Suffering and the Christian
By Brian Pepper
How many times has the question been asked, "Why do we have suffering
and hardship when we become Christians?", and stranger still not
every Christian suffers. I often think to myself that there must be
something wrong in that I have never suffered physically, not like
some of the folk who I have visited in Old People's homes and
hospitals. I think of Mrs M who has been confined to her chair
and bed for well over 15 years. Another lady HD spent a similar amount
of time in the same manner.
We do not understand why Christians should suffer but St Peter must
have been asked this same question for he tells us in
1 Peter 4:12,
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to
try you as though some strange thing happened to you." The
Christian is not free from trial and affliction. After all we are
living in a world where tragedy, sickness and disease has become too
Cosmic Struggle in the Universe
St Peter stresses that suffering is part of the Christian's progress
to the Heavenly Kingdom. He also reminds us that the one who suffers
for righteousness is blessed. Also that there is a great cosmic
struggle going on in the universe between the forces of good and the
forces of evil, and the Christian is caught up in it. And because we
are unable to look beyond our own world, we cannot understand what is
taking place behind the scenes.
However the Holy Scriptures reveal that there is one who is
responsible for the sickness and disease in this world of ours.
2:7 says, "So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD and
smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown."
Satan is the one who is causing much of the suffering which is evident
I have quite a long prayer list of church folk who are sick and
suffering, but unfortunately every so often one of those folk for whom
I have been praying for passes away. I cannot understand God's
purposes or the reason why such a one has to lay down life's burdens.
But I do know that even though Satan can cause death, it is only as
God allows it.