In the 9th Chapter of John, Jesus, talking about the man who had been blind for 39 years said it had been to bring glory to God. Many interpret the healing of the man to be the act that brought glory to God. I ask: Was it not the life he and his family spent during those 39 years that might have brought glory to God? Perhaps during that time, God was glorified in their lives. I see it happen often in people who walk through the toughest of time for the longest of times. They are Star Witnesses to faith, trust, dependence on God – bringing him much glory through their sacrificial lives.
Many of you know that my sister, Verna, just recently passed from having fourteen years of serious cancer issues.
I have a friend who has who has a disabled son, now an adult but who is dependent on her for everything.
Sometimes Christians are persecuted, jailed and killed.
I have Christian peers who have suffered greatly by rebellious children and grandchildren. Their hearts are broken as they watch loved ones who are a part of the living dead, bound by addictions, and living wickedly,
This type suffering is far greater than the kinds of things I have discussed in previous posts. These are the rock bottom reason for the question “Why bad things happen to good people?” Most Christians who suffer like these, are the most gracious, loving, patient people I know. They model Christianity as it should be.
Some people say there is a gift of Martyrdom. I don’t know but I do know that Christians in this level of suffering are an effective way of drawing people to Christ. The Gospel was spread world wide by the sufferings of some of the disciples and the Apostle Paul.
Even on a national level we can see how many more people turn to God in the bad times than in the good times. God’s ultimate purpose is for people to turn to Jesus for eternal life with Him. How can he do that? Does peace and prosperity do that? No. So perhaps suffering is necessary for the eternal salvation of souls.
I began this series on suffering by saying God always has a purpose for causing/allowing pain and suffering. Some purposes are testing, discipline/teaching, chastening, character building, and the spreading of the Gospel for the saving of souls.
The Bible says “In this earth we will have trials” so let us make the best of them.
(Posts on this subject are tagged “suffering” if you missed any and are interested.)