The human experience is wild and varied, but there’s one thing we’ve all struggled with: suffering. We all suffer, and as Christians, the most common avenue we seek is blaming God. Why would such a loving God allow so much suffering in the world? As Christians, we can find our answers (and comforts) through Scripture and fellowship.
The first thing we must realize is that suffering is a consequence to sin. Suffering is a byproduct of The Fall and our eternal sin against God. Therefore, we live in a broken world and must also live with suffering. Some suffering is the direct result of our choices, and some is simply due to the evil nature of our world. This should motivate us as Christians to long for a better world, a redeemed world, one that is established in Christ. (Romans 8:19-23)
Another aspect of suffering is that suffering is a tool of sanctification. Nothing is so broken that God cannot repair it-including Christians. God can use suffering to develop people to become closer to him and confront their true selves. Through suffering, God can open our hearts to His grace and form us into better people and Christians. (Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4).
A third cause of suffering in our world is a measure of our faith. Suffering is the catalyst for which we demonstrate the strength of our conviction to God. In times of tribulation, we place our faith in what we have hope in. Our faith in God can be exposed as factual reality or a hopeful fantasy through suffering. (Habakkuk 3:18)
Suffering and its applications to our life can be frightening and hard to comprehend. As Christians, we can find solace in our faith and in our fellowship. Christian counseling can be a key part of fellowship by helping you learn how to understand your suffering and how it can help develop personal and spiritual growth.