Why God Why, has been the unconscious cry of every soul that has suffered since the fall of Adam. Why has God allowed these problems to afflict mankind?
Suffering…..Pain…..Heartache…..Despondency…... Why has God allowed these problems to afflict mankind? Something seems amiss with God's earthly creation. When He made the creation, you think He would get it right the first time.
Did God mess up His plans? Or did Adam and Eve do it? Are they the sole cause of suffering in this present world? How can such hell have a purpose in heaven's plans? Is there a solution…a remedy of some kind?
Such has been the unconscious cry of every soul that has suffered since the fall of Adam. It is the most unpleasant part of our human experience. Life could indeed be a paradise if we could rid ourselves of suffering. But rather, we are compelled to deal with it. I don't believe God messed up His plans, nor did Adam.
The Lamb, Jesus, was slain from the foundations of the world; God foreknew suffering from the inception of the creation. But why has He allowed it? The answer isn't always easy, especially to the one enduring great personal sufferings like Job.
Suffering in itself is vain and futile. But God has allowed it into His creation because He will give it purpose. He also knows what treasures and rewards He will provide us within the kingdom of God for enduring such sufferings. But the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us.
God intends to GIVE PURPOSE to all the suffering in our lives that seem to have no purpose. We may never know the whole purpose of all our sorrow on this side of heaven; this requires us to exercise faith that God knows what He is doing as the Creator, even if at times we don't. And we can trust Him to cause all things to work out for good in the end.
The Scriptures are very clear that, at times, suffering is used by God to perfect godly character. The Christian who intends to walk in this world in Biblical righteousness and holiness will experience persecution and suffering at the hands of the unrighteous.
When we suffer for righteousness sake, it serves to purify and perfect us unto spiritual maturity. So we can understand that if we desire to come to full maturity in Christ, coming into conformity to His image, times of suffering often are in His plans for us.
After the Lord knocked Paul off his high horse and left him blinded on the Damascus road, He sent Ananias to pray for him, telling him the Lord said, "For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." (Acts.9:16)
Paul may not have received that word very well, and probably that would be the case for most of us. It's only human to shun pain. But Jesus Christ suffered in this world, and if we are to be like Him, we will likely partake of the fellowship of His sufferings for righteousness' sake.
Sufferings for righteousness' sake will bring us great rewards in this life and in the age to come.
On the other hand, there is so much suffering in the world that has nothing to do with righteousness' sake that we are still left wondering how it can have purpose and meaning? Thus, we need to look deeper into God's purposes.
Our comfort lies in first understanding that God is love, life, and light; what God does is consistent with His nature and character qualities. Therefore, to comprehend the purpose of suffering, we must begin by understanding the nature and character of God.
God is an eternal Spirit, and that Holy Spirit is continually performing His eternal purposes. Man and his seemingly mundane activities on earth are constantly being caught up to be part of His eternal purposes. We need to view life with an eternal perspective.
We were created to live forever; we are not here simply to live and die. There IS a resurrection. There is an eternal kingdom being established on earth. It has been given to Jesus, who will receive it and offer it back to God our Father.
Jesus gives us eternal life that we may live in that kingdom. Therefore, the Christian with eternal life should be able to obtain an eternal perspective on his life. With an eternal perspective, we realize that God's workmanship in our life is not confined to the purposes of this life on earth alone.
The hell of suffering seems to be heightened by its seeming lack of meaning. But heaven's grace will not fail, and God will GIVE PURPOSE to all the suffering we experience in life that has no purpose.
Let me share a personal note:
Recently I came to a place of despondency, where I felt I could not go on. I thought of all kinds of ways to comfort myself in ways that would have been out of the will of God.
While I was sinking into my despondency, I started to share what I was reading in a Christian magazine. One of the words was "rewards." Instantly the Spirit quickened the "Word" and brought it to life.
God was saying that there are rewards for overcoming sin, pain, and suffering in the Christian life. With that word imparted to my spirit, I decided to go on with God and continue doing right.
The Apostle Paul gives us this exhortation:
There are rewards given to those who overcome suffering in a right spirit that are not worthy of being compared with our present sufferings. Lay hold of this truth by faith; no tear is dropped in vain. We are not going to understand "why?" all the time.
Our lives are like the backside of an eternal tapestry. We can't make sense of the reverse side very easily. But when it is complete, and we see from the front side and see it from a heavenly perspective, we will see and marvel at what God has wrought in our lives during times of suffering; for our tapestry has become one of divine beauty.
A day free from suffering is coming. But for now, we need to allow Him to work into our lives, character qualities pleasing to Him. Thus we should not focus on ourselves during these times but on Him; this is difficult, and that is why there are rewards. Just what God's eternal purposes are for us, we don't fully know.
