The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:4
that there is coming a time when all sorrow, tears, pain and death will pass
away. There's coming a wonderful day when God will wipe away all tears from
the eyes of His children, and our sorrow will end forever. Dear reader, I
hope you are a Christian, so you too may claim this blessed promise that God
has made to those who have come to know Him through His beloved Son, the
Lord Jesus Christ. There's a great day coming for those who have been saved
by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, for this present time, we must face the undeniable fact
that people do suffer. That's a fact of life. You can find sickness, sorrow,
and suffering in all walks of life. It's everywhere you look. This very
moment you can probably think of someone very close to you who is suffering
greatly, and it just doesn't seem fair. Why does God allow it to happen?
Does God even care? If God is so good and holy, then why doesn't He put an
end to all suffering and pain?
Keep reading, for there is a reason.
The Beginning of Suffering and Sorrow
There was a time on this earth when suffering and sorrow did not
exist. When God first created man upon the earth, everything was perfect.
There was no sickness, no pain, no sorrow of any kind. It was God's plan for
man to live in peace and harmony never having to experience sorrow.
According to Genesis chapter three, it wasn't until man chose the way of
Satan,rather than the way of God, that sorrow entered the world. Man sins
against God in Genesis 3:6-7,and God reveals to Adam and Eve the consequences of sin in
Genesis 3:16-19. God told Adam and Eve that they would now experience SORROW
Therefore, the suffering and sorrow that you and I face today is
not the work of an unjust God; it's the consequences of sin. We suffer
because we are sinners. Romans
the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord."
Friend, we suffer and die because of SIN.
You say, "I didn't do anything wrong. Why am I a sinner?" We are
all born with a sin nature. We inherited our fallen sin nature from Adam and
Eve. Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore,
as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
We read in Romans 3:23 that ALL HAVE SINNED and come short of the glory of
God. Why do we suffer? We suffer because we are sinners by nature.
Some People Suffer for the Salvation of Lost Souls
Perhaps you are thinking, "Well, what's the point? What does God
accomplish by allowing us to suffer?" Very simple: He's trying to tell us
something. By allowing people to suffer, God is showing us that SOMETHING IS
If everything were alright between man and God, then there would be no
sorrow and death, because in the beginning there was none. God is showing
you every day of your life that man has been SEPARATED from Him because of
sin, and that man is destined to an eternity in Hell Fire unless he comes to
God for help
The fact that God allows suffering and agony today proves that He
will allow it in eternity as well.
God doesn't ENJOY seeing anyone suffer, but He does ALLOW people
to suffer for various reasons. If you've never received the Lord Jesus
Christ as your Saviour, then God wants you to see your need to do so.
Sometimes God has to allow tragedy to enter a life in order to
get someone to look to Him for Salvation. As someone has said, "Some people
won't look up to God until He puts them on their back." This is sad, but
true. There are many people who would still be lost in their sins if God had
not brought some tragedy into their life to get their attention.
Do you suppose the leper of Matthew 8:2
would have came to Jesus if he'd been in perfect health?
What about the blind man of Luke 18:35? II Kings
tells the story of Naman, the Syrian captain who had leprosy. Had this man
not had leprosy, he would never have turned to God. The Bible is filled with
cases where God reaches people through suffering.
Nebuchadnezzar didn't fear God until God humbled him by making
his spend seven years of his life on his hands and knees like an animal
Sometimes He will even use the tragedy of one to bring OTHERS to Christ.
Such is the case with Lazarus in John chapter eleven. Lazarus was very sick,
but before he ever died Jesus said that his sickness was
"for the glory
of God" (Jn. 11:2-4).
Later, in John
we read that ". . .
. many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus
did, believed on him."
We also read in John
that many believed on the Lord Jesus Christ BECAUSE OF LAZARUS. Had Lazarus
suffered and died, these people may never have come to know the
Lord Jesus Christ. You see, God was in complete control. Jesus KNEW that
Lazarus was sick, but He chose not to go and heal him
He had a REASON for the sorrow and death in the family of Lazarus. No one
suffers in vain.
God always has a reason, and sometimes He is trying to show
someone their need to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Could this be true in
your own life? Think about it. Could the Lord be convicting you of the fact
that you are a sinner, and you need to be saved?
Some Christians Suffer Because of the Chastisement of God
As a Christian, it is my duty to live a Christ-honouring and
obedient life before God. If I become disobedient, the Bible says that
my Heavenly Father will rebuke and chasten me (To "chasten" is to punish
or correct for moral improvement.) Revelation 3:19 says, "As
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
Notice these important words from Hebrews 12:6-8: "For
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he
receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without
chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not
Just as any responsible father disciplines his children when
they become disobedient, God disciplines His children. Paul says in
I Corinthians 11:31-32 that we can often avoid God's chastisement by JUDGING OURSELVES
instead of ignoring our sins, thus forcing God to judge us.
Addressing Christians, John tells us that, "If
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
(I Jn. 1:9)
It is my Christian responsibility to do my very best to live a sinless
life, but when I do sin I must repent and CONFESS my sins to God. If I
choose not to do so, then I am being a disobedient child, and my
Heavenly Father will rebuke and chasten me. Sad as it may be, many
Christians are going through tragedy today because they refuse to
confess their sins to the Lord and repent.
