Suffering Topical Study

<p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Suffering in Scripture</span></strong></p><ul><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Genesis 3:16-18</a>, because of sin there is suffering</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Judges 6:12-13</a>, the Lord casts off the Israelites into the hand of Midian</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Psalm 22:1-2</a>, &quot;My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Isaiah 43:2</a>, &quot;When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. . .&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Job 3:20-21</a>, a life of misery</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 5:10</a>, persecuted for righteousness&#39; sake</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Matthew 27:46</a>, Jesus cries to God from the cross</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Luke 14:27</a>, &quot;whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">John 11:35</a>, &quot;Jesus began to weep&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Acts 5:40-41</a>, worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus&#39; name</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 5:3-5</a>, boasting in our sufferings for the produce endurance</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Romans 8:35-39</a>, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">1 Corinthians 10:13</a>, God is faithful and he &quot;will not let you be tested beyond your strength&quot;</span></li><li><span class="body-copy"><a href="">Revelation 21:4</a>, death, mourning, crying, and pain will be no more</span></li></ul><p><strong><span class="heading-lg">Reflections about Suffering</span></strong></p><p><span class="body-copy">Suffering is so predictable, widespread,<span class="body-copy">and familiar that we think it&#39;s normal. But in a biblical worldview, suffering is an anomaly introduced by human disobedience to God and destined, one day, to be ended when &quot;mourning and crying and pain</span> will be no more.&quot;</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Meanwhile, it generates endless lament by the people of God, inc<span class="body-copy"><span class="body-copy">luding, classically, by the psalmists. They still have faith. It&#39;s not unbelief that shouts its hurt or bewilderment at God. Unbelievers shout their fury at the blind, dumb workings of fate. But believers have to contend, somehow, with a faithful God who seems at times so absent, so willing to tolerate horror, so far from helping. Generation after generation, believers turn to heaven with their distress: &quot;If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?&quot; &quot;Why is life given to one who is bitter?&quot; &quot;Why are you so far from helping me?&quot; &quot;My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?</span>&quot;</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Believers today ask all the same &quot;why&quot; questions. Why did&nbsp;<span class="body-copy">God create a world destined to fall into terrible sin and evil? Why does God allow this, or this much, pain? Why here and now? Why does God permit children to suffer? Or animals? Why do people seeking justice often suffer on account of it? Why did Beethoven lose his hearing while heavy metal rock fans keep theirs? Why is this gentle person sick and that careless clod healthy?</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">The most truthful answer to our &quot;why&quot; questions is that we do not know. We <span class="body-copy">commit ourselves to a God who loves and cares, and by grace the commitment stays fastened, though the mountains shake and the earth moves. We believe that &quot;in all things God works for good.&quot;</span></span></p><p><span class="body-copy">But let&#39;s face two facts. One is that this g<span class="body-copy">ood is often hard to find. We can&#39;t see it or tell it. God has to have reasons for permitting this humiliation or that demonic target practice, but we don&#39;t know what the reasons are. It often seems that we are gi</span>ven a little courage rather than much knowledge.</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">But there&#39;s the second fact. On the <span class="body-copy">day he died, our Lord shouted, &quot;My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?&quot; Two days later he appeared to his disciples and said, &quot;Peace be with you.&quot; Suffering believers have always sought comfort from the knowledge that God does not stay aloof from suffering, but in Jesus Christ enters into the worst of it. When Jesus is resurrected from suffering, the hopes of believers rise. It seems that new life, new hope, new peace is in our future. In fact, following the apostles, some believers have felt ennobled by &quot;sharing the sufferings of Jesus,&quot; including being persecuted on account of him. If we die with h</span>im, they believe, then we will also rise with him. &quot;With him,&quot; always &quot;with him.&quot;</span></p><p><span class="body-copy">Meanwhile, we have Jesus&#39; promise &quot;I am with you always&quot; (Matthew 28:20) and, when it seems he isn&#39;t, we have the psalms of lament.</span></p>