People ask the question, Why do good people have to suffer? Why did Jesus Christ, God’s divine son, have to suffer and die by crucifixion on a cross in Jerusalem?
Suffering in this world brings glory in eternity. We will be in the presence of God’s glory, and Jesus will not be ashamed to call us brothers and sisters.
God gives the answer for suffering in His Word. We must remember that He is the creator. He made this world and mankind His way. He allows our lungs to take one more breath and our hearts to beat one more time. He is the author of life and death. Isaiah the prophet talks about how God’s thoughts and intellect are much higher than that of man. Job in his suffering wanted an answer from God. But when God answered Job, He asked Job several questions that Job could not answer. Our intellect is so much lower than our Creator’s that we would not completely understand even if He explained our suffering to us. God wants our faith most of all. He wants us to simply trust, believe, and follow Him. Hebrews makes the statement, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” God seeks to build faith and obedience in His children. We are down here in something similar to boot camp getting ready to enter eternity. God is building character into us that can only be developed and strengthened by suffering.
God gives the answer for suffering in His Word:
Luke 24:26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?
John 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.
Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
1 Cor. 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
2 Cor. 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Eph 3:13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
1 Th 2:12 encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.
2 Thes 2:14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Hebrews 2:10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”
13 And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”
Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
God wants to develop certain characteristics in our attitude and character that come only as a result of suffering. In heaven this will lend to the glory that God will reveal only in eternity. Our loving Heavenly Father chose to make us better individuals by allowing us to suffer this side of eternity.
Jesus was compassionate and empathetic because of suffering, so must we be also. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to redeem us from the penalty of our sins. He gave His life, and shed His blood, so that we could receive forgiveness and mercy. He was momentarily forsaken and separated from God the Father to feel the agony and terror of Hell. He is now alive at the right hand of God interceding for each of us who believes and trusts in Him. Our Heavenly Father allowed His son Jesus Christ to suffer in His plan of redemption. Because of His suffering Jesus is not so quick to pull the trigger to end the life of those in rebellion against Him. Jesus is long suffering and patient for people to repent. He understands our temptations and trials. We give into sin; He was sinless.
Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.