Some Christians Suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ
says, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
Then II Timothy
2:12 says, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him..."
Jesus said, ". . . .
If any man will come
after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow
When a Christian chooses to deny himself and follow Christ, he
(or she) chooses to suffer for the Lord. The world has always found a
way to persecute God's people, and we should not be surprised when
persecution arises. Jesus suffered for us, and we should count it an
honour to suffer for Him.
the Apostles REJOICED that they were counted worthy to suffer for the
Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus said that we SHOULD rejoice when we suffer for
His sake, because GREAT is our reward in Heaven (Mt. 5:12).
I Peter 2:19-21 tells us that it is our duty to
follow our Lord's example in suffering, and I Peter 4:12-16
tells us to be happy when we suffer for Christ, and it tells us not to
be ashamed. Some people are going through hard times today because, like
Moses, they CHOSE to suffer affliction with the people of God, instead
of enjoying the pleasures of sin (Heb.
Such people may appear to have gotten an unfair deal from God, but the
Bible says they are truly blessed, for they have many treasures laid up
for them in heaven (Mt. 6:19-21; I Cor. 3:11-15). Romans 8:18 says,
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
We read in I Peter 5:10 that our
suffering in this present world is only for
Are you willing to bear your cross for the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you
have any treasures in Heaven? Are you willing to suffer for the Lord?
God Teaches Us Valuable Lessons Through Suffering
Not all suffering Christians are disobedient Christians. There
are many very dear Christians who go through great agony every day, yet
they are some of sweetest and most God-fearing saints you'll ever meet.
Why does God allow them to suffer? There are many reasons.
One reason is humility. If we believed some of the popular
"Faith Healers" of our day, we'd believe that people suffer because they
lack faith in God, but this isn't necessarily true. The Apostle Paul
didn't live in sin and he didn't lack faith in God, but he DID have to
suffer. Why? He tells us why in II Corinthians 12:7:
lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the
there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to
buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
Whatever this thorn in the flesh was, verses eight and nine tell us that
God chose NOT to take it from Paul. Instead, He chose to give Paul the
GRACE to bear the burden. God used this problem in Paul's life to help
keep him humble, to keep him from being exalted above measure.
Sometimes God sees the need to put us through some
things for the purpose of making us stronger. Paul tells us in
Timothy 2:3 to, ". . . endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus
You know, many times a drill sergeant will put a soldier through some
things just to make him tough, just to see how much he's willing to
take--how dedicated he is. There may not seem to be any logical reason
for the trouble that we often face, but God always has a reason.
Sometimes He's just trying to make us tougher. According to
a Spirit-filled Christian is supposed to be LONGSUFFERING. Are you
longsuffering? Are you willing to "tough it out" for the Lord?
God will also use suffering to teach us patience.
Romans 5:3 tells us that,
". . . . tribulation
worketh patience. . . "
God allowed Satan to take Job's oxen, his asses, his sheep, his camels,
his servants, his children, and even his health. Yet, the Bible says,
". . . .
In all this did not Job sin with his lips."
(Job 2:10) In the latter end God
restored to Job TWICE as much as he originally had (Job 42:10).
Are you willing to trust God and patiently wait for His deliverance when
trouble comes your way?
Some people suffer so that they will be better equipped to
comfort others in their suffering (II Cor. 1:3-4).
It's always a blessing to know someone who has gone through the same
troubles that you are going through, for they usually have some helpful
words of comfort and wisdom. Are you going through some pretty tough
times? Maybe the Lord is giving you the experience that you'll need to
help someone else later.
Friend, as you can see, there are a number of reasons why God
allows people to suffer. He always knows what is best, and He never
makes a mistake. David said, "It is good for me that
I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes."
The Apostle Paul, one who suffered greatly, said these words in
Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
He also said, "I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philip. 4:13)
The Lord Jesus Christ suffered for us all, that we might have
eternal life. The curse of suffering and death entered this world
because of sin, but we can escape the curse through the Lord Jesus
Christ. Jesus said,
". . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the
Father, but by me." (Jn. 14:6)
There is coming a day when all suffering will end for those who
know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. Revelation 21:4
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there
be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Have you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour?
The Bible says that you can receive Christ by BELIEVING on His
He paid for your sins, and by CLAIMING Him as your Saviour--resting in
His finished Blood Atonement for your sins--you can be saved!
Romans 4:5 says,
"But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the
ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
Ephesians 2:8-9 says that you are saved by
GRACE THROUGH FAITH, not by your works.
God is not wanting you to do good works to get to Heaven, for
there is none that doeth good (Rom. 3:10). "For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God." (Rom.
You do not need God to judge your good deeds and your evil
deeds; you need a SAVIOUR to save you from your sins. Jesus Christ is
the Saviour. If you'll call upon Him for Salvation, trusting Him Alone
to save you, He'll save you and give you eternal life. It's that simple.
if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe
in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." (Rom. 10:9) Romans
10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall
Why not call upon Him right now? Tomorrow may be
Copyright © 1994 James L Melton