A. The devil causes much of man’s suffering:

(See Acts 10:38; Mat.15:22; Lk.8:29b; 2Tim.2:26.)

B. But it is God Who allows the devil to bring suffering:

Job 1:8-19 – [God allowed Satan to bring Job to ruin with fire, raiding bandits & a violent storm]
Job 2:3-7 – [God allowed the devil to afflict Job with boils]
(See also 1Cor.5:5; 1Tim.1:20.)

C. God is ultimately responsible for allowing suffering:

Exo.4:11 – Who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or blind? Have not I?
1Sam.2:6,7 – The Lord killeth, maketh alive, maketh poor…rich
Isa.45:7 – I make peace, & create evil; I the Lord do all these
Amos 3:6b – Be (calamity) in a city, & (hath not) the Lord done it?
(See also Deut.32:39; 2Chr.15:2b,5,6; Job 12:14-25; Psa.66:10-12a; Mic.1:12b.)


A. He has a loving reason for everything He does:

Rom.8:28 – All things work together for good to…the called
Gen.45:4-8 – Be not grieved…that ye sold me [as a slave]: for God did send me before you to preserve life
Gen.50:20 – Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good
Psa.119:71 – It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes
Jer.37:15,16; 38:28 – [Jeremiah spent a long time in prison, but was safe there when Jerusalem was destroyed Jer.39:11-14]
Jon.2:1-7a – [Jonah suffered in the fish's belly but it saved him from drowning & took him to land Jon.1:15,17; 2:10.]

B. Suffering is often God’s loving chastisement:

Pro.3:11,12 – Whom the Lord loveth He correcteth
Heb.12:5-12 – Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth
Rev.3:19 – As many as I love, I rebuke & chasten
(See also Deut.8:5; Job 5:17; 1Cor.11:32.)

C. God’s chastisements are righteous:

Neh.9:33 – Thou art just in all that is brought upon us
Psa.119:75 – I know that Thy judgments are right, & that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me
Psa.19:9b – The judgments of the Lord are true & righteous
Pro.26:2 – The curse causeless shall not come
Jer.17:10 – I the Lord search the heart…to give every man…according to the fruit of his doings
(See also Ezk.14:22,23; Heb.12:11.)

D. Our suffering is less than we deserve:

Ezra 9:13 – God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve
Psa.78:38,39 – Full of compassion…many a time turned He His anger
Psa.103:10-14 – He hath not dealt with us after our sins

E. Continue to trust Him, even though you don’t understand:

Pro.3:5 – Trust in Lord…lean not unto thine own understanding
Isa.55:8,9 – Neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord


A. Suffering has been a fact of life since the fall of man:

Gen.3:16-19 – [Suffering brought into the world by the fall of man]
Job 5:6,7 – Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward
(See also Job 14:1; Psa.90:10.)

B. We often bring on suffering by sin & disobedience:

Gen.42:21 – We are guilty…therefore is distress come upon us
Job 4:8 – They that plow iniquity & sow wickedness reap the same
Psa.31:9,10 – I am in trouble…grief…because of mine iniquity
Psa.38:1-8 – There is no soundness in my flesh…because of my sin
Psa.107:17 – Fools…because of their iniquities, are afflicted
Isa.66:4 – [Ignoring God & doing evil brings on mental anguish, fears & delusions]
Jer.5:25 – Your sins have withholden good things from you
(See also Jer.30:15; Lam.1:20.)

C. Because we’re disbelieving or disobeying God’s Word:

Deut.11:28 – A curse, if ye will not obey the commandments
Psa.78:32,33 – They believed not…their years He consumed in trouble
Psa.89:30-32 – If (they) forsake My law…visit transgression with rod
(See also Psa.107:11,12)


A. Sufferings & privations while serving God:

Acts 20:19 – Serving the Lord with many tears & temptations
1Cor.4:11 – We hunger, thirst, are naked, buffeted
2Cor.1:8 – [Paul's] trouble…pressed out of measure, above strength, despaired even of life
2Cor.11:23-30 – [Paul's many sufferings & troubles]
Phi.2:27a,30 – Sick nigh unto death, to supply your lack of service
(See also 2Cor.6:4-10)

B. Suffering caused by persecution:

Phi.1:29 – For unto you it is given…not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake
2Tim.3:12 – All that live godly in Jesus shall suffer persecution
2Tim.1:8 – Be not ashamed, but partaker of afflictions of gospel
Heb.11:25 – Choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God
Heb.11:35b-38 – [Saints tortured, cruelly mocked, scourged, imprisoned, slain, destitute, afflicted, tormented]
(See Rom.8:35-37; 1Pet.2:19-21; 3:16,17; Rev.2:10.)


