Is Suffering In God’s Plan?

Most people believe that if we are followers of God, we should not have to endure suffering. They believe that if we are following in God’s plan, that suffering will be kept from us. Thus, they believe that those who experience suffering are not in God’s plan.

God Does Want The Best For His Children

This is the message throughout the Bible.

Exodus 34:6 (LB): “’I am Jehovah, the merciful and gracious God,’ he said, ‘slow to anger and rich in steadfast love and truth.’

Romans 11:22 (LB): “Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is very hard on those who disobey, but very good to you if you continue to love and trust him. But if you don’t, you too will be cut off.”

God does want the best for His children. He will do all that He can to get you to follow and obey Him so that He can bless you.

God Is Patient

God does not want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to repent and come to Him. But, too often we only think of ourselves. We only see what is happening right around us. To us, it is so bad that we think that God needs to act right now. But look at what God says:

2 Peter 3:9 (LB): “He isn’t really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent.”

Suffering Will Happen To Us

This is an evil world in which we are living. Satan is not called the “prince of this world” for nothing. He has gained control over millions of people and they all hate Christians. No, we are not immune to the evil that is around us. It is true that if we live in a predominately Christian society, we will only be exposed to a little of this evil.

However, if we live in a predominately unchristian society, we will be exposed to Satan’s evil. This is especially true if we live in a Muslim society.

Why Does God Allow This Suffering?

The answer lies in 2 Peter 3:9. God does not want anyone to perish. Our problem is that we tend to see only what we want to see. We see our own suffering and we think that God ought to rescue us. It is interesting that this is more the thought of those who suffer little than those who suffer much. Those who live under persecution seem to understand this much more than those of us who do not live under persecution.

We need to see with God’s eyes, not just with our own. We need to see and understand God’s plan. God’s plan is to see as many people to be saved as possible.

Remember, God created us as free creatures. He will not force us to do anything that we don’t want to do. That includes saved and unsaved people. Yes, God does miraculously protect His people. But that is not His standard operating procedure.

Just think what would happen if He protected everyone who accepted Jesus. People would make this decision just to be protected, not because they wanted to live as God wanted them to. Then, what would heaven be like? It would be no different that what we are experiencing right here right now.

God wants us to accept Jesus because we want Him to be the Lord of our Life. Not because we just want to be safe. He wants us to make this decision because we want to live according to God’s laws.

So, evil people are free to persecute God’s people. And history has shown that this is true. We are not free from persecution.

We need to proclaim with Paul when he said in Romans 8:18 (LB): “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later.”

God’s Plan Is More Important

We need to remember that it is actually more important for many people to be saved than for us to live in peace and luxury right now. That will come when we reach heaven. God’s plan is to see as many people as possible saved and granted access to heaven. This should be our plan as well. In order for this to happen, we need to accept what is happening to us right now and pray that God’s will is done.

This does not mean that we shouldn’t try to make our lives better. For instance, if we are able to make a lot of money, we can live more comfortably. But it will also give us more money to help spread the Gospel.

This Existence Is A Drop In The Bucket
Compared To Our Future

The life that we are living right now might seem like forever, especially if we are not as comfortable as we think we should be. Look at the big picture. Look at what God is trying to accomplish. Try to think like God does. This will give God a chance to live in you and through you to accomplish His plan for the world.

S




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