Updated: May 9
Why did my dad have to suffer so badly. It was a question I asked God when he was diagnosed with the first cancer in August of 2016. I needed answers, and I demanded them from God, especially when he was diagnosed with the second cancer just three months later, and six months after my mom's sudden death. Boy was our family going through a season of suffering, but we loved our dad. He was not only heartbroken after fifty years of relationship which suddenly ended by our mom's sudden death, but he was also afflicted to the highest level with sickness, yet his faith in God was unwavering. It never failed, neither did mine.
Growing up I remembered that my parents could not have afforded to buy the right foods because of longsuffering in their youth, yet my dad died after his five year fight with both stage four prostrate and stage four colon cancers, plus type two diabetes. All were as a result of poor eating habits that were beyond their control. I questioned God because my dad was an Apostle of the Gospel, and I grew up seeing him as a humble man, praying for everyone.
I grew up seeing him casting out demons out of people who were demonically oppressed, healed the sick, and even raised the dead to God be all the glory. He was always doing God's work. Why didn't He deliver my dad like my dad did other people all his life, even in his sickness. Yet he was still at Church right up to two weeks before he was hospitalized. How could he have suffered so horribly was my question to God?
His life was an example for others to follow including myself. My parents lives had bought glory to God both in life, and in death even in their sufferings, yet I never once heard them complain about their hardships, until God turned their situation around for good. They both lived and died for Jesus Christ.
It was when the Lord led me straight into the scriptures, that I discovered why we had to endure suffering. Romans 5:12 gave a perfect depiction. It says, "just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned". The sin of Adam opened the womb of suffering against mankind, as a result of the consequence of the decisions Adam made to disobey God's command.
Suffering is not just limited to any group of people or any one person. It is a universal dilemma, and we cannot escape it from our lives because we are living in a broken world due to Adams's decision to disobey God. We do however, have hope in Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul explained this is in his epistle to the Church in Rome. Romans 8:22 (The Message) says, "All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy."
When God created man, He had no intentions for man to suffer. It was never in his initial plans for humanity. His plan was to fellowship with man in the cool of the day. We can still have that fellowship with Him through Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3 says, "what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ".
The Bible speaks of different reasons why we suffer
You ask the question, “If God is so good, and if He loves me so much, then why am I suffering so much affliction? If God is omnipotent and all powerful, then why doesn’t He deliver me from this sickness, from this affliction now?” but 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 it says, "in our suffering, believers have hope because we know that suffering is brief, and our blessings in heaven are eternal". My mom and dad died both lived and died in longsuffering, but I have hope knowing that their blessings in heaven are eternal, and that's what truly matters".
⦁The sin of disobedience by Adam and Eve is the main cause of mankind's suffering. The Bible explains clearly that this world is ruled by an evil god, who most prefer to serve because their eyes are blinded by him to see the Truth of God's Word to see who they are truly serving. A dark evil demonic being who does evil to us. There are two different worlds that exist today, the Kingdom of Light, and the kingdom of darkness. Hell was never created for man, just as how God did not intend for us to suffer. It was created for satan and his demonic forces.
2 Corinthians 4:4 shows you who truly rules this cruel world. It reads, "satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News (Jesus came to bring the good news of salvation from the enemy). They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, Who is the exact likeness of God."
In this life, you still go through sufferings, get sick, mourn, and may even die in your sufferings. The Psalmist gave a clear depiction of why this happens in Psalms 51:5. It says, "behold (see), I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. "This world is a world of sadness, hardships and evil, and we are automatically born into sin because of the sin of Adam and Eve from the beginning against God.
What 2 Corinthians 4:4 really does, is to show you who really rules over this world (satan). This ruler is who inflicts many wounds upon your life. He has one mission and that is to dismantle, destroy and take as much people as he can with him. There is one important thing to note in all this. Satan is the master deceiver. He devises battle plans against you for one reason. John 16:11 says that satan is already sentenced and condemned. The ruler of this world (satan) only has one aim, and that is to destroy you. Death is powerless to you in Jesus Christ even in your sufferings and afflictions. The important thing is that God MUST be glorified in it all.
This means he was already judged by God immediately when he was thrown from heaven by God for his rebellion against God. The awesome thing is that you still have a chance to be redeemed of your sins, which is really spiritual death. Death outside of Jesus Christ, is a very dangerous pathway to trod. See, Jesus assured his people of this in Matthew 10:28, "Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Jesus Christ).
The good thing is that even in sufferings and afflictions, Jesus protects you, His remnants. Psalms 34:19 says, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but God will deliver us from them all. God always delivers you from your afflictions. He always makes a way of escape. See 1 Corinthians 10:13. The great news is you still have a chance to eternal life, even in a world of suffering because you have Jesus Christ who died on the cross for your sufferings, and to grant you peace even in your sufferings.
