For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy.” James 5:10-11 NLT
Suffering is a part of this fallen world. In some way, it affects us all. Some have endured tremendous suffering while others have gone through life seemingly unscathed. Suffering comes in many forms (The loss of a loved one, physical illness, mental illness, financial ruin, mistreatment from others). The list goes on and on. Suffering is caused by a few different things.
1. Original sin - Our ancestor, Adam, brought suffering and death, through his sin, upon all humanity. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” Romans 5:12 NLT
2. Bad decisions (ours and/or the decisions of others). We reap what we sow. “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” Galatians 6:7-8 NLT
3. Satanic attack - The devil is always trying to possess or oppress mankind. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT
4. Standing for the cause of Christ - "If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name!” 1 Peter 4:15-16 NLT
The good news is this: We have victory through Christ - “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 NLT "And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” Romans 8:23 NLT Look up and take heart O child of God!!
Rev. Curtis Norris