The scriptures are relatively silent in this area. So we must trust Him. When this life is over, we will eternally rejoice because of the spiritual treasures weaved into the fabric of our spirits during times of suffering.
For those of you who are in the fiery furnace of trials right now, this may be hard to receive; be aware that God's loving hand is in the furnace with you and is bottling every tear.
God is awesome. His ways and mind are beyond us, and it's difficult to see His purposes in life. But all that He does is just and right. And all too often, we try to figure Him out. We ask "why God, why?" in our afflictions.
We feel if we could understand "why?" we would be comforted. Understanding does indeed help, but we must endure by faith. We must press on forward with the prize unseen. It all seems so vain. "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but because of Him who hath subjected the same because of him.
The creature was made subject to vanity because of God's sovereignty and not just Adam's fall. God takes responsibility for the weakness of the old creation and lovingly provides a Savior from the foundation of the world in Christ Jesus the Lord. And the hope that Jesus gives far surpasses the despair of Adam's sin.
Suffering is inherent to this old creation. It is the result of a world that is disordered and not in harmony with God. Most suffering is random as the natural and supernatural realms run their course. Suffering is a result of the cause and effect of these results from disharmony with His will.
Sin in our lives will cause suffering because most of US are out of the perfect will of God. Also, he influences the powers of darkness in the spiritual realm, further causing disharmony with the perfect will of God. All these influences cause suffering in our lives.
Thus, the whole creation awaits overcomers from the Church who have given their lives fully to the Lord and have become captives to the perfect will of God. These will start the process of bringing the whole creation captive to the perfect will of God.
By preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God in power, with signs and miracles following, through the ministry of God's Word and the administration of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ in thought, word, and deed.
Righteousness is to be placed within us first as individuals. Then it is established in the Church corporately. The Church eventually becomes a kingdom in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness, and His perfect will is done on earth as it is in heaven forever.
Till that day arrives, God will continue to give purpose to that in our lives that seem to have no meaning. He works into our spiritual qualities the things precious both to this age and the age to come. Sometimes we will be allowed to see His purpose, and other times not.
God doesn't always answer our questions "why" when we want. We may not get to know God's mind concerning a matter and trying to fully know God's mind is an exercise in futility. We were not created with the capacity to fully know God's mind. We were created to know His heart.
So how high are the heavens? Have you counted the stars lately? He knows them by name. Can you grasp the magnitude of the constellations? No, it is too much for us.
Job, in his travail, could not see beyond his pain as he cried out, "why God, why?" God's answer was to give him a vision of His omnipotence. He asserts his sovereignty. He declares He is Lord over all and can do as he pleases.
After God speaks, Job is roused from his self-pity and self-justification and can now see beyond his justification higher purposes.
God's power and wisdom are unsearchable. He is Lord overall, even the suffering soul. If He includes suffering as part of the human experience, we need to praise His name.
He is still a good God. And He is causing all things to work together for good, even our sufferings. They are part of our development as eternal beings destined to live in the kingdom of God.
If we have been accusing God because of our sufferings, the only right thing to do next is to do like Job; "repent in dust and ashes." When we receive our eternal reward we will see that God is always right in all circumstances. And we will be comforted.
One of the themes that will thread its way through these articles is the "why" to the sufferings we endure. Although it will touch on many Biblical subjects, it will try to stay focused on bringing a word of comfort and encouragement to the hurting. It is to find the comfort and consolation given to us in scripture.
All the answers are beyond the scope of a written article, But if in a small measure the Holy Spirit can impart strength that motivates one to press on and overcome, it will have accomplished its purpose.
Suffering is easier to write about than to experience. Most Christians do not realize the depth of suffering some of their fellow Christians endure as God prepares vessels for future use. Perhaps my articles can find those lives and in some way bring consolation to them.
Like the biblical patriarch Joseph, who overcame the prison cell to rise to a place of civil authority in Egypt, they must endure many afflictions to prepare them for the spiritual authority of the Lord in the future. Perhaps hope can be imparted to the hopeless.
There is a joy coming that will swallow up the memories of painful years enduring trials. There WILL come an hour of consolation with the touch of Jesus.
We of the Lord's Church are to bear each other's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ. We are to comfort one another with the comfort wherewith we are comforted by God. All the Church should find its source from His throne.
The world will marvel at the degree of care and abundance of consolation that will manifest in the Church now emerging throughout the earth. Such comfort will create a bond of unity among the saints that the powers of darkness can not break.
There is coming a glorious united Church with a loving and tender care for one another, each preferring the other above oneself, with equality of spirit that will convince the world of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Joseph probably was, by nature, a pretty good guy with a lot of ability. But all he had by nature was of little use to God because pride and rebellion were lodged in his heart, which is true for all men.
