Why do Christians suffer? (part 1)
She was sitting on the park bench, her head in her hands, and she was sobbing. I saw her right a way. I was not sure what I should do — should I approach her or just continue walking?…seeing I was already late for my next class. Conviction set in and a small, still voice told me I should talk to her.
“Okay Lord, whatever you want me to do.”
I quickly made my way over and plopped down beside her. “Hey, are you ok?”
At first there was no response. She then sniffled and took a tissue out of her pocket and blew her nose. She looked up and then said, “I am fine.”
I was less than convince… I then decided I would sit there and wait a minute. I knew she would talk eventually.
Two minutes later she said, “I just do not understand, I am living right, going to church, I am in Bible College, reading my Bible, and I am praying.” Sobbing a little, she continued: “I just do not know why I am struggling so much. I have a payment due on my school bill, my friends are mad at me, and I did not do well on my tests. I just don’t get why I am suffering so much. I am doing right.”
Not knowing what I should say, I said a silent prayer, “Lord, give me the words to say, and speak through me.” I looked at her with concern and understanding in my eyes. I said, “I do not know why you are suffering, only God knows, but one thing I know is God allows things in our lives for a reason.” I then proceeded to pull out my Bible…
Just like the girl who was crying on that park bench, we all have been there at one point in our lives. We always ask the same question: why do I have to deal with this? Is there really a reason, or is God just punishing me?
Well, my friend, I would like to share with you 10 reasons why Christians suffer. This will be a two-part post, be sure to check out tomorrow’s post!
The first reason we suffer is because of the curse of Sin. In Genesis 3:17-19, it is showing when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. Because of their sin in the garden, sin would pass on to generations to come. It is because of the ever-presence of sin in our lives that causes us to suffer. Suffering is the result of it.
Secondly, according to Galatians 6:7,8 we also suffer because of sowing and reaping. Every day we sin — in fact, I read recently that the average person sins five times a day. When I read this it surprised me. I thought I was doing pretty good, but in reality if I was honest with myself I would realize I am not. Of course, most people do not sin on purpose. I do not think there is a person who wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Hey I am going to lie to my parents, take the Lord’s name in vain, or forget to read my Bible and do something else.” But it is because of the sin we daily do which causes us to suffer.
Thirdly, God is testing our faith. According to James 1:2,3, the Lord bring things our ways for the reason to have us trust Him more. There have been times when I do not put my trust in Him. I try to do things in my own strength, but this is the wrong thing to do. God wants us to give Him our burdens and rely on Him and put all our faith in Him.
Fourthly, God can use these hard times for good. In II Corinthians 1:3,4 speaks of using our experience with troubles to encourage and help others. I have been in countless situations where the Lord has allowed me to be an encouragement to a brother or sister in Christ. Just keep in mind, God can use you to help another person because of this — It will allow you to be used of God.
Fifthly, the Bible says in Romans 5:3-5, that suffering brings us closer to the Lord. When we suffer we shouldn’t shy away from God or run from Him because of our pain or struggles. We should do the opposite — we should run to Him! If we run to God and lay our burdens on Him we can then refocus and, in my personal experience, it awakens a new eagerness to serve the Lord.
To be continued…
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Julie Sauer is a personal friend of mine. We attended the same church together for years until her family moved out-of-state. She was even a piano student of mine and was a joy to teach during out time together! She is currently a second semester freshman at Landmark Baptist College. Her desire is to serve the Lord with her life, wherever He made lead her. A few months ago, the Lord put it on her heart to start a blog encouraging women and young girls to live their lives for the Lord. She really enjoys sharing how the Lord is showing her how she may improve herself to serve Him, to the best of her ability. Julie blogs over at Walking Worthy – please take a few minutes to check it out and let her know you stopped by!