Why does God allow us to go through trials and suffering? Here is a poem called, "And God Said If . . ." that helps explain this. It is anonymous.
If you never felt pain, Then how would you know that I’m a Healer?
If you never went through difficulty,
How would you know that I’m a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial,
How could you call yourself an over comer?
If you never felt sadness,
How would you know that I’m a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake,
How would you know that I’m forgiving?
If you never were in trouble,
How would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken,
Then how would you know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem,
How would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering,
Then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire,
Then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things,
How would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you,
How would you know that I love you?
If you had all power,
Then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect,
Then what would you need Me for?
Which of the above impacted you?
This Christianity Today article tells how a Sudanese pastor who is in prison for preaching the gospel, is not afraid.
"Speaking to CBN News from his cell in Khartoum prison, pastor David Yein said: 'I am NOT AFRAID of anything... I am never afraid of anything because it is my love... because I believe. God chose me to SUFFER.'"
Wow. What an incredible faith this pastor has. Not only is he not afraid, but he believes and is accepting that God might chose him to suffer.
Does this not seem countercultural to the extreme? As American Christians, we tend to have little theology of suffering. We are sold the commercial that this life all about fulfilling the American Dream, which is about everything getting bigger and better. Suffering? Well, that sounds profoundly unAmerican!
And yet, there are numerous Scriptures that tell us that we should expect persecution and suffering for our faith. Here are a few Scriptures on the subject:
As our culture changes around us, are we willing to suffer for our faith and continue to boldly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that not what we are called to?
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Dr. James Nored is a minister and Executive Director of Next Generation for Christ.