For the Lord will not reject us forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind. Lamentations 3:31-33
Not all suffering is bad, not all suffering is meant to harm, not all suffering is gets to us or afflict us. Those are pretty interesting conclusions that may raise some questions. There are some afflictions that are meant to destroy us and are sometimes directed to us by the evil one specifically directed to individualism order to bring destruction just like he did with Job of old. There are those afflictions that are as a result of sin direct consequences of sin and are imaging because we are exposed to the sinful surroundings around us just as you may walk on the field and get pricked by a thorn and that prick may even cause your foot to be amputated. There are also sufferings that are self inflicted bad life style is one such a common cause of suffering in the world today; many have suffered great deal because of wrong choices of what they eat or drink or what they do with their bodies.
Regardless of what kind of suffering or affliction in our lives, God is gracious to us because He is not happy when any one of us lose eternal life that he died to provide to every mankind that had ever lived or will ever live as a result of afflictions God guard over us providing us with an opportunity to know Him and know his saving plan and have an opportunity to make decision to be saved or not to be saved. “In sorrow and affliction, when the outlook seems dark and the future perplexing, and we feel helpless and alone,—these are the times when, in answer to the prayer of faith, the Holy Spirit brings comfort to the heart.” – E.G. White (Acts of Apostles p.51)
The text may imply that suffering comes from God but it instead comes to us in a measure and time as God would allow in order to keep us reminded of His presence and concern in our affairs. (For he does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind). These afflictions are bound to come and if God did not control their occurrence in our lives we would not be able to bear and handle them we would probably be destroyed early and would have little or no opportunity at all to make decisions for life. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
His is abundant faithful love for us that we should not suffer death but have eternal life.
It matters why you suffer. What is the cause for your suffering? Job and apostles suffered for their right choices, for making right choices and for choosing to be on God’s side while the Adam and the rest of his descendants, the nation of Israel Samson and other suffered as a result of disobeying God. The end result of these two kinds of suffering is not the same. One is rewarded with good and one ends in destruction.
“What was the strength of those who in the past have suffered persecution for Christ’s sake? It was union with God, union with the Holy Spirit, union with Christ. Reproach and persecution have separated many from earthly friends, but never from the love of Christ.” E. G. White (Acts of Apostles p.85)
Right choices will make us incompatible with the world resulting suffering resulting in eternal joy but it will however, be worth every inch of it.
By A. Eliamani