DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a “feel good article” per se, but it is an informative one….
Pain and suffering are both interchangeable and inevitable. In this life, we are called to suffer. As a matter of fact, suffering is a part of the Christian life and walk with Christ, not apart from it. We are called and even chosen by God to bear the unbearable. We are called to go through heartbreak and heartache. Pain. Turmoil, both internally and externally. Devastation. Injustice. Unfortunate and dire situations alongside the trials, tribulations, trenches, and travesties of life. We are called, anointed, and even appointed by God himself to walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil. Now, I know this all sounds pretty terrible,and it is, because, let’s face it, suffering isn’t pretty and it doesn’t feel good AT ALL! Ouch!
According to Psychology Today, Suffering is both a cause and an effect of the catastrophic cognitions and distressing emotions associated with chronic pain: anxiety, irritability, anger, fear, depression, frustration, guilt, shame, loneliness, hopelessness, and helplessness.
The God Honest Truth
In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 the Apostle Paul tells us that, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” During our human voyage, we tend to become hypnotized by our many afflictions, but our dear brother Paul here is clearly telling us that pain and discomfort, whether physical, mental, financial, emotional, or spiritual does not discriminate and will eventually bring each and everyone of us to our knees-but there is hope tied to our eternal glory. It doesn’t matter your color, creed, religious belief, ethnicity, or nationality, suffering will eventually come knocking at your front door, telling you to cash me outside, how bout that? (Sigh). SO whether you’re a devout Christian or lord of the atheists, on your journey you will suffer… BUT WHY?
Why ME, Lord?
Have you ever asked God or yourself for that matter, “Why ME? ” Whewww! Lord knows I have, far too many times. If you’ve lived longer than a day then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Beloved, have you ever questioned God and even your own existence and just wondered, WHY? Why do I have to be the one going through this? For what purpose, did I have to be born into this family? Why is this happening to me at this age and in this stage of my life? How come I had to be the one to grow up without a father? What in the world did I do to have a mother strung out on drugs? Why couldn’t I just have a normal childhood? For what reason, did I have to be the one to bury my child? Why did I have to be the one that was raped and molested?
WHY ME, LORD? Lord, exactly what did I do to deserve this? I’m a good person.” I’ve come to tell you that the answer to this age old question is simple: Sin. You see, the EXACT moment sin came about, evil entered into every realm of the Earth and every evil and vile spirit did also. True peace, joy, and harmony with God clashed and collided with pain, consequence, chaos, confusion, and calamity which ultimately wreaked havoc on the world and all those within it. Yes, and this includes both you and I.
But what is suffering exactly and why are we forced to endure it?
Webster defines suffering as the undergoing or subjection to endure (pain, distress, injury, loss, or anything unpleasant):to suffer the pangs of conscience- to undergo or experience (any action, process, or condition). Pretty accurate, right? Now that we have a detailed description of what the world and dear Webster define suffering as allow me to bless your mental with a biblical definition and lens on suffering. Now before I go any further, and despite how you may feel let me just tell you that it is NOT God’s Will for you to be miserable and despair of life itself. (Even though it may feel like that at times and your life may be SCREAMING the exact opposite right now). You see, God is not here to torture you and I nor is He out to get us! After all, He is God!
According to the Theology of Suffering, “it is important to have a right understanding of who God is and who we are. Without knowing who God is in His sovereignty, you will be frustrated and angry at the events that are happening in your life and all around the world.”
Why Does God Allow Suffering
One of the main reasons as to why God allows suffering in this life is solely because of our sinful nature. As spiritual beings operating in a physical world realize and recognize that we are composed of both flesh and spirit which means there is both good and evil inside of us all. Due to our carnality and spirituality, we are both corrupt in our flesh yet pure in our spirits all at the same time. Fortunately for us, Romans 3:23 AMPC gives us direct insight into this Infallible Truth when it states, For all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [a]which God bestows and receives. Did you see that proof in the banana pudding. God is clearly telling us that because of our sinful ways and iniquities we will constantly fail and fall short of His Glory, yet in still His Glory remains with and in us.
For you are not alone during your many times of suffering Before being crucified on the cross Our Kinsman Redeemer, who was without flaw and sin, was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.The life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ should serve as a direct reminder to us all that in this life we will suffer, but suffering is not our expected end. Jesus reminds us to take up our crosses daily, but why not our crowns? Rest assured that any pain that you will experience in this life, Jesus has already experienced it for you.