Why do Christians suffer? (part 2)

He was there sitting in front of my desk. On the outward appearance he looked calm and collected, but it was his eyes that told me a different story. I could see a sense of a struggle — the kind you see in someone who is on a bridge about to bungee jump. Their feet are firmly planted on the bridge, but they know the time is coming they will make the decision to jump or not.

Choosing my words carefully I started to ask him how he has been doing and other questions you ask a person when starting a conversation. He proceeded to answer my questions quickly and with short answers. I knew something was up, but I could not put my finger on what it was.

After my various questions, I looked him the eyes and said, “What’s going on?”

He looked at me, and I saw him struggle to hold back the tears. “I’ll just come right out and say it…”  he said, “I’m struggling.”  He then sighed and looked down.

You see, this young man has been active in our church for years. I’ve seen Him grow in the Lord and I’ve seen Him have a real desire to serve the Lord; but lately I have seen a difference in His life. Like many others, we start out with a real zeal for the Lord but then something happens. Well, not something, more like someone.

Can you can guess who that is? If you guessed the Devil, your right. It seems like every time someone gets saved they start to serve the Lord, but after a few years the newness of knowing the Lord sadly and wrongfully wears off.  Why is this?  It’s like once you get saved and start to serve the Lord, the devil draws a big target on your back. In many ways it says “Hit me with your best shot.”  Some are ready for it; others are sadly not ready for the coming arrows. These arrows represent the pain and the suffering of the Christian. But one thing is without these arrows, God could not grow the Christian.

I would like to take this time to share with the next five reasons why Christians suffer.

The sixth reason is found in Hebrews 5:8.9 – it says that suffering produces obedience. I know we all do not like to suffer, but sometimes God brings suffering into our lives to bring us to obedience. I know this to be true. I have suffered, and then realize I am not doing what God wants me to do. Once I humble myself and yield to Him, He gives me such peace. I encourage you to just humbly ask the Lord to show you and give you strength to yield to Him.

The Seventh reason why Christians suffer is because God is chastening His children – according to Proverbs 119:67,71,75. God has to chasten His children sometimes because they are being disobedient. God causes them to suffer to bring them back into obedience. God is merciful, but there is a time where He needs to punish us.

The eighth reason we suffer as Christians is because God wants to humble us and to show His power through our lives. In I Peter 5:6,7, it is telling us to humble ourselves and rely on God. Many times when we are struggling we want to try and face it on our own. We want to be independent and think I can do this, but what we really should be saying is God can do this. In verse seven, it tells us that He cares for us. The devil will try to discourage you and say that God does not care, but He does.

The ninth reason can be found in John 9:2,3 — it tells us that God causes us to suffer to accomplish His purpose. God has a divine purpose for every person. He desires for those who are not saved to have a relationship with Him. He desires for the Christian to do His will. Sometimes we suffer because God’s is trying to teach us something, in order for us to accomplish something else for His purpose. When we struggle, it grows us when we get through it. God is the God of mountain tops, as well as the valleys — do not forget that.

The tenth and final reason God allows Christians to suffer is to perfect the future reward for the Christian. In Romans 8:18, it is telling us the things that we suffer with are nothing compared to the glory that is to come. This is saying that what you suffer might seem great and you cannot bear it, but the reward in the end is greater. I hope this encourages you to keep going when the suffering seems to hard to bear. Just keep going, give it to God, and He will get the glory in the end. Trust God!

I am praying this has been an encouragement to you — I know studying this has been a great encouragement to me personally. Friend, I know at times the world and your daily life may be difficult, but keep in mind that God is always and forever in control. Just don’t give up… He will see you through it all.  Also, I would like to take a second a second and thank Heather for allowing me to post as a guest on her blog. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I hope and pray you will continue to visit and she can be an encouragement to you as she has been to me. Please keep her in your prayers! God Bless. Exodus 15:2

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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!

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Posted on March 10, 2011, in "Guest Post" March and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Awesome.
    Enjoyed both of these; already meandered to your blog also (this is me ‘letting you know’ so Heather doesn’t scold me—or shun me, as all good Amish do).
    Thanks!

  2. Very thoughtful and well researched, Julie. If it’s ok, though, while knowing that all you say is true, I’d like to take a little different tack with this comment. My problem is knowing WHICH of those things is true for any one person. It’s a bit like Job’s friends. They did fine as long as they were just “there for him.” But then they started analyzing. You know the rest. That didn’t go so well.

    So I just try to “be there,” in whatever way I can. Even then, knowing the best way isn’t easy. But these are some, with some Scriptures:

    Be kind: Philemon 1:7, Job 6:14, Psalms 37:3, Prov. 3:3, Isa. 28:12, 1 Cor. 16:14-18, Col. 1:10, Jude 1:2.

    Forgive: Col. 3:13, Prov. 17:9, 2 Cor. 2:10-11.

    Be patient: Eph. 4:2, 1 Cor. 13:4, 2 Thess. 13-6.

    Be merciful: Col. 3:12, Psa. 18:25, Prov. 27:10, Matt. 9:11-13, Matt. 18:33-35.

    Help: Heb. 10:24, Deut. 22:1-4, Job 22:29-30, Prov. 12:12, Prov. 17:17, Isa. 58:4-6, Rom. 12:13, Rom. 16:1-2, Rom. 16:6, 2 Cor. 8:13-15, Gal. 6:2-3, 1 Pet. 4:8-11, 3 John 1:5-8.

    Give: 1 Tim. 6:18-19, Josh. 22:7-8, Prov. 21:25-26, Isa. 32:5-8, Matt. 19:21, Mark 10:17-21, Luke 6:36-38, Luke 11:41, 1 Cor. 16:1-3, 2 Cor. 9:1-2, 2 Cor. 9:6-15, Eph. 4:28.

    And here’s hoping I didn’t get too many typos in those verses. If so, I’ll ask for some of that mercy and forgiveness. And will try to give you the correct citations if you’ll point out the bad ones.

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