And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together-Romans 8:17.
All of God’s children have an inheritance based on their relationship to God which is incorruptible, undefiled. Their inheritance includes an expectation of eternal life, and with join-heirs with Christ, they also share His suffering now and will share His glory later. Whether we’re believers or non-believers it will come a time we will suffer, suffering is a stage we all share in life. We will suffer in our friendship, marriage, family, finances and in our health. God is aware of what we will go through prior to our birth as well as the journey we will take to leave this world to enter into everlasting life. Our outcome of where we will live depends on our trust in Jesus for our salvation as well as our submission to the written instructions of God.
When you read the Bible, you read about people who served God, but they suffered, not because they had sinned, but because of their righteousness. While there were others who suffered because of their disobedience. Jesus came into the world without sin, and He suffered (Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the thing which He suffered; And being made perfect He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him – Hebrews 5:8-9). Jesus experienced all of what a person goes through on earth. He knows how difficult it is to obey God completely, just as He understands the attraction of temptation, yet He persisted in obedience; leading a sinless life.
Jesus gave us the power to overcome sin as well as the power to endure suffering without sinning against God. Why do we suffer? Suffering strengthens our faith and our dependence on God. Some suffer from being alone and desire to be married, but if they continue to place their trust in God, and wait on God, He will prepare them for a husband and will give them a husband sent from God.
Some may suffer from being childless, but God will place children in their lives they can mentor, love and direct them through life as though they were their biological child. God has many ways of replacing the lack of what we desire with what we need. Suffering causes us to place our trust in Jesus that He will see us through whatever we’re going through. Suffering will cause us to fast and pray whereas when everything is well, we don’t fast and pray as we should as Christians. Suffering causes us to grow spiritually, and it assists in the manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit in our life as well as the gifts and administrative offices. Suffering causes us to have empathy with others when we see them going through what we went through. God never allows us to suffer without rewarding us for obedience through our suffering. Abraham wanted a son, that was his suffering, but he waited on God, he didn’t lose faith in the promise of God, and he and his wife received a son as well as riches. God doesn’t give us suffering, but He will allow suffering so that we can see what’s really in us. Our suffering isn’t for God’s benefit, but for our benefit as well as being a witness to others to what God can do. If we never have wanted, need, disappointments or whatever we may be going through, we would never experience an encounter with God.
Whatever suffering we go through, we should always ask God for His will in the situation, ask for help to want His desire for our life, His desire in our wills. God knows what’s best for us, and He will allow suffering to come to draw us closer to Him and His will.