Suffering comes packaged in many ways.  Suffering from diseases, suffering of emotional wounds,  suffering of fatherlessness, suffering from traumatic experiences, physical suffering, and suffering the loss of a loved one from death.   Why do we suffer? 

In Christ’ finished work of redemption, He suffered for our sins.  Didn’t Christ deliver us from sin and disease on the cross which was the healing of both body and soul?  Christ experienced spiritual sufferings (as well as physical sufferings)  in the work of the atonement.  It is held by those who teach this idea that in His work of substittionary sin-bearing, Christ suffered not only physical death, but also something beyond physical death-spiritual seperation from His Father, or spiritual death.  It is held that Christ endured the “cup” of God’s wrath in place of the sinner.

Then came the dreadful hour when 2 Corinthians 5:21 was fulfilled.  “He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;  that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”

“He was wounded for our transgressdions, He was bruised for our iniquities:  the chastisement of our peace was upon Him;  and with His stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned every one to his own way;  and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”  (Isaiah 53:5-6)

This spiritual suffering was the heart of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice.  This was the ultimate outpouring of Christ’s love.  

1)   Didn’t Jesus redeem us from our diseases?

a)       Isaiah 53:4  Surely he took up our (choliy  (khol-ee’)diseases( sick(-ness).)and carried our mak’ob  (mak-obe’)(sorrow, grief, pain,) yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.

b)       Matthew 8:17  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

c)       The curse of the law in Deuteronomy:  However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:  You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.  Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.  The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.  You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.  The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.  The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.  The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish….The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.  The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind….The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

d)       Galatians 3:13  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, (every disease) being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

According to scripture, Jesus redeemed us for our sins and healed us of all diseases.

 So why do we still have suffering


Pastor Harold Martin:

When Moses asked God to show him His glory, he was asking to see what made God who He is.  God passed before Moses declaring His name and His nature.  Yahweh – Yahweh –  The self existent, almighty eternal God.  He then declared what His nature was – compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  1 John 4 tells us God is love.  1 corin 13 Defines love as being patient, kind, not envious, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, not delighting in evil but rejoicing with truth, always protecting, trusting, always having hope and perseverance.  Love never fails.  This pretty much gives us a description of the character and nature of God.  We also know Him as a prefect father.  So anything that falls outside these boundaries is not of God.  Hebrews 5 tells us Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered.  This is not talking about the garden , the trial, or the cross but, I think the suffering we go through getting our flesh and soul realm to line up with our spirit man.  I believe the type of suffering you are alluding to here comes from three primary sources – (1) self inflicted – normally caused by disobedience to the laws and word of God we know we should be obeying.  (2) Demonically influenced – which is limited to our will and choice and the doors we open to him.  (3) The result of living in this fallen world – including all the bad things we have done to the environment.  God is good – He works in every situation for our good.  He saved us to restore us to the place of intimacy with Him we were created to live in.  I don’t see Him as the author suffering, trauma, tragedy, natural disasters, disease, plane crashes, train wrecks or anything else that does not fit in the confines of His character and nature as it has been revealed to us. 

Just a side note – Deut 28 is not describing the curse of the law – it is describing the natural results of disobedience.  We see these results vividly played out it history of Israel as they disobeyed God.  Not His fault – was His warning.  Same scenario in Matt 24 when Jesus told the disciples all that was about to happen to Jerusalem – vividly fulfilled in the destruction in 70 AD. 

The true curse of the law was its inability to provide salvation. Romans 8 – what the law was powerless to do God did by sending His own son.  Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by everything He accomplished in the process of His death, burial and resurrection. 

The Suffering of the Righteous

Ruth Thompson, Pastor, New Hope Worship Center  


The Psalmist said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of them all.”  Jesus said He will send rain on the just and the unjust.  Faithfulness to God doesn’t guarantee Christians freedom from trouble, pain and suffering in our lives.

For instance, Paul wanted to preach inRome, and it was God’s will that he preach inRome, however he arrived there in chains.  On the way, he had many setbacks, storms, shipwreck and trials beyond measure.  (Acts 28:16; 2 Cor. 11:23-27)

Paul was faithful through it all, even though God didn’t make his way easy and trouble free.  In the same way, we can be smack dab in the middle of God’s will, totally faithful to Him and still experience trouble.  In fact, Jesus Himself said to expect it.  John16:33, “In the world ye will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Peter, inspired by the Spirit, told us we would endure trials.  1 Pet. 4:12-16

Over and over in the Bible there are examples of godly people who experience massive, overwhelming trouble and suffering; Joseph, for instance and David, Job, Jeremiah and Paul, who was just mentioned. To make matters worse, they suffered for no apparent reason.

So why do God’s people suffer?  The answer is as simple as Adam and Eve.  Because of their fall, sin entered the world.  As a result, in Genesis 3, pain, sorrow, conflict and eventual death came.  In fact, according to Romans 8:20-23 and 2 Peter 3:10-13, the entire universe groans under the effects of sin and longs for the time of the new heaven and new earth.

Some of God’s people suffer for the same reason as unbelievers.  Christians, as well as non-Christians must suffer the consequences of their actions.  Galatians 6:7&8, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  And Hosea 8:7, tells us that if we sow to the wind, we’ll reap a whirlwind.  For instance, if we drive recklessly, we risk having a serious accident.  If we have bad eating habits, we risk having health problems, etc.

Sometimes God allows suffering in order to discipline us and bring about the “peaceable fruit of righteousness” spoken of in Hebrews 12.  Notice I said, allows and not causes or brings suffering. 

Probably the most common cause of suffering is the fact that we live in a sinful and corrupt world.  The effects of sin are all around us.  We experience distress and anguish as we see the power that evil has over so many people, but remember, we are to be of good cheer, because Jesus has already overcome the world.

Believers sometimes suffer at the hands of Satan.  1 John 5:9 tells us that Satan controls this present evil age.  Scripture also tells us that he has been allowed to afflict us in many ways.  (1 Pet. 5:8-9)  Aside from our own trials as proof, we see the story of Job, the woman in Luke 13 who was bound with a spirit of infirmity.  In 2 Cor. 12, Paul speaks of his thorn in the flesh, which he describes as a messenger of Satan, and as we engage in spiritual warfare, we battle against the rulers of the darkness of this world.  We also suffer at the hands of some of Satan’s followers who enjoy persecuting Christians.

Believe it or not, many times God allows suffering to bring about change in the lives of His people who have strayed (Ps. 119:67) and spiritual growth (1 Pet. 1:6-7; Jms. 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-5; 2 Cor. 4:17).

Although we too will experience suffering in our lives, we have a hope that unbelievers do not.  First, 1 Cor. 10:13 tell us we won’t be tried beyond the breaking point.  Rom.8:28says God will bring about good even in our suffering.  As referenced at the beginning, although the righteous will have many afflictions, the Lord will deliver them out of them all.  

Lastly, remember, in all our suffering, His grace is sufficient.  Also remember that Jesus Himself shares our pain (Heb.4:15; Isa. 53:3-5) and our Father loves us regardless how painful the situation.  (Rom.8:35-39)

Dana Solla, Minister/ Author, For-A-Purpose Ministries


This, in my opinion right next to the actual resurrection itself, is the most astonishing part of the redemption plan. That God, rather than wiping out everything , as He had with Noah, made Himself the Word made man, come to earth and replaced Himself as for us as payment for His own law and standards. But then, how could He ask us to hold to those standards if He couldn’t do it either? Isn’t the sign of every good leader to lead by example? So now Jesus comes and stands in our place to fulfill this plan of redemption and it is perfect because He has the ability to overcome death. He not only gives us example of how to deal with these two contrary forces of spirit and physical but shows us that that they can be controlled as one. That in fact the body can be taken with you; even though the bible would say that we will receive a new heavenly body, Jesus took His body with Him and ascended into heaven with it,  came back and was seen by others with His  new heavenly body. Jesus always gave us examples of dealing with the flesh or physical world from the spiritual world perspective in how to bring the flesh/physical into accord and submission to the will of the Father God thereby giving and having control over it. Symbolically the three on the hill that day represent these very elements, in the middle of it all you have Jesus giving the options/choices, on one hand you have a choice of listening and accepting and the promise of God and a spiritual truth, life eternal;  or being bound by the facts of the physical evidence of your finite fate. Not seeing past that very moment, holding onto the physical and not embracing the concept that we are eternal beings. Do you think that when you go to meet the Father in heaven for your judgment and see Jesus for the first time that he would show you a place on His body and say “do you see this strip right here?” and point to a place on His body,  “I took that one for you. Do you see this bruise here and this one  here? I took those for you also.”Then to have Him  look you straight in the eyes and asks  “what you did to the least of them you also did unto me, were you your brothers keeper? Did you tell them of me and just how much I truly love them and what I have done for them?” These are not just interesting stories of prophecy and  intrigue,  they are a message, a letter directly from God to you; a call to action and a rally point for your faith.

 –Jim Good, Christian author of ‘Selected to Suffer.’  Visit me at

It’s my belief that we suffer for a variety of reasons. One could be to humble us, and to help us realize that we are nothing without Christ and desperately need him. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul says, “To keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And he has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” The lord gives us all “thorns in the flesh,” that is, some types of suffering throughout our lives to humble us, to show his might, and to bring us closer to Jesus. This is also demonstrated in 1 Peter 5:10 that says, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen and establish you.” Another reason there is suffering may be that since Christ suffered a horrific death for our sakes and took our sins upon himself, both believers and non-believers must suffer, too. The world hated him and persecuted him says John 15:18-20 and Matthew 10:22. That passage in John also says that a “slave is not greater than his master.” (We being the slaves, and Jesus the master. Thus, we must suffer, too, as did Christ.)