Why This Suffering?
Dr. John K. Mathew
Is there any one who does not go through difficult times?
The answer is, ‘No’. This answer generates another question, ‘Why?’
The Bible gives us different answers to this question. The blind man referred to in John 9, suggests that our suffering is to reveal the glory and power of God in and through our life.
Jesus’ disciples asked why this man was born blind, and if his blindness was caused by his own sin or the sin of his parents? Jesus’ answer to them was a straight, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life’(John 9:3).
Sometimes we are led through difficult times for our purification. In the midst of several trials and afflictions Job said that, ‘He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me I will come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10).
Another reason for our suffering is that may be God is disciplining us. He disciplines all whom He loves. Hebrew 12 reads ‘Endure hardship as discipline. God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?’
If you are not disciplined then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 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 (7,8,11).
Yet another reason for our suffering is that we live in a fallen world, which is under the control of Satan who has come only to steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10).
It is simply Satan’s job to destroy the peace and happiness of God’s people.
Whatever the reason God is not held responsible to give as any explanation because God was not hesitant to put His only Son through indescribable suffering and rejection for a greater cause.
The pastor of a church visited a family whose son had been killed in an automobile accident. He heard the mother rail out at him,
“Where was your God when my son was killed”? He quietly said, “The same place He was when His Son was killed”.
The God who allowed His only Son to suffer excruciating pain can use any of His creation to suffer and endure hardship for unknown reasons.
Therefore, if the question is. ‘Why?’ ,the answer simply is, ‘Why not?’
That is why,Thomas Bentley said, “The only answer that satisfies is to think on the greater affliction, Christ on the cross. One day He will give us the key that will unlock everything and it will help us make sense of it all.
Until then, leaning on the Man of sorrows is enough”.