By Ken Blue
- We have inherited a death sentence
One fact we all must face is that we will die. Death came as a result of Adam and Eve disobeying God’s clear warning and command. Just as your children will inherit the death principle from you, you and I have inherited it from our parents. Likewise, the natural laws of the earth have been affected. There is no escaping death. This is one reason we suffer.
- We live in bodies that are mortal and susceptible to disease and pain
The law of physical death was set in motion by our first parents. Thus our immune system was altered, and we become vulnerable to many diseases. This may range from the common cold to the AIDS virus. As the immune system weakens, we experience sickness more often and perhaps more serious. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may be the victim of the wickedness of others.
Many times we become the victims of the wickedness and cruelty of others. This needs no explaining. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer because of the mistakes of others.
Not all suffering results from wickedness. People, and time are careless or use poor judgment, and accidents happen. One may be killed, or suffer injuries that last a lifetime. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may mistreat our bodies and minds with what is put in them.
There are laws of nature, when those are violated, negative things happen. For example, your body was created to require water to survive. If you drink gasoline, you will die. Your lungs were not created to have smoke in them. Your circulatory system was not intended to have drugs, alcohol, or foreign objects in it. Likewise, there are laws that govern the mind. Any violation of those laws leads to a distorted and damaged mind. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer because we violate the laws of nature, God, and man.
Many people are dead or damaged because they ignored the laws of nature. The law of gravity can bring you to your death. Violate the laws of government, and you end up dead or in prison. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer that we might be a testimony to others that God’s grace is sufficient.
Suffering is our opportunity to discover, and prove that the grace of God is sufficient in every circumstance. This sends a powerful message to others who may be suffering. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer to prove to Satan and the angels that God is good, just, wise, and righteous, and we serve Him because of that.
We know from the book of Job that Satan and the angels observe the children of men. Satan assumes that the only reason you live for God is His physical blessings on your life. God may allow all to be taken away to prove that your love, and faith is based on His wisdom, goodness, justice, and mercy. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer because of our faith in the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of the Bible. We must understand that there are those who hate God, the Bible, and all who live for Him. Millions have suffered and died because of their faith in Christ. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer because we have freedom of will. This may be the most important, yet most misunderstood principle of all. God created man will a free will. He could choose good or evil. He chose to disobey. You also have a free will. If you want to get in your car and go down the street at 100 miles per hour, you can. However, at the intersection, you may broadside a car, killing five innocent people. Now, would you like for God to put restraints on you so you can’t make a choice to speed? I don’t think so. To not have a choice, removes all meaning to life. You must be able to choose love or hate. If not, love has no meaning. Most all suffering is the result of someone exercising their free will. That includes you and me. That is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer to test the faith of others. When we watch others suffer, we may be prompted to blame God, or ask why. Your suffering may be used of God to test the reality of another’s faith. That is one reason we suffer.
- We suffer because we care for others. We suffer when we see those we love suffer and die. We grieve for our loss. This is normal and expected. This is one reason we suffer.
- We may suffer to bring others to Christ. We may be beaten, imprisoned, or killed for witnessing and preaching to others. If that is God’s will for us, so be it. He died for us, let us live and die for Him. Thais is one reason we suffer.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.