The following is Keith’s follow-up from the Thirst No More Sunday School class’ discussion and study on May 13 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
We live in a fallen world full of suffering. Suffering will come in all shapes and sizes. We can be certain that everyone will experience physical and emotional trials (suffering) during our lives. But we can also be certain that the God who has numbered our hairs is also concerned about our suffering.
Why does a God who loves us allow us to suffer? God gave us freedom which allows us the ability to make wrong choices. Wrong choices were made (and are still being made) which caused the world to fall into the condition it is now. There would be no pain or suffering had sin not entered the world. Watch the short video below; it explains this much be more completely than I just did.
Jesus is an example to us in many ways, including in suffering. Jesus knew the suffering he was about to endure and continued to pour His life into the disciples (Luke 22:14-20; and many others). We, likewise, should expect to suffer in this life. There are some preachers who want us to believe that we can avoid suffering and receive everything that we have ever wanted (if we name it, we can claim it). Like Jesus, we should try not to lose our focus on our mission (serving Christ) when trials and sufferings comes (this is easier said than done).
Jesus was also disappointed by those who were closest to Him (Luke 22:21-22, 39-40, 45-46). Judas betrayed Him (21-22) and the other disciples could not even stay awake a pray (45-46). We are often disappointed by others. Sometimes they betray us in the worst ways. Sometimes they neglect to care
for us as they should.
At the peak of Jesus’ emotional stress (suffering), He prayed to God and an angel came to strengthen Him (22:41-44). When we experience great stress or grief, we should seek God and He will strengthen us. We can seek God through prayer, scripture, worship, fellowship with other believers, etc.
Man has fallen in a hole. We, through our sin, have separated ourselves from the God who loves us. But God made a way back to Him through His Son (see video below) . Jesus came down into our pit and suffered as we do. We do not serve a God who doesn’t understand our sufferings.