Why do bad things happen to good people? It is a common question asked in the aftermath of tragedies. It is especially challenging to grasp when calamity befalls the upright members of our society. In the Book of Job, we learn that trials in our lives are not necessarily caused by sin or a wrath sent by God. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:19 ESV) In the case of Job, God used him to silence the enemy. God does not promise a life without tribulations but promises deliverance from them. Suffering is like a two-sided coin. On one side, God uses our suffering to bring out the best in us. On the other hand, Satan uses our suffering to bring out the worst in us.
God seeks to make us like Christ. God uses our suffering to cultivate us, just like gold is refined by fire. When gold goes through a refining process, the impurities are removed. As God refines us through suffering, it produces the Fruit of the Spirit, powerful testimonies to share, sensitizes us to the suffering of others, and drawing us closer to Him as we seek God for strength, courage, and deliverance. Our refining process transforms our minds, allowing us to be more fruitful, and strengthens us.
The advantages of our suffering is that it gives us an opportunity to examine ourselves, and ask the questions that we would ask in our normal routines. God can use our suffering to tear down our barriers so that we are in position to grow spiritually. Our suffering allows us to bear our crosses just as Jesus suffered on the cross for us. The flip side of our suffering is that it causes us to reject God, accusing Him of being unjust, and blaming Him for our problems. We may become self-centered, despondent, as well as self-righteous. We may miss the opportunities for self-examination, obtaining help, and spiritual growth.
There are three possible responses that we can have when we are being tested. We can despise the trial, faint under the pressure of it, or grow from it. Suffering can be excruciatingly painful and challenging. It is vital to the lives of the Believers to seek God, trust in His promises, and continue to praise and worship Him. Despite our misfortunes, we must learn to always give God glory because we are assured a victorious outcome.