Just as God allows various gifts to the Body of Christ, so does He allow various kinds of suffering for the sake of the Body. To some, it might be persecution or imprisonment, to others sexual abuse, to others the death of a child, to others a stroke or cancer or heart attack, still others might have ongoing painful health or family issues, etc., etc., etc.
Suffering is a part of life. Its author is not God, rather it exists because sin exists. Jesus didn’t come to fix the dynamics of the sin-filled world and make it better. He came to bring us up and out of it. He left us in it but came to make us not of it.
He is “God with us”. He came to walk with us through the thick of our humanity and its sufferings, to identify with us in them, and to teach us to look to Him in them. Sometimes, He healed, yes, and we shouldn’t be afraid of searching Him out for that, but His healings certainly didn’t remove all suffering from the planet and mankind. No, it’s society’s lie that tells us we shouldn’t have to suffer. Society’s lie that we shouldn’t have to be victims. It’s especially an American lie.
Jesus is still wanting to walk through the sufferings of our humanity with us. But WE are His physical Body now. He’s still identifying with us, but through His Body, which is His people. If you’re a true Believer, then you’re His Body. And so if you have suffering and difficulty in your life it’s so that HE can, through you, identify with others going through similar struggles.
What does that say about how I should look at the things I’ve suffered in my life? Both now and in the past? Gives a whole new perspective and purpose, and even hope.
That doesn’t mean I have to like it. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle through it. That doesn’t mean I don’t hate being a victim. It doesn’t mean there’s not trauma and hard stuff to sort through in order to come to peace; things to learn about God, myself, and suffering in itself. It takes a long time to learn, and we may never have all our questions answered, but if we’re at least willing to go through that sorting out process with Him, difficult though it may be, then we’ll have a goldmine of wisdom for God to use in others lives. For us to be as Christ to others.
In this life, people sometimes go through horrible, traumatic things. It’s not an easy thing to suffer, granted. It’s not an easy thing to see others suffer, children especially. And we don’t always immediately see or understand the whys. But God will show His glory, and will make us overcomers in our sufferings (even children), and He will eventually use us in helping others as they face similar struggles. It’s a sure thing IF we’ll allow Him to cleanse us of our “victim” mentality, and let Him teach us how to walk above our sufferings. With Him.