Just six months after I got saved, I lost my job.
Losing a job is hard for anyone, but for me, it was an absolute catastrophe because I had a small child, was not married, got no financial support from my child’s father, and had no one who could help.
It was a time of immense suffering.
I was stressed my car would be taken away from me, and more importantly, that I would not be able to feed my child and myself nor keep a roof over our heads.
20 Years later, as I think about what I endured in that time, and being such a brand new believer to boot, I would not have it any other way. There was nothing that could have brought me to my knees in such earnestness, as my suffering did in those days.
That period of my life formed the basis of my walk with the Lord, because it made me depend solely on God.
I know I am not the only one who has experienced such misery. I know you have gone through your own suffering too. Perhaps you are going through something as you read this.
Suffering is not a joyful subject, but it’s an important one, and one of the greatest tools used by God to mold us into who He wants us to be; the very best version of ourselves.
The causes of suffering
But how does suffering come about?
Suffering is permitted by God, and sometimes even caused by God, and oftentimes, is delivered by the hand of Satan.
What you need to understand though, is that God sends suffering out of love, but Satan delivers suffering with malice.
Suffering comes about from:
- Curses or generational sin
- The consequence of our own sin
- The loving discipline or test of God
- Attack from Satan
But the good news is that when you are a child of God, suffering comes with huge benefits.
The Bible says in Romans 5:3, that we “glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
Suffering caused from curses or generational sin
When suffering happens due to a curse placed on you or your family from an external source, or a curse from God due to generational sin, it has to be dealt with.
Getting saved is not enough to break a curse.
But do understand that a curse does not mean you are not saved; it simply means that there is an open door in your life in which Satan can act. It is this door that needs to be shut by repentance, so that the curse can be broken and you can thrive in life. Thriving in life is what God wants for you.
Numbers 14:18 says, “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
An article by Minister Glen Johnson explains family strongholds and how to break them. You may also be interested in the Bible verses which show why generational sin impacts your life, even if you were not the one who caused the curse.
This is a very important scripture: Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. [James 5:16]
To back that up, Daniel (in Daniel 9), a great man of God, and although he was not responsible for the nation’s wickedness, repented to God on behalf of his people.
While you are not responsible for generational sin, a curse rests on many families and simply needs to be confessed, so that healing will come.
The many facets of suffering
Now, suffering is a difficult topic because it comes in so many forms and sometimes we will never understand why…
Let’s take for instance, the suffering of a mother through the death of her child.
We can’t say that God took her child to make her suffer, because there are things that we do not know and never will. So we have to be careful about how we think about our suffering and the suffering of others.
What we can say for sure though, is that for children of God, our suffering will always be used for our good. And we know that because the Bible says so in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God…”
The merits of misery
So now, how does misery benefit us?
While we can’t be sure about why God allows suffering, we can be sure He will use it for our good, and here are some of the reasons why suffering is allowed:
>> Builds character. People who have not suffered tend to be quite shallow; lacking in depth.
>> Brings humility.
>> Makes us stronger.
>> Brings repentance.
>> Takes our eyes and flesh off earthly desires to focus on spiritual treasures.
>> Builds trust in God.
>> Brings us closer to God.
>> Molds us so that we are more like Him; it brings righteousness.
>> Suffering allows for joy. Without suffering, we would not know joy.
Suffering brings depth into our spiritual walk, like the anointing of God on our lives.
Even Jesus suffered. It was hard for him to know how he was going to die, so much so that he wept blood when talking to God before they came to arrest Him.
First He asked God to remove his suffering, and then He said, “Not my will, but yours be done.” [Mark 14:36]
It’s in the yielding, it’s in the laying down of our lives, that the Holy Spirit can then empower us to do the will of God.