Joseph's experience is an example of the process God will use to confirm the latter-day Church believer in qualifying them to share His Throne.
The image of Jesus Christ is one of a man dwelling in the glory of God, submissive to God the Father in all things, perfected in righteousness, having a perfect love through a heart that has been broken, pierced, and bruised.
He is the glorious King governing through the Suffering Savior. His true brethren will be conformed to His same image. Jesus rules by the principles of love, compassion, and wisdom.
A compassionate servant of the Lord will have known great sorrow but will have eternal joy. He who has known great poverty and has overcome to inherit great riches. Such a servant of the Lord will have the will and power to meet every need of a dying humanity.
Some will rule and reign in the Church age as well as the Kingdom age. Joseph became such a man, and he did so through the sufferings God decreed for a set time.
Many in the Church today provide such an experience. The scoffers in the Church see their brother "Joseph's" going through such an experience as cursed, backsliders, or fools. I would say you may find yourself diligently seeking their comfort and counsel as earnestly, perhaps desperately, as you can as the day of the Lord arises upon the earth.
These "Joseph's in obscurity" in our day will be released from their prison-house shortly, and they will start influencing the nations for the glory of God. God is bringing forth first-fruits company of believers who have come to full maturity and have grown to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ.
If the first-fruits company needed to endure suffering to bring them into conformity to the image of Christ, so will the "last-fruits" company. Thus, the purpose of suffering is the who are of His Church pressing into the kingdom. The scriptures say through much tribulation do we enter the kingdom of God.
Many believe we need to prepare ourselves for a time of great trial while the Lord imparts the fullness of His joy into our hearts, giving us the strength and courage, and joy to endure what we must.
We all need to be wise and prudent and prepare for the worst the devil may throw at us. We need to know the whole counsel of God. We need a full understanding of the Word of God in Spirit and Truth. Not anyone Christian is going to know the full interpretation of scripture. Jesus is the only one who does.
The full understanding of scripture is a corporate endeavor. We can all learn from one another and each other's traditions. There are hidden answers in the pages of our Bible. But our revelation must come by the Spirit through a spiritual mind rather than a carnal mind.
Jesus said His Words were Spirit, and the flesh profits nothing. As we corporately put on the mind of Christ, the division and confusion that exists in Christianity today will cease.
A day is coming when all those in Zion will see eye to eye. As these articles evolve, I will write what the Holy Spirit gives me and present the truth. I foresee a future of great joy as God pours out His Spirit with blessings from heaven from Mt. Zion; this will come amid great turmoil, trial, and famine throughout the world.
The trials will only make our bonds in Christ stronger. New "Joseph's" will go into captivity and come out of it in a posture of great victory. I don't want to be among those who get so complacent with my victory and blessings that I forget and fail to mourn for my brother "Joseph."
We are all "Joseph's" to "one degree or another" as we are all imprisoned in these bodies of sin and death, preparing our spirits to take our place in the kingdom of God, ready to discover the liberty of the full redemption of our bodies. Joy! Joy! Joy! Focus your vision on it, saints, just like Jesus did, and endure the cross set before you.
If you have known great sufferings in your life, you need to forgive God if you harbor bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness; this is not easy, so pray for enabling grace to do so, and give yourself time. have hurt you try to forgive them. Trust your coming reward exceeds the degree of suffering you have experienced until now.
God is taking responsibility for His fallen creation and has provided a Savior in Jesus Christ, the Lord who will forgive, heal, and restore what you have lost in life.
Remember, God has not yet revealed the final chapter of your life; this is complete on resurrection day. His kingdom will come, and His will "will be done on earth as it is in heaven." That is said in the Lord's Prayer that we pray so often.
So forgive God for what has happened in your life that has hurt you. Forgive God for losing out on the good things you could have had in life but didn't. Release it all to Him and allow Him to restore to you the years you have suffered.
Jesus came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Receive Jesus, and you will receive a full redemption of your life. Only Jesus Christ has all the answers, and only the Holy Spirit can create the solution. As we draw near to Him, the answer will come, and if we open our hearts and minds to t the Holy Spirit, the solution will manifest.
We will have an abundance to share with others; His righteousness and love are the answer and solution. We need to seek the Lord to discover this dimension of righteousness and love for ourselves; this is available behind the veil of the Holy of Holies, where the manifest glory of God rests on the mercy seat of Jesus' heart.
That's where the answers and solutions to the problem of suffering lie. A complete redemption has been provided. Will suffering ever end? Yes, it will; this is what the Bible has to say about it:
Yes, pain and suffering will end. But till that day, let us comfort and console one another in the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So when your sufferings seem to bring you to despair, look up and count the stars and remember that the love, mercy, and rewards of our Father are as vast and unfathomable as the canopy upon which you gaze.