Do u think that if Godforbid something bad were to happen to u, do u think you would still serve God? Personally, it’s hard to trust in God idk I just can’t see myself trusting in a God that allowed me to maybe experience bad things in life or have a sickness that I have to live with
For many years I did not understand why as Christians we had to suffer. The bible talks a lot about suffering. We read about how Jesus suffered, Paul suffered and the other apostles suffered.
I did not understand the reason for our suffering until I watched a documentary about rich people.
Lessons about rich people
In the documentary, the journalist wanted to investigate the reason why some families are rich for many generations, while in some families, the first generation is rich and the riches fade away when they reach the second, third or fourth generation. He interviewed rich people who came from rich families and poor/middle class people who had rich grandparents or great grandparents.
He found that whether the riches continued in the next generations depended on how the rich people raised their children and whether they left them an inheritance or not.
In most cases, the first person to become rich came from a poor family and they worked extremely hard and had to endure extreme adversity and had to have great perseverance to become rich and successful.
Group one - Rich families who remained rich in the next generations
These rich people eventually became parents and they raised their children the same way that they were raised. Meaning their children had to work hard as they did when they young to get what they wanted. So their children got pocket money when they did their chores. They even required their teenage children to work during school holidays at restaurants, retail stores etc. They treated their children like this because that is how they grew up and it is what they did if they wanted something. (They had to work hard for it). They even told their children that they will only provide them money for their education (That was their inheritance!) and they told their children that when they died that most of their money will be given to charities.
The treatment of these rich people seems rather harsh. To allow your child to work hard at a low paying job and do odd jobs, when you are a multi-millionaire and multi-billionaire.
But these parents wanted to instil discipline and a good work ethic as well as teach them that you need to work hard for what you want. (They were interested in building their character). These children became well-disciplined hardworking adults and also became multi-millionaires, but not from their parent’s money, but with money that they had obtained on their own through hard work.
Group two - Rich people who were rich for fewer generations
These rich people spoilt their children and gave them what they wanted. Their children did not learn about working hard because they got whatever they wanted and when their parents died, they got their parent’s money. As the generations went on, the money was squandered, until the family was poor. The children of these rich parents did not have the same character as their parents.
Life of Christ
Christ could have been born into a rich family and could have grown up on luxury, but instead he was born into a poor family and had to endure hardship. He endured a lot of poverty, suffering and deprivation and probably worked hard during the first 30 years before starting his ministry. During his ministry he was always in conflict with the Pharisees, and he suffered because of being rejected by them and those who did not believe in him. (Luke 9:22, Luke 17:25) He was also called a man of sorrows. (Isaiah 53:3).
Becoming a Christian
It is God’s purpose that Christians become like Jesus and have His character. The lesson that we learn from rich people is that children who went through more or less the same life experiences, hardships and suffering as their parents did, ended up having the same character as their parents.
Therefore in order to be like Jesus we need to go through more or less the same life experiences that he did (which were not very pleasant). If we do not experience the same difficulties and get more or less the same trials and temptations as Jesus as well learning to overcome them, then it is unlikely that we will become like him. (1 Peter 2:21)
So suffering is actually used as a tool of educating us to become better Christians, but whether we become more like Christ depends on our attitude and whether we strive to overcome all of life’s challenges. If we try to avoid the suffering or complain about it and do not strive to overcome difficulties then our suffering will be in vain and futile.
It is understandable that you hate suffering and pain, but it unlikely that you will become like Jesus if do go through suffering and also learn to overcome. If we live a problem-free life without any trials, temptations and difficulties, then we will never become like Jesus. We need to go through the same life experiences that He did to become like him, this is the lesson that we get from rich people whose children also became rich. We need to carry our cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24)
Types of Suffering
But there are different types of suffering
Suffering caused by Satan – A lot of suffering comes from the devil and the devil is able to control the minds of people who are not consecrated to God, to give us a lot of pain. These types of trial and suffering are normally the ones that God allows to come to our lives to develop us to become better Christians. God also allows the devil to tempt us, but God does not allow more than we can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Suffering caused by our actions – Some suffering are caused by own actions. If a person commits fornication, they might get a sexually transmitted disease and they might have to live with that disease for the rest of their lives (The bible says that you shall reap what you sow-Galatians 6:7).
Some women and not in all cases, end of giving birth to children with birth defects because of unhealthy lifestyle (They take drugs or consume a lot of alcohol when they are pregnant). The child suffers because of the decisions of their parents because of natural laws of biology.
But even if decide to reject God because there is suffering, you will still endure suffering because the devil exists. Everyone is going through suffering, whether they are Christians or Atheists or practice other religions because the devil attacks and hates everyone created by God.
The difference between Christians and non-Christians is that God turns the suffering into our own benefit. It is used to build our characters so that you can become more like Jesus if you allow it. The suffering is also while we are on earth and ends when we go to heaven where we will no longer suffer.
But if you choose to reject God, you will suffer anyway and end up in hell.
So, the next time you are facing a challenge, ask yourself what is God trying to teach me and what can I learn from this situation to become a better Christian.
I apologize for writing such a long post, but I hope the above helps to understand the reason for our suffering.