Why Am I Going Through This?
Many people are currently suffering. They are experiencing some sort of tragedy, pain, sorrow, or sickness. If you are not currently experiencing some sort of tragedy, pain, sorrow, or sickness, chances are you have in the past, and the chances are even higher that you will in the future. Christians are not exempt from experiencing these things either. However, for some reason, modern Christians in the Western world, and America particularly do not understand that suffering trials and tribulations are a part of human existence, as well as a part of the Christian faith.
Christians have a tendency to view suffering, trials, and tribulations from a negative perspective. This negative viewpoint usually comes from erroneous teaching, and/or an erroneous belief system. In other words, they have not been properly taught a Biblical world-view, or they have not properly studied and interpreted Scripture. Therefore, they view any and all suffering as a negative thing.
God has a purpose and a plan even in and through your suffering. Keep the faith! It will be worth it all in the end!
However, suffering from tragedy, pain, sorrow, or sickness is not always negative. Suffering trials, tribulations, and the storms of life are not always negative either. What do I mean by that? How can these things not be negative? They are not negative in the sense that God either ordains them or allows them. Therefore, suffering, tragedy, pain, sorrow, sickness, trials, tribulations, and the storms of life are not random occurrences, but specific tools and strategies that God uses for a redemptive purpose.
No doubt you have asked the question, “Why am I going through this?”. In this article, I will attempt to answer that question. In answering the question, “Why am I going through this?”, I will address several reasons for suffering. These reasons are from a Christian perspective. The list is not exhaustive. Some of the points will simply be listed, and others will be expounded upon. The goal is to encourage those who are currently experiencing some sort of tragedy, pain, sorrow, sickness, trial, or tribulation.
Why do Christians suffer? Christians suffer for a number of reasons. However, Christians do not suffer for no reason. In other words, God has a purpose. He is working out that purpose even in and through our suffering. Christians can suffer for a number of reasons.
First, it could be punishment for sin. A prime example would be David in 2 Samuel 12. In this chapter, the Prophet, Nathan, confronted David over his adulterous affair with Bathsheba that resulted in her becoming pregnant. David attempted to cover up his sin by having her husband killed in battle. Then, David married Bathsheba and thought no one would know. David forgot one thing. No one would know except God. He is all-knowing. You cannot hide anything from Him. God knew what David did. He sent Nathan to confront David over his sin. God confronting David over his sin was actually God being gracious to David and giving him an opportunity to repent. David did repent. However, due to his sin, “the sword would not depart from his house, evil would be raised up from within his own family, and the child would die”. Many of David’s tragedies can be traced back to this event. Sin causes suffering.
Secondly, it builds godly character. Paul stated this truth brilliantly. Listen to how he put it in Romans chapter five and verses three through five. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 ESV)
Thirdly, it changes your focus. According to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, trials teach us to see spiritual and eternal things. Therefore, we learn to endure in our suffering and trials, because we realize that our affliction is light and only lasts for a moment. Some might respond, “I have been in a trial for five years. How is that a moment, and how is that light?” The answer is simple. It is a moment compared to eternity. It is light compared to the weight of the glory of God that will rest on you once the trial is over. Trials teach you not to give up, and to understand that your inner man is growing and becoming stronger, and this, in turn, changes your focus. You learn to focus on the invisible things of God which are much more real than the natural things.
Fourthly, it tests your faith. Peter gave us the truth in his first letter. There, he wrote, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV) We should view the various trials we endure as good things. Why? Because they test our faith. In the process of testing our faith, our faith is strengthened and made much more valuable to us.
Fifthly, it allows you to receive sufficient grace! The Apostle Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians chapter twelve, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2Corinthians 12:9 ESV) This is an important point. Sufficient grace allowed Paul to operate in weakness and strength at the same time so that others would see the strength and glory of God upon his life. When he was really weak and hurting, God gave more grace so that he was strong enough to withstand the pain of the thorn or trail or trials that he was going through. Amid the physical pain, weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities that he endured, God gave him grace so that he and others would not focus on what he was going through, but instead, they would focus on the glory of God that surrounded him. So, it is with us. When we are suffering, God gives us grace, but not just any grace. He gives us sufficient grace! The more we suffer, the more we have to endure, the more grace we are given!
Lastly, God uses the suffering, tragedy, pain, sorrow, sickness, trials, tribulations, and the storms of life to bring people to Christ. Paul was willing to endure many things because he knew this truth. He clearly stated this truth to us in his second letter to Timothy where he wrote, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10 ESV) Paul faithfully endured the imprisonments, countless beatings, shipwrecks, danger of the sea, and the constant threats from those who were hunting him in the city and country. He suffered seasons without proper food, clothing, and money. He was even stoned! (2 Corinthians 11:23-29) Yet, he faithfully endured it all because he knew God would use these things to bring people to Christ. The same applies to you today. People are watching the way you handle suffering, tragedy, pain, sorrow, sickness, trials, tribulations, and storms of life. God will use it all to bring people to Christ.
I do not know the reason why you are going through your suffering, tragedy, pain, sorrow, sickness, trials, tribulations, or storms of life. However, I do know, that as a Christian, you are not going through it for no reason. God has a purpose and a plan even in and through your suffering. Keep the faith! It will be worth it all in the end!