Sickness, Pain and Godly Character

Many people do not realize that God not only inflicted sickness on people who were sinners in the past, but He also uses sickness and pain to build righteous character in those He is calling and working with today.

Consider Job, Daniel, Jonah, Elijah and others who suffered and endured in the past for our example (James 5:10-11).  Paul and Timothy were sick to the point of death (2 Cor. 1:8-9).  God was teaching them that they should not trust in themselves but in God, who raises the dead.  Paul said God comforted them in their affliction to give them experience so they could comfort others who would be going through the same afflictions (1 Peter 4:12).  Paul called it "the sufferings of Christ" and he had them in abundance (2 Cor. 1:5).

The fiery ordeal that disciples of Jesus Christ go through at times can, and often does, include sickness (1 Peter 4:12).  Notice, these are called the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13).

Did Jesus Christ suffer?  You bet, He did!  Jesus was a man of sorrows.  He suffered.  He had grief. Isaiah 53:2 and Luke 4:23 show that He was sickly and had a lot of pain.

Anyone who does the Will of God will suffer, for through much suffering you must enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22).  You are suffering according to the Will of God (1 Peter 4:19).  Anyone who lives as God lives will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).  You are only going to have to suffer a little, however, according to 2 Tim 3:12.

Yes, our suffering has a purpose.  We learn obedience to God through suffering and we will be made perfect, like Christ, when we suffer as Christ did (Heb. 5:8-9).  We are perfected through suffering and we will be glorified with Christ if, indeed, we suffer with Him (Heb. 2:10; Rom. 8:17-18).