Many times on earth, we can feel as humans that we are suffering in different ways or we may see others who suffer unexplainable pain, illness, disease or persecution. Why does God allow this to happen and is there a purpose or plan for this type of pain? Everyone goes through some type of loss, physical pain, emotional pain, or sometimes can be spiritually suffering because of the stand they take for Christ. Is there a purpose and does God reward those who suffer on earth?
The Bible does clearly say that those who suffer with Christ shall reign with Him in eternal glory. No, following Jesus is not the most popular or easiest path, but it is WORTH it to enter through the narrow way, despite what we go through and regardless of man’s opinion, amen?
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. (1 Peter 5:10)
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)
Of course there are different levels of suffering. For example, here in America, we do not experience the poverty level (generally speaking) as some people do in third world countries, but people do suffer financially and even in poverty. We also do experience some levels of persecution, either within our schools or in society regarding faith at times, if we don’t agree with the status quo or the liberal media, but we don’t experience death threats like Saeed Abedini or any other Christians in countries where the Bible is forbidden. Let us keep praying for those suffering around the world for their faith, and for those who have basic needs such as food, clothing and water. Click here to help petition for Saeed’s release, please. Read more about Pastor Saeed here on PI.
Even though there are different types of persecution, suffering and pain, we can all agree that we don’t want anyone to experience pain. We also can relate in some ways too that this doesn’t feel good, but we know that perseverance on earth and trust in God will carry us through the race of faith into eternal glory.
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. (1 Timothy 4:6-8)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)
Suffering is a part of the Christian faith and is a normal aspect of growing in your faith. Everyone is in different seasons and we all may go through different heights and depths of pain. Pain means growth. Growth can stem from either trusting in God more and developing a deeper faith, or growth can mean understanding Christ’s sufferings for our sin we did that He didn’t commit and remembering what the Lord did on the cross. This type of growth I just referred to is growth in revelation, where we see why we go through hardship, which in the end, results in a sharpened character. Character is birthed out of loss, rejecting something that looks good but can be detrimental to our faith, and also can be made perfect through trials and tribulations on this earth. (Read James 1 and Chapter 4 in the Bible for more.)
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. (James 1:2-4)
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. (James 1:12)
The good news about suffering on earth is that it is temporal, and when we cross over to the other side into heaven and into eternity, we will be partakers of reigning with Christ, according to the Bible. It says in 1 Peter 4:13:
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (NIV)
…if we endure, we will also reign with him. (2 Timothy 2:12)
Do you ever face persecution, or have you experienced suffering for your faith or in general in life? Write a prayer request below!
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