Does God make us suffer to teach us?

For Christians, the question is, which kind of suffering--persecution for Jesus or the trials of living in the world?

The Bible tells us “…we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3,4) The character building kind of suffering to which the New Testament refers the is not disease or other maladies that may result from poor diets, lack of exercise, selfishness, reckless driving, addictions and other versions of choosing our own way. Instead, it referred to persecution for being a Christian, which was prevalent throughout the Roman Empire (and in many parts of the world today). Christians were insulted, their property confiscated, they were imprisoned, flogged, tortured and executed.

Jesus said it would happen and none should be surprised since the world treated Him with contempt. This is the kind that should be embraced and rejoiced in because those who endure it will fellowship in Jesus’ sufferings and be rewarded in heaven. (Luke 6:22,23) Even so, Jesus didn’t submit to suffering until the time was right and Paul was always outrunning some murderous plot, God and the disciples often got him and Peter out. They didn’t look for trouble or automatically give in to it.

We get into problems when we confuse the two kinds of “suffering”. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33) Yes, we’ve have everyday troubles since Adam and Eve sinned, some of them horrible but these aren’t the ones to be happy about—they’re the ones to get rid of! Some of them we “earned” but we don’t have to “suffer the consequences”. You don’t have to carry them; Jesus already paid the price for our sins and sicknesses. Yes, physical ailments too!

Matt 8:17
16When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." (emphasis added)

Father gives good gifts to His children who ask Him! (Matthew 7: 9-11) Many Christians have been duped into believing that their serious illnesses are a “blessing from God”. That kind of thinking fills cemeteries! Does God make the most of every situation? Absolutely! (Romans 8:28) Does God cause the suffering? No, the devil came to steal, kill and destroy but Jesus came to give us abundant life!

Western thinking has mixed Christianity with pagan Greek mythology, which has it that Pandora was, “given a gift of pain and sorrow for men from every Olympian god” as a punishment. (Redeeming Creation Van Dyke, et al. emphasis added) This kind of thinking paralyzes and keeps our time, attention, energy and resources focused on dealing with illnesses and other trials when we could be out doing the kinds of things for which we might be truly persecuted.

The Lord is willing to deliver you from your troubles—just ask! (Ps 34:19 righteous man may have many troubles,but the LORD delivers him from them all"

Here is a link for places to go for healing prayer: