The age old question, asked by almost everyone at one time or another is, “Why is there suffering in the world”? Although we, for the most part, do not want to accept them, there are clear and precise answers to that question in Scripture. First, we suffer that we may learn obedience. Christ “Learned he obedience by the things he suffered” (Hebrews 5; 8). Without trials and problems there would be no reason for man to consider the rules of life that may bring him to the Lord and help him avoid suffering. Second, suffering will, in the long run, cause man to cease from sin, at least if he has any ability at all to learn from his mistakes. “He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin”. (1 Peter 4; 1). Third, so that we can help others, “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God”. 1 Cor. 1: 4). Those who are most powerful in ministering to others are those who have suffered likewise. Fourth, that we may share in the comfort of others that have been helped, “as ye are partakers of the suffering, so shall ye be also of the consolation”. (11 Cor. 1: 7). And fifth, that we may learn the value of the “fellowship of his suffering”. (Phil. 3: 10). The depth and oneness in Christ is truly embraced when a perception of the suffering of Christ is understood first hand and this bond will be so strong as to last for an eternity. The mature believer feels this in the depth of his soul.

In short, there would be no salvation for man was it not for the suffering of Christ on the cross and the suffering that man must endure in order to point him to the God of creation and eternity. How thankful we should be for the suffering that God has allowed us! “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. (Romans 8; 18).

Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
And all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
And there’s a cross for me. (Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone)