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Pain and Hardships (2 of 3)
Luke 4:25-27, 13:1-5; John 9:1-3; Romans 8:26-29; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, 12:7-10; Hebrews 2:17-18
We have already looked at suffering with an eternal perspective. Now let's dig in a little deeper into this subject. In the modern church, we have been led to believe that pain and hardships are symptoms of mistakes or a greater problem in our lives. This is a tragic misconception. The Bible clearly teaches that we will reap what we sow, therefore bad choices and consequences may cause us pain and hardship, but this is not always the case. We live in a fallen world. Anyone who looks at this life and expects heaven on earth will be disappointed. Even the apostles acknowledged:
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.
Often times God uses our struggles to shape our character, alter our course, or put us in a position to benefit in ways that we cannot see during the difficulty we may be enduring. When we run from problems we are running away from what God is doing. We can expect God to continue bringing us into these circumstances until we learn what He is trying to teach us. Unfortunately, we have been taught to avoid suffering at all cost and that it is the result of sin, lack of faith, or something wrong in our own life. Most of the time, this is not true. In this study we will take a look at how the Bible addresses these issues.
Why is there physical suffering?
One of the age-old critical questions often asked to Christians is, "Why does a loving God allow so much suffering in the world?" The faith of many believers has been overthrown because people cannot accept the fact that God allows and even uses suffering. One of the greatest testimonies of love is that God identified with our sufferings by suffering with us and for us. Hebrews 2 explains:
17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithfu ...
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