Suffering isn’t always the result of sin. Sin always results in suffering, but sufferings isn’t always a result of sin.
We don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. So, we wonder if the people who are suffering are really good.
Then, we look at stories like Job. Job was suffering because he was faithful. Yet, suffering doesn’t always mean that someone was doing well either.
So, what can we know about suffering?
The truth is, we can’t know why someone is suffering. Not really. Our human side wants to know why those we love suffer. Yet, we can’t wrap our heads around the fact that only God in His sovereignty knows.
You see, we can’t know if their suffering is the result of sin- because we are not God. Since we don’t know all, we can’t say for sure that their suffering is because they sinned- even if the sin is evident.
We can’t say their suffering is because of faithfulness. Really, that isn’t our place either. Really, we don’t know. Faithfulness is an issue of the heart- and we can’t truly see someone’s faithfulness.
Yes, we can base both sin and faithfulness off of actions – but God doesn’t see like man sees. Man sees what is on the outside- yet God, only God, can see the heart.
As we read the book of Job, God allows us to see both sides. We know that Job’s suffering wasn’t because of sin – but because of faithfulness. Yet, that isn’t the case in the lives of those around us today.
With that in mind, what can we do for those who are suffering?
For starters, we just need to be compassionate. If we don’t know of sin in their life- we need to be careful to place sin there. We need to not be so quick to assume the worst in someone. If we do know that sin is there, we need to remember that we are but just one mistake away from being in the same place. We are not perfect – we are still sinners. There is no scale of sin. Sin separates us from God – and all sin needs to be confessed. So, unless sin is seen or confessed- we need to just love our brothers and sisters through their messes, knowing that God can turn their mess into a message and their test into a testimony.
We need to speak God’s Word. We are not the Holy Spirit. Yet, God will often show us a verses that we can share with a friend who is suffering. We can let the Holy Spirit of God move and convict in the lives of those we love. By simply sharing truth out of a heart of love, God can use us as an instrument to bring about repentance or change – but it isn’t our place to move when God hasn’t told us to.
We need to follow the movement of God and not the desire to “fix something” in our flesh.
I am reminded as I read Job that suffering doesn’t mean there is sin. Sin will bring about suffering- but just because someone we love is suffering doesn’t mean there is sin in their life. Remember we are not God , and we are not the Holy Spirit.
The best thing you can do is pray. Pray that if it is sin, that God will reveal it. Pray that God would use you as an example in their life. Pray that if you are to speak, that your words will be seasoned with grace and love, even when truth hurts.
Be sure to check out the rest of my series on Job:
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Good Morning Girls Leadership team:
Worshiping With My Life,