Why does God make us suffer?

Posted June 9

Everyone who has ever lived on earth has experienced suffering. Suffering is a fact of life no one can escape. Even Jesus, the most perfect person to ever live, suffered greatly while He sojourned here.

So, if God’s love for His children is infinite and eternal, why does He let them suffer?

The reason may surprise you and the answer can be found within the definition of the word suffer itself. The definition of suffer, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is "to submit to."

The definition of submit is "to stop trying to fight or resist something: to agree to do or accept something that you have been resisting or opposing."

By the very definition, when God makes us suffer, He is simply asking us to submit to Him, to come to Him and to stop fighting Him. He is helping us remember we don’t have to walk this life alone because He is our Father.

There is goodness in suffering because it gives us blessings we can receive no other way. Those blessings can be found in the very synonyms that are listed under the word suffer in the dictionary. These synonyms teach us exactly what suffering can do for us.

Suffering allows us to feel

Often we harden our hearts to the spiritual side of life because we get so caught up in the chaos of everyday living. When this happens, we lose essential communication with God and find ourselves trying to trudge through life on our own.

When suffering comes, we are driven to our knees because we have nowhere else to go. This allows us to once again feel the quiet inspiration of God and align ourselves with our Father.

Suffering allows us to have

Sometimes when we are allowed to suffer, it is because we need a better relationship with our Father.

As we are driven to our knees, we learn to recognize God’s hand in our lives and no longer take His blessings and miracles for granted. We see them as acts of God rather than chalking them up to coincidence. We begin to have a rich and loving relationship with our Father and we learn to trust Him.

Suffering allows us to know

Sometimes we are allowed to suffer so we not only know God but also know His plan for us.

We can get so focused on our own desires that we create plans for our lives that are not at all aligned with God’s plans for us. When this happens, suffering comes so we can know what God wants for us and learn to stop fighting against it.

Suffering allows us to see

Suffering allows us to see life differently. It allows us to see people differently. And, most importantly, it allows us to see ourselves and our relationship with God differently.

Suffering reveals to us our weaknesses and shows us the need for a Savior in our lives. It reminds us all things are possible only when we combine our strength with God’s strength. It helps us to better learn how to see through the eyes of love.

Suffering allows us to experience

There are some things in life we can never learn until we experience them for ourselves.

How can we value the food we eat if we have never known hunger?

How can we understand how to console a friend in mourning if we’ve never lost a loved one ourselves?

How can we know joy if we’ve never felt pain?

Just as the Bible states, we were sent here to gain experience; and suffering is an important part of this earthly experience.

Suffering allows us to taste

Jesus suffered everything we all will ever experience. He suffered pains so unspeakably agonizing that we will never truly understand his suffering.

When we suffer, it is only a portion of what Jesus suffered. We are given a small taste of what Jesus suffered out of love for us. As we suffer and submit to God’s will, we are, in turn, showing our love for Him.

Suffering allows us to witness

Most miracles come in the middle of a great trial.

And, when those miracles come, those who experience them can then testify of the things they have witnessed. Most people don’t pray for miracles when their days are sunny or when their lives are perfect. Miracles aren’t needed in a perfect world.

Suffering allows us to exercise our faith, believe in God’s miracles and testify or bear witness of God’s hand in all things.

Suffering allows us to endure

We can’t know what we can endure until we are faced with what feels like an impossible task. Then, as we endure, we learn what we are capable of. We develop our character, strengthen our faith and learn how to see the good in every situation.

Suffering teaches us to keep moving forward.

Suffering allows us to sustain

When we suffer, we learn, with God’s help, to sustain not only ourselves but also those around us. We learn to have compassion, to be sad with those who are sad and to comfort those who need comfort.

We recognize the needs of others because we have experienced the needs ourselves.

Suffering allows us to pass

It has been said that this life is a test. Suffering allows us to pass that test.

In suffering, we learn to submit to our Father who truly does know and want what’s best for us. Jesus was our greatest example. He was bruised and broken; yet, He suffered it. In all things, He submitted to the will of the Father. Are we greater than He that we should not have to experience the same? For, Jesus is the greatest of all and suffering brings us closer to Him.

Tiffany Fletcher, author of "Mother Had a Secret: Learning to Love my Mother and her Multiple Personalities"


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