Suffering isn’t a new topic in this world. Every individual and society suffers in one way or the other. Huge metropolitan communities suffer from the counter effects of excessive industrialization. Weaker nations suffer from a willful maintenance of inequalities among nations. At individual levels, people in all societies suffer from sicknesses, limitations, societal pressures, lack of vital knowledge and even from spiritual and scientific dogmatism.
People have always generated strategies to alleviate emerging and diverse range of sufferings in society. Some governments look up to technology as the way out of sufferings. The church plays its role by preaching a message of repentance, which brings internal peace and keeps eyes focused on Jesus’ return.
We suffer because we get into troubles. Troubles inflict us with diverse pains. And there’re three ways we get into troubles:
When we refuse to inquire from God, we pursue the desires of our hearts. Hence, we do the wrong things and suffer the consequences. God set His standards but many overlook them in favor of human ideologies.
Good examples include the LGBT agenda, Genetic modification, production and marketing of war weapons, corruption, lies, mind manipulation, theft, creating social inequalities, adhering to secret societies and cults, the pursuit of fame and the riches of this world, refusal to sincerely inquire about God and irrational thinking. All these and more cause people to get into troubles.
People don’t get into troubles only by doing what’s wrong. We also suffer for doing the right things. And it’s common in our world. In fact, suffering for doing good is a promise from God no true believer can escape from (2 Timothy 3:12, Mark 10:28-30, 2 Corinthians 1:8). This is known as persecution in Christian terms. The Apostles and Early believers, Joseph, Noah, Abraham, the Prophets, today’s godly men and women all suffer from persecution.
Oh yea, it’s also possible to suffer for doing nothing at all. As long as you’re in this world, you must suffer from time to time. Even if you decide to lock yourself up in your house, troubles will still visit you there. There’re two ways people suffer for doing nothing:
They refuse to confront troubles that come their way: Everyone faces challenges in life. Sometimes, people and societies are completely inert to arising obstacles of progress. For instance, poor people in a community who accept their state of poverty as normal, refusing to explore available solution patterns to come out of poverty. Another example is people who ignorantly hold to the saying ‘there’s nothing after physical death.’ Such people don’t find a need to inquire about God nor feel obliged to look into the available pieces of evidence.
When you refuse to confront challenges, you’ll be tossed to and fro by waves of ideas and opinions from the worldly systems. We are meant to confront challenges, not to run away from them.
You can suffer for unknown reasons: Sometimes, bad things happen to very good people and we may never know the exact reasons. Some people don’t know why they’re unable to conceive a child even though medical results show they have no health issues. A family suddenly lost one of their young. He slept at night and never woke up in the morning, though he was not diagnosed with a disease.
It’s hard to explain why Joseph’s brothers sold him. We can’t conclude that God pushed them to sell him. God could use other means to bring Joseph to Egypt. We also can’t really explain why Naomi lost her husband and two children. God could have used another means to bring Ruth to Israel.
Do you want an efficient and effective way out of your sufferings? Start by discovering how you got into trouble in the first place. That’s the foundation you can build upon to confront your situation and alleviate your suffering in a godly manner.
In 1.2, we get deeper into suffering for doing the wrong things.
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