Why God’s Children Suffer
Contrary to common belief, though often heard, the Bible does not teach that all men are the children of God.
- Our Lord said to the ‘religious leaders’ of His day: “Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:44). They were religious, but not the children of God.
- But to the Christian believers at Galatia, Paul wrote: “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:26).
Any real ‘child of God’ must be born of Father God. Only Believers are born of God by faith to receive “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”… actually possess the very life of the God... thus making them His children.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath (His) life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
Being born as the human children of Adam, it’s not strange that we should have to bear sufferings of sorrow, sickness, and death … that entered the world through the Sin that has infected mankind (Rom. 5:12).
But some people wonder why God’s believing children, whose greatest desire is to please Him, should have to suffer along with those who have not believed.
There are several reasons for this.
- In the case of Job, God allowed His servant to suffer to prove to Satan that Job did not live a godly life for personal gain — read the whole story and you will see that ultimately Job was richly rewarded later.
- Further, God’s people could not be of much spiritual help to others if they were exempt from the sufferings which others have to bear. In such a case the unsaved would otherwise say something like this: “Yes, you can talk! You don’t know what it is to suffer disappointments, sickness and pain, as we do.”
- Then too, it must be remembered that even the most godly saint is not yet perfect and must at times be disciplined, “for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Heb. 12:6). This is done for our good, to keep us from sin and Sin’s consequences.
- Finally, suffering and adversity tend to make God’s children pray more and lean harder on Him. It turns our wayward hearts back to Him, the only One in whom there is peace. In Him we enjoy strength for enduring daily living. Paul said: “I take pleasure in infirmities… for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Cor. 12:10).
- But there is a great advantage which the suffering Christian has over others. First, our sufferings are only temporary and yet, they will yield eternal glory for us in the Kingdom of heaven. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17)