Why do good people suffer?

14 05 2014

Why do good people suffer?

A “Daily Encounter” reader shared how she heard a religious leader state that, “Christian women don’t have miscarriages.”
I remember hearing a college professor saying that Christians should never be depressed. And still others teach that every Christian should be healed.
Statements like these are totally false and can make some people feel very inferior, that they lack faith, that they’re not good enough for God to care about them, and can cause them to become very discouraged.
God used Paul to heal people, but God didn’t heal Paul. Paul didn’t say what his problem was, but he prayed three times and the answer he received from God was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Jesus raised Jarius’ daughter from the dead, but John the Baptist lost his head — and stayed dead!
The reality of life is that we live in a broken world, and everybody, at some time or another, is going to suffer either from loss, a broken relationship, physical suffering,
sickness, mental breakdown, etc., etc. And being a Christian isn’t going to save us from human problems.
True, some people suffer through foolish actions or irresponsible behavior, some suffer because of neglect, but many suffer just because suffering is a part of the human condition. And some people suffer because God allows them to be tested such as Job, who suffered from terrible boils and the loss of all of his children and said, “When he [God] has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, NIV).
And God allows some people to suffer so that “the work of God might be displayed in their life.”
Take the blind man in the Bible for example. The disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life” (John 9:2-3, NIV).
The important thing to remember, regardless of the cause of our suffering, God wants to use our problems to help us grow and become stronger, more sensitive and healthier Christians. On the other hand, Satan wants to use our problems make us bitter and to destroy us. Then faced with trials, with God’s help we can become better, or we can just become bitter.
And that choice is ours.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, when trials come to me, help me always to remember that you want to use these to help me grow and to become a better person, also that you will be glorified. With your help I choose to become a better person. Gratefully in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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