you were doing something strange; but in proportion as you share in the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that ye may rejoice with joy in the revelation of his glory. Blessed are you when you are reviled for the name of Christ! For the spirit of glory [the Spirit] of God rests upon you; with them he is blasphemed, but glorified with you. Therefore none of you should suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evil-doer, or because he mixes up with strange things; but if he suffers as a Christian, he should not be ashamed, but he should glorify God in this matter!

Suffering should not be unexpected in a Christian's life

God does not always remove suffering from our lives. The apostle Paul was in pain. He asked God three times to take this suffering away from him. But God did not remove suffering because suffering was a tool that God used to prepare the apostle Paul for his ministry (2. Cor. 12,7-10). God does not always remove our suffering, but we know that God comforts and strengthens us through our suffering (Phil 4: 13).

Sometimes only God knows the reason for our suffering. God has an intention for our suffering, regardless of whether he reveals his intention to us. We know that God uses our suffering for our good and for his glory (Romans 8,28). As God's servant, we are unable to answer the question of why God allows suffering in any particular situation, but we know that God is exalted and has complete control over all situations (Dan 4,25). And this God is motivated by love because God is love (1.Joh. 4,16).

We know that God loves us with unconditional love (1.Joh. 4,19) and that God never abandons us or leaves us (Heb. 13,5b). While serving our suffering brothers and sisters, we can give them authentic compassion and support by taking care of them in their trials. The apostle Paul reminded the church in Corinth to comfort one another in times of suffering.

He wrote (2.Kor 1,3-7): Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Mercy and God of all consolation, who comforts us in all our distress, so that we may comfort those in all sorts of tribulations are, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ poured out on us abundantly, our consolation flows abundantly through Christ.

If we have affliction, it is for your comfort and salvation, which proves effective, in steadfast mortification of the same sufferings that we too suffer; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort and your salvation; and our hope for you is certain, for we know that as much as you share in the suffering, so also in the comfort.

The psalms are good resources for every sufferer; because they express sadness, frustration and questions about our exams. As the psalms show, we can not see the reason for the suffering, but we know the source of comfort. The source of comfort for all suffering is Jesus Christ, our Lord. May our Lord strengthen us while we serve suffering people. If we seek all comfort in our Lord, Jesus Christ, during times of suffering, we seek and abide in him until the day when he permanently removes all suffering from the universe (Rev. 21,4).

by David Larry


pdfWhy does God allow Christians to suffer?