Suffering - Trials - Temptations
Please also see: ‘Sin.’ ‘Satan.’
Why does GOD let us suffer?
Seek the Truth with all your heart.
In this life we are suffering the consequences of a fallen world. There are sudden catastrophes in this imperfect world, because of sin - human choice and behaviour - which caused the Earth to become a fallen planet; losing the original perfection which GOD created. GOD does not derive any pleasure at all from seeing this happen. Through Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience to GOD’s one instruction of what not to do - do not eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge and evil in the centre of the garden - we inherited their sin, and are therefore suffering the consequences of the resulting fallen-ness of this world, which involves many types of suffering, disintegration, decay, and death, which entered the world as a result of their disobedience. We were originally created to live eternally, but GOD cannot have an imperfect eternal kingdom, so He allowed it to become temporary, with all life suffering eventual death.
It is similar to parents telling their children what not to do, and the children ignoring their instruction, and parents then having to witness the children suffering the consequences of having disobeyed their loving advice. If the children are injured as a result, the parents will do all they can to attend to their healing; just as GOD has through Jesus.
In the same way GOD attended to our healing, through Jesus. However, GOD had to also attend to the problem of death having become part of our lives. It changed life to being temporary, from having been eternal at creation. GOD took on the death penalty HIM-self, through Jesus; just like a judge taking the death penalty himself in place of the guilty person in court. However, in this case, GOD was able to defeat death, through Jesus; and if we choose Jesus as Lord of our life, we inherit eternal life after the resurrection. GOD wants us to have a good outcome.
As we are living a GOD-given life of freedom of choice, the only way was for GOD, through Jesus, to pay our unavoidable death penalty for us, and defeat death in the process. So our eternal life, completely free of suffering, can only be returned to us beyond this death-cursed life, after the resurrection, and only by our choosing to truly believe Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour; and choosing Him as Lord of our life.
Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different to yours, and GOD has gifted them with abundant energy. HE has gifted you with fragility, thus providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in HIS Presence, Accept this gift as a sacred treasure; delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow GOD to bless you richly through it.
Psalm 105:4 ‘Look to the LORD and HIS strength, seek HIS faith always.’
Psalm 112:4 ‘Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.’
Proverbs 24:10 ‘If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength.’
Isaiah 38:17 ‘Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In YOUR love YOU kept me from the pit of destruction; YOU have put all my sins behind YOUR back.’
John 16:33 “I (Jesus) have told you these things, so that you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.”
Romans 5:3-5 ‘Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because GOD’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us.’
Romans 8:16-19 ‘The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are GOD’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of GOD and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of GOD to be revealed.’
Romans 8:25-30 ‘But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And HE WHO searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for GOD’s people in accordance with the will of GOD.
And we know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love HIM, who have been called according to HIS purpose. For those GOD foreknew HE also predestined to be conformed to the image of HIS Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those HE predestined, HE also called; those HE called, HE also justified; those HE justified, HE also glorified.’
Romans 8:35-39 ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of GOD that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ‘So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And GOD is faithful; HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.’
2 Corinthians 6:3-10 ‘We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of GOD we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles; hardships; and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in hard work, in sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding; patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of GOD; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonour, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.’
These were the sufferings that Paul voluntarily tolerated in spreading the gospel, after Jesus ascended home to heaven.
2 Timothy 3:10-17 ‘You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings, and what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the LORD rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a GOD-ly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is GOD breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of GOD may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ The end more than justifies the suffering.
Hebrews 10:32-39 ‘Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of GOD; you will receive what HE has promised; for in just a very little while, “HE who is coming will come and not delay. But MY righteous one will live by faith. And if they shrink back I (GOD) will not be pleased with them.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed; but of those who believe and are saved.’
In all suffering we should keep our eyes on Jesus, GOD’s promises, and our eventual eternal life.
Hebrews 12:7-11 ‘Endure hardships as discipline; GOD is treating you as HIS children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined, and everyone undergoes discipline, then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the FATHER of spirits and live. They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but GOD disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in HIS holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.’
James 1:2-4 ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.’
Verses 12-18 ‘Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
When tempted, no one should say, “GOD is tempting me.” For GOD cannot be tempted by evil, nor does HE tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.
Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the FATHER of the heavenly lights, WHO does not change like shifting shadows. HE chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of all HE created.’
1Peter 2:19-21 ‘For it is commendable if a person bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of GOD. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrongly and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before GOD.’
1 Peter 4:12-19 ‘Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of glory and of GOD rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise GOD that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of GOD; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of GOD. And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to GOD’s Will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.’
1 Peter 5:6-11 ‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under GOD’s mighty hand, that HE may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on HIM because HE cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the GOD of all grace, WHO called you to HIS eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will HIMSELF restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To HIM be the power for ever and ever. Amen.’
James 1:2-8 ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, they should ask GOD, WHO gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because whoever doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not think they will receive anything from the Lord; they are a double-minded person, unstable in all they do.’
Revelation 2:10 ‘Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I (GOD) tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’
This is extremely confronting. GOD will help us through it. Our destiny is infinitely superior to temporary suffering.