Is There a Purpose To Suffering?
Many people struggle to find a reason for their suffering or the suffering of someone they care about. How can God allow a good person to suffer? The word itself, “suffering,” may conjure up images of agony, despair and even death. It can cause horrible memories to surface.
Although suffering is difficult to endure, it can serve a purpose in your life. It can make you better. It can get your attention and allow God to use you or shape you into the person you were meant to be.
What Is The Purpose of Suffering
Suffering is a difficult and complex concept, and different people may have different answers to the question of its purpose. Some people believe that suffering is a punishment for wrongdoing, while others see it as a test of character or a way to build strength and resilience.
Some religious traditions view suffering as a necessary part of the human experience, a way to draw closer to God, or a means of attaining enlightenment. Ultimately, the purpose of suffering may be different for each individual and may depend on their beliefs, values, and circumstances.
What Does Jesus Say About Suffering
According to the Bible, Jesus taught that suffering can have redemptive value and can be an opportunity for growth and spiritual development. In the book of John, Jesus says, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). He also taught that those who endure suffering with patience and faith will be rewarded in the afterlife, saying, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
Jesus himself suffered greatly on the cross, and his example of enduring suffering with grace and dignity serves as a model for Christians to follow.
How Does the Bible Respond to Suffering
The Bible contains many passages that address the topic of suffering, and the response to suffering varies depending on the specific passage. In some cases, the Bible suggests that suffering is a punishment for sin or wrongdoing and that it can be alleviated through repentance and faith in God.
In other passages, the Bible teaches that suffering is a natural part of the human experience and that it can serve as a test of faith or a means of spiritual growth. The book of Job, for example, explores the question of why the righteous suffer and suggests that suffering can be a way for humans to draw closer to God. Ultimately, the Bible offers a complex and nuanced view of suffering, and its response to suffering may depend on the specific context and individual interpretation.
Suffering is Inevitable
Suffering is an inevitable part of life. Emotional suffering happens when you experience feelings such as loneliness, disappointment, betrayal, inadequacy or the death of a loved one. Physical suffering occurs through injury, illness, or the deterioration that happens as the body ages.
When faced with suffering, most people want to make sense of it all. There must be a reason, right?
Suffering Leads to Growth
Most individuals will not choose to make changes without some sort of catalyst, especially if they’re fairly comfortable.
Like it or not, God may use suffering to give you a nudge in the right direction. Unfortunately, you don’t get to choose which form of suffering will best help you to grow and change into the person you were meant to be. Whether you did something to cause a particular situation or it’s the result of something entirely random, the best thing you can do at this point is to grow through and past it. Use it.
Suffering generally forces you to make some sort of change to alleviate pain or to deal with the effects of suffering.
Use the pain to change in positive ways. Use it to build fortitude, resilience and faith. Don’t allow negative emotions to gain a foothold; however, that’s not the kind of change that alleviates suffering. Negative emotions and changes only lead to more suffering for you and those around you. In other words, don’t get bitter, get better.
Suffering Leads to Empathy and Compassion for Others
Suffering helps you appreciate the difficulties that others around you may be facing. It helps you to empathize with others. It gives you a desire to help others who are suffering. Jesus said the second greatest command was to love others as we love ourselves. Suffering helps us to understand what others are going through and helps us to better fulfill this commandment.
You’re Not Alone
You don’t have to suffer alone. Your loving Father cares for you and hates to see your suffering. Turn to Him in your time of need and pour out your heart to Him. Ask Him to help you endure whatever situation you may find yourself in. Pray for discernment so that you learn whatever He may be trying to teach you. Pray for guidance so that you know the best way to proceed – so that your journey through this period of suffering may be as short as possible.
Is there a purpose to suffering? Yes! It’s your suffering and communication with God that deepens your faith, your spiritual life and your walk with God.