⦁Just like any good parent who knows how to grow a child, God wants what's best for you, and if you do not do what is in His will, He can also allow the enemy to inflict punishment upon you, just as you do when your children disobey you, to keep you in line, or to lead you on the paths of righteousness. Take a close look at Hebrews 12:7-13. It reads;
"You must submit to [correction for the purpose of] discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and without discipline, in which all [of God’s children share, then you are illegitimate children and not sons [at all]. Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose]. So then, strengthen hands that are weak and knees that tremble. Cut through and make smooth, straight paths for your feet [that are safe and go in the right direction], so that the leg which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather may be healed."
⦁Truthfully, sometimes God may be trying to get your attention, and He will allow satan to inflict sickness or afflictions upon you to get your attention. He is a jealous God, and He commanded that you SHALL NOT have any other God before Him. Whatever you put before Him, he will make low. Deuteronomy 32:39 says, "See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and I who give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from [the power of] My hand.
God clearly stepped out and identified His level of power and authority. He is the one who has the power in His hands to give instructions for afflictions, like He always did the children of Israel until He got fed up, and released His wrath of indignation upon them". He is a god of love, but He is also a God of wrath.
There are also generational curses that come through bloodlines which may come through open doors caused by the sins of another; and these curses if not prayed against and broken will even come down the next blood line. These are hereditary curses that are inherited through a bloodline, just as the consequences of the sin David committed by murdering his army captain, by sending him directly in the way of death, just to be with his wife opened a door for generational curse through His bloodline.
The consequences of his sin birthed generational curses that operated through the spirit of lust that birthed through David's actions. This same spirit came down the bloodline, and caused his eldest son Amnon to rape his half sister Tamar, and this same spirit also caused his son Solomon to take over a thousand wives as his own which was unbelievable. These are examples of generational curses that MUST be broken, and all things are made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
In Philippians 1:29, the Apostle Paul recognizes suffering as a privilege, and He chose to suffer with Jesus, and shared in His death just as I saw my parents did. It is a beautiful thing, but Jesus Himself was one hundred percent human as well as one hundred percent God, and He who knew no sin suffered greatly at Golgotha for it to be made possible for you and I to be healed, delivered, redeemed and set free from all sickness and afflictions today. He like any regular human did not want to go through the suffering, but He had to, for such a time as this for you, but He wasn't the regular human either because He was also one hundred percent God who came as flesh to endure suffering, so that we could endure.
In Matthew 26:39 it reads, "He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Jesus Himself wanted to bypass the suffering because He came to earth as flesh which was logical, so He had to catch up on how he felt, to say, however, I am feeling God, not my will Father, but let Your will be done through me.
⦁Suffering can build your faith so you can serve God wholeheartedly. God will also use your suffering as a testing to you to build and strengthen your character in Him. God said He tests those who live according to His will, and even those who don't (See Psalm 11:5). Peter declared in 1 Peter 5:10, “In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” .
Through suffering, God molds you into vessels of honour for His name and glory, whether in life or in death and this blesses others to overcome according Revelations 12:11. It says, ". And they overcame and conquered him satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death".
Joseph suffered because of his brothers wickedness and sins. Their evil heart plotted against him because of a vision he got and shared with them. Had he not spoken his vision or dream, then he would have hindered himself from walking into his purpose from the pit to the pendulum; and through sin the purpose of Joseph was birthed. When his brothers threw him into a hole, and Reuben his brother decided to sell him before they came to kill him as planned.
He did not realize then that it would have led him right into Egypt where his purpose came forth. Not before being sold as a slave into a house, where his bosses wife tried to rape him, and when he refused and ran away, she tried to kill him, and used his coat to send him to prison. He was sent to prison for trying to do what was right. We don't always have the answers right away, but later on they will be revealed to you just as Joseph's purpose was later revealed in Egypt.
Bad things do happen to good people that we can and may never be able to explain. Although Joseph’s brothers intended to kill him, God's good intentions were accomplished through Joseph's sufferings inflicted by his brothers, who later led him into His destiny, which saved the lives of many people according to Genesis 50:20. It can be very difficult for us to even see how God is at work in our hardships and our sufferings, but Isaiah 55:8-9 God tells you that your thoughts are not His thought, neither are your ways his ways so you may never get it.
Just rejoice always, in the pain and suffering you may be enduring being confident that it is only for a time. God is faithful to deliver you out of it. Romans 10:13 says, "anyone who calls on the name of Jesus SHALL BE SAVED". Call on Him, and once you have searched for Him with all your heart, you will find Him. Stand firm in your sufferings knowing that His grace is sufficient to take you through it, and remember God will establish and strengthen you as you come out victorious, knowing you already have the crown of life.
Father, I thank you for dying on the cross so that we could have hope in you even in our sufferings. I thank you that we can rest confidently knowing that if we endure, we will wear the crown of life. Help me to live in you knowing that there is life and healing in you and the power to overcome in Jesus name