Suffering has been part of life on earth since the Fall. Becoming a Christian does not mean avoiding suffering, rather it can cause even more suffering and persecution, because Satan hates all the disciples of Jesus. But in the midst of all unjust suffering, the Christian can receive support, protection and help from God, which helps the Christian to face the suffering with peace. God can use suffering to draw us closer to God, to urge us to repent if necessary, to make us even better at serving God, and to develop our discipleship. By supporting and praying for those who suffer, we help each other and carry each other’s burdens. Through the suffering Jesus went through, culminating on the cross, he showed both his humanity and his love for humanity. By sacrificing himself for us and dying for our sins, Jesus opened the door to heaven, the place where there is no more suffering.
“11For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb 12:11)
“12Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Ti 3:12)
“16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.” (1 Pe 4:16)
“32But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.” (Heb 10:32–34)
“10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:10–12)
“7It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Heb 12:7)
“19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Jn 15:19)
“19We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 Jn 5:19)
“16You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” (Lk 21:16–17)
“3And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”” (Job 2:3)
“71It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” (Ps 119:71)
“19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Ps 34:19)
“21From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” (Mt 16:21)
“23When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Pe 2:23)
“18For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Heb 2:18)
“3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Ro 5:3–5)
“67Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word.” (Ps 119:67)
“15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Ro 12:15)
“18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Ro 8:18)
“3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”” (Re 21:3–4)
- If God is good and all-powerful, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?
- Why is there suffering?
- Are sin and suffering connected?
- What are the benefits of suffering?
- Do you have personal experience of suffering?
- How should one react when faced with suffering?
- How do we help those who are suffering?
Additional Bible Verses
Ps 22:2, Rom 8:22, Job 2:6-7, 2 Cor 12:7, John 15:18-20, 1 Cor 12:26, 2 Cor 4:8-10, Ps 119:50, Acts 14:22, Rev 2:10, 2 Thess 1:4-5, 2 Peter 3:9, 2 Cor 12:9