Summary: Have you ever wondered, why do the righteous suffer? In various portions of Scripture we find that suffering is the result of Adam’s original sin which plunged the human race into misery. However, in this portion of Scripture Paul teaches us why it is n
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
One night while conducting an evangelistic meeting in the Salvation Army Citadel in Chicago, Booth Tucker preached on the sympathy of Jesus. After his message a man approached him and said, “If your wife had just died, like mine has, and your babies were crying for their mother, who would never come back, you wouldn’t be saying what you’re saying.” Tragically, a few days later, Tucker’s wife was killed in a train wreck. Her body was brought to Chicago and carried to the same Citadel for the funeral. After the service the bereaved preacher looked down into the silent face of his wife and then turned to those attending. “The other day a man told me I wouldn’t speak of the sympathy of Jesus if my wife had just died. If that man is here, I want to tell him that Christ is sufficient. My heart is broken, but it has a song put there by Jesus. I want that man to know that Jesus Christ speaks comfort to me today.” (Today in the Word, MBI, October, 1991, p. 10).
Have you ever wondered, why do the righteous suffer? In various portions of Scripture we find that suffering is the result of Adam’s original sin which plunged the human race into misery. However, in this portion of Scripture Paul teaches us why it is necessary for the Christian to pass through fiery trials. There are some sufferings that we endure simply because we are human and subject to pain; but there are other sufferings that come because we are God’s children and are serving Him. The Corinthians were exposed to testings, not because they were especially wicked, but because tribulation is the portion of all believers.
We must never think that trouble is an accident because for the believer, everything is a divine appointment. God has to work in us before He can work through us. In times of suffering, most of us are prone to think only of ourselves and to forget others. However, suffering can help us minister to others. In every church, there are mature saints of God who have suffered and because of it they are great encouragers. Paul experienced trouble, not as punishment for something he had done but as preparation for something he was yet going to do in ministering to others in need.
When have I, because of God’s comfort in a previous struggle, been able to comfort someone else in a similar situation? I need to look for opportunities!