Suffering has always been a difficult topic for believers & skeptics alike.  How can an all loving & good God allow suffering?  The question is better stated.. . “Why does God let ME suffer?” or “Why does God let ‘good people’ suffer?” or “Why did God let my grandmother suffer?”  (Actually, none are good… all have sinned.  Ro 3:10-17, 23)

I don’t have the all the answers but we can go to God for help.  I am one phone call or letter away from tragedy, I constantly do what I can to be prepared for when it does eventually happen.

When I hear people say, “I know we’re not supposed to question God…”  I wonder… Why not?  When I hear people say, “I know we can’t know why things happen…” I wonder… Why can’t we know?

Didn’t Jesus say if anyone seeks they will find (Mt 7:7-11)?  Isn’t it written if any man lacks wisdom let him ask of God and it will be given (James 1:5)?  Don’t those apply to us?!

We can’t know every reason for what God does nor can we know all the intricacies of what happens in our lives… however… I do believe God has given us many answers to “Why ‘bad’ things happen to Christians.”  My goal is to suggest a few reasons… keeping in mind this is not exhaustive and only begins to explore this issue.  Here are some of the reasons I’ve thought of…

Reason #1: To Glorify God (2 Cor 4:15; 1 Pet 4:16; Jn 21:19)

Reason #2: To Be Conformed To The Image Of Christ (Ro 8:29)

Reason #3: To Reveal To Us Our Need For Sanctification (2 Cor 12:7-10)

Reason #4: To Mature Christians In The Faith (James 1:2-4)

Reason #5: To Share in Christ’s Glory (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Reason #6: To Rest Completely Upon Christ’s Power (2 Cor 12:7-10)

Reason #7: To Comfort Others In Their Trials (2 Cor 1:3-4)

Reason #8: So That Jesus’ Life Is Manifested In Us (2 Cor 4:7-12)

Reason #9: To Embolden Christians To Faithful Service (Phil 1:12-14)

Reason #10: It Is God’s Will For Christians To Suffer (Phil 1:29)

Reason #11: It Is God’s Way Of Increasing Rewards (2 Cor 4:16-18)

Reason #12: It Is God’s Way Of Sanctifying Us (Job 1-2)

Reason #13: God uses suffering to humble us

Reason #14: God uses suffering to draw us to Himself

Reason #15: God uses suffering to display His grace and comfort (2 Cor 1:3-4)

Reason #16: Suffering perfects God’s power in us.

Just a few thoughts to ruminate upon during your quiet time(s) this week…