I must admit, I know very little about suffering. Sure, I’ve endured minor back pain for years, I’ve lost some relatives, I’ve been close to Christians who rejected the Lord and broke my heart; but those problems pale in comparison to other people’s problems.
A fairly new convert I studied with years ago made lots of money designing stages for famous bands like Pink Floyd and Aerosmith. Eventually, he lost most of his wealth in a business venture gone bad. He also got cancer and lost his ability to work. Now, in his forties, he lives in poverty, disabled as his cancer slowly destroys his body.
Years ago, another Christian I knew had routine sinus surgery during which a nerve was accidentally severed. Unbearable migraines plagued him the rest of his life.
Many brethren I know silently suffer from the loss of a job, chronic disease, chronic pain, the death of a child, the death of a spouse, an abusive spouse, a brutal divorce, or the spiritual rebellion of their children. All of us are suffering to some degree. How do you cope with it? Do you blame God? Do you try to bury the pain with pleasure and sin?
Please take a moment to consider Job.
He had ten children, tremendous wealth, and was “the greatest of all the men of the east.” Then, practically over night, Satan took everything—his children, his flocks and herds, his servants, and finally his health. We stand in awe of Job’s faithfulness to God through all his suffering. When his wife told him to curse God and die, he responded, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Job kept his covenant with God even though he felt his suffering was unjust.
When we suffer, it may be tempting to think, “No one understands, no one has it has bad as me,” and use it as an excuse to give up on God. But others, like Job, have experienced far worse and overcame (1 Pet. 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:13).
Will you remain faithful to God throughout your suffering? If Job did, so can you! To take it one step further—if Jesus did, so can you! “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb. 12:3).