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Human Suffering

Reading: Revelation 21


Suffering comes to the human race in a variety of forms. Physical sickness and pain, mental pressure, rejection, loneliness, war, famine, disease, persecution, natural disasters, poverty etc. No nation or class of people is exempt. Black and white, rich and poor, educated and ignorant, all suffer even though their problems vary.

Why is this? Why hasn't man, with his sophisticated knowledge and skill, been able to eradicate suffering? And what is Elohim doing to help? Does the Almighty understand what the human race is going through? Will suffering ever end? And when it is all over will we be able to look back and say: 'suffering did have its benefits and Elohim was just and right to allow it?' Let us briefly examine this important subject of human suffering.

1. Causes of Suffering

Suffering has many causes. People suffer:

For the sins of their ancestors

Exodus 20:5 "... for I YaHuWaH thy Elohim am a jealous Elohim, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me."

For their own sins

Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of YaHuWaH thy Elohim, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17: Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18: Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19: Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20: YaHuWaH shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken Me.

See also Psalm 89:30.

2. Suffering Comes to Everyone

No one is exempt from suffering. All the prophets, all the apostles, indeed all the church suffers in one form or another. Even the Messiah suffered.

The Sufferings of YAHUSHUA the Messiah

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

The Savior was called - a Man of Sorrows!

All Believers

1 Peter 5:10 But the YaHuWaH of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Messiah YAHUSHUA, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

3. Suffering has Benefits

Suffering has many benefits. Here are a few:

To Learn Spiritual Lessons

Deuteronomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which YaHuWaH thy Elohim led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep His commandments, or no.
3: And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of YaHuWaH doth man live.

To Glorify YaHuWaH

John 9:1 And as YAHUSHUA passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2: And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3: YAHUSHUA answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of YaHuWaH should be made manifest in him.

4. Right Attitudes in Suffering

How one reacts to suffering is extremely important. Do not waste time or effort trying to establish who - if anyone - is to blame. The real cause of human suffering is usually very difficult to establish. Concentrate on maintaining the correct attitude amidst suffering. And above all, do not abandon your faith in YaHuWaH if your suffering appears to be endless. If anything, suffering should draw the true believer closer to YaHuWaH. Is He not suffering inexpressible sorrow at this very moment as He views mankind's myriad miseries?

Bear Suffering Patiently
1 Peter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward YaHuWaH endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20: For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with YaHuWaH.

Commit your Soul to the One Who Created You

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of YaHuWaH commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Study Psalm 69

All sufferers should read the Psalms. There you will find numerous examples of how to react to suffering. One's reaction to suffering is important. Do not grow bitter as many do and blame others or even Elohim for not caring.

5. The Patriarch Job

Few men have suffered as much as Job did. He was a righteous man and served the Most High faithfully. Even YaHuWaH said that Job was perfect in all his ways.

Job:1:8 And YaHuWaH said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth Elohim, and escheweth evil?

The book of Job goes on to tell of how Job lost everything: the love of his wife, the lives of his ten children, all his possessions, his health and the respect of his community. Job's friends even thought that he was suffering because deep within his soul he must be a very wicked man. They were 100% wrong. Job was suffering, unbeknown even to himself, to prove to the universe that he wasn't serving YaHuWaH for material gain; but because he loved YaHuWaH. Satan had accused the Almighty of favoring Job; by trying to gain the patriarch's worship by bribing him with cattle, goods and material wealth. Of course Satan was totally wrong: but the naïve heavenly host of angels didn't know that. So YaHuWaH allowed Job to suffer the loss of virtually everything - including his health to prove that His servant's faithfulness was genuine and unselfish. And what was Job's reaction to his terrible suffering? He said this of the Almighty:

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him...

6. The End of Suffering

Suffering will come to an end one day; and that day is near. We are told in numerous Bible passages that suffering of every kind is scheduled to end. Yes, believe it or not, the day is coming when there will be no more suffering, sickness, pain, sorrow and death.

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth: for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from YaHuWaH out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3: And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of YaHuWaH is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and YaHuWaH Himself shall be with them, and be their Elohim.
4: And YaHuWaH shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5: And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.