Heb 5:7-9 - In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. NASU
They have this view of God that He is sitting up in Heaven watching every move that His creation is making down here on earth and when they commit a sin He deals out retribution or punishment upon them.
If you really think about this view of suffering God would not be doing anything except punishing His creation because we all sin and fall short of His glory everyday.
There are some who also judge your degree of suffering. If you have a little financial set back then your sin wasn't that great and God is trying to get you back on the straight and narrow.
However, if you are suffering to a great degree or something has happened to one of your young children then your sin must have been a horrible one as can be seen in this next scripture text:
John 9:1-3 - As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents;…"
Did you read what Jesus said, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents;…"
But you can see the disciples believed that this man's blindness was caused by someone's sins. What they wanted to know was this man being punished with blindness because of his sins or his parent's sins.
Jesus answers their question with these words, "It was neither…"
If you have ever read the book of Job then you realize this was the exact view that Job's friends all believed. Job was suffering because of some sin he had committed and if he would confess it then his sufferings would go away.
Although, this is a popular view by many I believe it to be incorrect many times.
It was not correct in Job's situation and it certainly isn't correct in our scripture text this morning.
Another scripture to help us understand this verse is found in Philippians 2:8 -Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
As a man Jesus was going to learn how to die on the cross. He was going to experience death as a man. He could never experience death as God because God can't die. God is life. We must always remember that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God, this is known as the "hypostatic union".
One of the best things we can do when we are suffering in any way is ask ourselves this question: What can I learn from my sufferings? Do not allow yourself to get caught up into the negative cycle of asking yourself, "Why am I suffering?" How would you ever really know with 100% certainty if God didn't inform you?
The purpose in my mind for suffering is to teach us some things we could never learn without them.
I have spoken with many who have gone through some very severe trials. They would never wish them on anyone, but I have had them tell me that what they went through taught them some very valuable lessons that they could have never learned any other way.
The best way to deal with sufferings of any kind in my mind is to ask yourself the question, "What can I learn from this situation?"
The next time you find yourself in a suffering situation tell yourself over and over again "Let the learning begin."
Think on These:
We may not know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future.
A person who looks up to God will not look down on people.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.