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By Dr. Brian Campbell


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Lesson: #27 December/2011



Greetings in the Name of Christ!


This is the 27th lesson taken from my book entitled: "Godly Counsel." Today's topic is "Suffering."


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God Bless,



P.S.: Download a PDF version of this book chapter:

"Suffering" Chapter in PDF


Lesson 27




"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth

comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

(Romans 8:18)


Suffer: to feel pain or distress; sustain loss,

injury, harm, or punishment



Physical pain and suffering are part of the human existence. No one likes to suffer, and it is difficult to understand why an all loving God would allow his children to experience pain, sickness, illness, handicaps, incurable diseases, and death. However, God did not create the world this way. It was only through man's disobedience and rebellion that suffering and death entered into the world.


Do not blame God. Instead, in your suffering turn to the Lord for healing, comfort, and help in dealing with your pain and afflictions. Suffering is not always "bad" for us. Suffering can bring us closer to God and point us toward the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven-where there will be no more pain and suffering, and where we will spend eternity with God.




When God first created man, physical pain, suffering, and death did not exist; it was only after Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (after being tempted by Satan) that suffering and death entered into the world. Satan, not God, is the original cause of physical and emotional suffering.


Once established, physical pain and suffering have preoccupied man's attention throughout the ages. From the Old Testament onward, God's people have cried out to Him in pain and suffering.1,2




I am in pain and distress; may your salvation,

O God, protect me. (Psalm 69:29)1


Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint;

O LORD, heal me, for my bones

are in agony. (Psalm 6:2)2





On some occasions, God has directly answered their prayers and cries for help and at times miraculously healed them.3-7 During His ministry on earth, Jesus performed many miracles and healed people who were blind, crippled, ill, or diseased.8-11



Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

(Jeremiah 17:14)3

O LORD my God, I called to you for help

and you healed me.

(Psalm 30:2)4

For he will deliver the needy who cry out,

the afflicted who have no one to help.

(Psalm 72:12)5


The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore

him from his bed of illness.

(Psalm 41:3)6


For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him

but has listened to his cry for help.

(Psalm 22:24)7


When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus

all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.

(Luke 4:40)8


News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed him.

(Matthew 4:24)9


And the people tried to touch him,

because power was coming from him

and healing them all.

(Luke 6:19)10


The blind and the lame came to him at the temple,

and he healed them.

(Matthew 21:14)11





The same power and authority to heal physical illness was given to the original disciples of Christ.12 Later on, following Christ's death on the cross, people in the early church who were sick were instructed to call on the elders to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord, in order to receive physical healing.13


However, despite the fact that God is able to miraculously heal us from all our infirmities, He does not always do so. Jesus Christ Himself endured pain and suffering when He walked on this earth; God did not spare Him from the anguish of the cross.14,15


In fact, physical pain, suffering, and afflictions can turn out to be extremely important and beneficial to our spiritual growth.16 As we look back over our lives, we may even be glad that we suffered because of all the benefits we have reaped.17


He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

(Matthew 10:1)12


Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.

(James 5:14-15)13


He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.

(Isaiah 53:3)14


But he was pierced for our transgressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities...and by

his wounds we are healed.

(Isaiah 53:5)15


Surely it was for my benefit that I

suffered such anguish.

(Isaiah 38:17)16


Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,

for as many years as we have seen trouble.

(Psalm 90:15)17


It was good for me to be afflicted

so that I might learn your decrees.

(Psalm 119:71)18


Suffering helps us by encouraging us to turn to God's Word and His promises as contained in the Bible.18,19 Through suffering, we learn to trust and obey God even in the midst of our afflictions.20 If we turn to Him, we find that God often speaks most clearly to us during times of suffering.21

Suffering can help build important personality traits, such as perseverance, character, and hope.22 In our suffering and brokenness, as we turn our thoughts toward God's Word and toward heaven and eternity, our minds are renewed and we no longer focus on earthly pleasures and sinful ways.23,24


Through suffering, we develop a deeper perspective on life and we begin to understand that our "momentary" suffering here on earth does not compare to the eternal glory that awaits us in heaven.25



Look upon my suffering and deliver me,

for I have not forgotten your law.

(Psalm 119:153)19

Before I was afflicted I went astray,

but now I obey your word.

(Psalm 119:67)20


But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;

he speaks to them in their affliction.

(Job 36:15)21


We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that

suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

(Romans 5:3-4)22


Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude,

because he who has suffered in his

body is done with sin.

(1 Peter 4:1)23


As a result [of suffering] he does not live the rest of his earthlylife for evil human desires, but rather

for the will of God.

(1 Peter 4:2)24


I consider that our present sufferings are not worth

comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

(Romans 8:18)25


It is the backdrop of eternity that helps make our earthly pain and suffering tolerable.26-28

God does not promise us a "painless" or trouble free world; but He does promise us that He has overcome this world.29 When Christ returns, things will be radically changed. There will no longer be pain or suffering and God will wipe away our tears.30 It is difficult to imagine what God has prepared for us, but we know it is going to be beyond our wildest dreams or imagination.31,32 Praise be to God!33



The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised

in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in

power; it is sown a natural body,

it is raised a spiritual body.

(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)26


They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them,

and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

(Isaiah 35:10)27


And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,

firm and steadfast.

(1 Peter 5:10)28


In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!

I have overcome the world.

(John 16:33)29


He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

(Revelation 21:4)30


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.

(1 Corinthians 2:9)31


He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)32


To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

(1 Peter 5:11)33




God's Guidance


Some people mistakenly believe that all suffering is a result of sin. However, Jesus Himself dispelled this notion when He healed a man who was blind from birth. His disciples asked Jesus, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life." (John 9:1-3)


We do not always have an explanation for the pain and suffering that we experience in this world. If you or your loved ones are suffering, do not lose hope.34-36 Turn to God for help, comfort, and strength.37-45




Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from him.

(Psalm 62:5)34


Anyone who is among the living has hope.

(Ecclesiastes 9:4)35


Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed

within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

(Psalm 42:5)36


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are

being renewed day by day.

(2 Corinthians 4:16)37


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,

who daily bears our burdens.

(Psalm 68:19)38


Surely he took up our infirmities and

carried our sorrows.

(Isaiah 53:4)39


Sustain me according to your promise,

and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.

(Psalm 119:116)40


For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

(2 Corinthians 1:5)41


I, even I, am he who comforts you.

(Isaiah 51:12)42


Turn to God's Word for encouragement through the Scriptures.46,47 Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.48


Finally, as Christians, the act of helping others who are suffering is one of the most Christ-like things we can do.49-53



For the LORD comforts his people

and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

(Isaiah 49:13)43

He gives strength to the weary,

and increases the power of the weak.

(Isaiah 40:29)44

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,

and I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28)45


For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures

we might have hope.

(Romans 15:4)46


My soul is weary with sorrow;

strengthen me according to your word.

(Psalm 119:28)47


Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

(1 Peter 5:7)48


Love one another deeply, form the heart.

(1 Peter 1:22)49


Carry each other's burdens,

and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

(Galatians 6:2)50


Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.

(Romans 12:10)51


The only thing that counts is faith

expressing itself through love.

(Galatians 5:6)52


So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the

Law and the Prophets.

(Matthew 6:12)53