Devotional Thoughts: The Why Behind Suffering

Suffering, we all experience it. Honestly it shouldn’t even surprise us when it comes. It’s a part of life here on earth. I’m not saying this to undermine anyone’s experience but we are reminded here in Romans our suffering isn’t meant to take the central place in our lives. If we aren’t on guard, suffering will overtake us. It can disengage us and overcome us. We need to remember nothing deserves to take the place of God.

So many theories swirling around trying to answer the reason for suffering. God is mad at me? God hates me? God is punishing me? God didn’t answer my prayer, so He must not exist? If God is loving how can He allow this to happen?

Most reasons for suffering fit into one of two categories:

1. I sinned and brought suffering to myself and others.

2. I was born into a sinful world.

Disease finds us simply because we live here. It’s not because God doesn’t care. Yes, it’s this simple.

The first one is more multifaceted. I know when I’ve sinned but when someone else sins and I suffer it’s very difficult to deal with. When my loved one dies because of someone’s sin I can be crippled with hurt that turns to anger. The stages of grief hit us. We must keep going. The heaviness of this doesn’t even compare to the weight of glory that’s to come!

Humans have been given the freedom to choose. This has brought great suffering because some choose sin. Sin makes people crazy. Yes, I can certainly sit back and blame God for allowing people to choose. If there’s no choice there’s also no love. If God forced us to love Him and follow Him it wouldn’t be love at all.

One of my daughters got upset that God wasn’t doing what she wanted Him to. Her conclusion was He must not love her because if He did He’d do what she wants, right? It doesn’t take long for us to realize she is putting herself above God. She thinks someone who loves her should always say yes and be her servant. We all know loving parents have to say no. God says no as well.

What do we do with all this suffering? We fight its desire to overcome us. We focus on what’s to come. We place our eggs in God’s basket and keep on living. One day all the suffering we endured will be insignificant when we experience God’s glory. We see glimpses of it here but nothing like what’s to come.

Press on my sister, God’s glory will triumph overall. This won’t even matter or be worth talking about. On this day give your suffering to God. Giving it to other humans can cripple them too. Give it to God first. He wants it and will see you through like no human can.

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