A. Suffering causes you to seek His Word:

Deut.8:2,3 – That He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by (the) Word
Psa.94:12 – Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O Lord, & teachest him out of Thy law
Psa.119:71 – I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes

B. Suffering refines & purifies you:

Job 23:10 – When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold
Psa.66:10 – Thou, O God, hast proved us…tried us, as silver
Isa.48:10 – I have refined thee…in the furnace of affliction
Zech.13:9 – And I will…refine them as silver is refined
Heb.12:9-11 – Chastened…that we be partakers of His holiness
(See also Pro.17:3; Isa.1:25.)

C. It teaches you obedience:

Psa.119:67 – Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept Thy Word
Heb.5:8 – Yet learned He obedience by things which He suffered
(See also 2Cor.7:10a,11)

D. It causes you to bring forth more fruit:

Jn.15:2 – He (prunes) it, that it may bring forth more fruit

E. It humbles you:

Deut.8:2,16 – The Lord led thee in the wilderness, to humble thee
2Chr.33:12 – When he was in affliction, he humbled himself greatly
Lam.3:1,17-20 – Remembering mine affliction…my soul…is humbled

F. It teaches you patience:

Rom.5:3b – Tribulation worketh (teaches us) patience

G. It makes you wiser:

Eccl.7:2,3 – Sorrow is better…the living will lay it to heart

H. It gives you compassion & mercy on others:

2Cor.1:4 – That we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we are comforted
Heb.2:17 – [As with Jesus, it teaches you to be merciful]
Heb.2:18 – He Himself hath suffered…He is able to succour them
Heb.4:15 – Be touched with the feeling of [others'] infirmities

I. It draws you close to & makes you appreciate loved ones:

2Cor.7:4-7 – We were troubled on every side…nevertheless, God… comforted us by the coming of Titus


Lk.16:19-25 – [Lazarus the beggar rewarded & comforted]
Rom.8:18 – Sufferings of present time not worthy to be compared
2Cor.1:7 – As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation
2Cor.4:17 – Our light affliction…worketh for us a far more exceeding & eternal weight of glory
2Tim.2:12a – If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him
Rev.21:4 – Shall be no more death…sorrow…crying…pain


Heb.4:15 – [He] was in all points tempted (tested) like as we are
Heb.12:3 – Consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners…lest ye be wearied & faint in your minds

A. The reasons that Jesus suffered:

Isa.53:3 – He hath borne our griefs, & carried our sorrows
Isa.53:4,5 – He was wounded for our transgressions…& with His stripes we are healed (See also 1Pet.2:24)
Heb.2:9,10 – Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings
1Pet.3:18 – Suffered for sins, that He might bring us to God
(See also Heb.2:17,18; 4:15; 5:7,8.)

B. Follow His example of enduring suffering:

Rom.8:17b – If we suffer with Him…be glorified together
Phi.3:10 – That I may know the fellowship of His sufferings
1Pet.2:21 – Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example
1Pet.4:1 – As Christ hath suffered for us, arm yourselves


Job 13:15a – Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him
Phi.3:8 – I suffered loss of all things, that I may win Christ

A. Endure suffering patiently:

Jer.10:19 – Truly this is a grief, & I must bear it
Lam.3:24-26 – Lord is my portion…hope & quietly wait in Him
Rom.12:12a – Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation
2Tim.4:5 – Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions
Heb.12:7 – If ye endure…God dealeth with you as with sons
1Pet.4:19 – Let them that suffer…commit the keeping of their souls to Him (God) in well doing

B. Pray for strength to endure suffering:

Lk.18:1 – Men ought always to pray, & not to faint
Jam.5:13 – Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray

C. We should expect afflictions & trials:

Psa.34:19 – Many are the afflictions of the righteous
Acts 14:22 – Must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom
1Thes.3:3,4 – No man should be moved by these afflictions: for…we are appointed thereunto
1Pet.4:12 – Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial
(See also 1Cor.10:13; 1Pet.5:9.)

D. Stand strong, endure hardness:

Acts 20:23,24 – None of these things move me…that I might finish
2Tim.2:3 – Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier
Heb.11:25-27 – Choosing rather to suffer affliction…he endured
Jam.5:10,11 – Take the prophets, for an example of suffering affliction…we count them happy which endure

E. Be happy despite sufferings:

Jn.16:33b – Ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer
Rom.5:3 – We glory in tribulations…worketh patience
2Cor.7:4b – I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation
1Pet.4:13,16 – Rejoice..ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings

F. Don’t murmur against God:

Job 1:20-22 – Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Also 2:9,10)
Psa.17:3 – I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress
1Thes.5:18 – In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God

G. Remain faithful:

Psa.119:143 – Trouble & anguish…yet Thy commandments my delights


Exo.6:9 – [Despair:] They (Israelites) hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, & for cruel bondage
Ruth 1:20,21 – [Complaint:] for Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me
Job 2:7-9 – [Bitterness:] Then said (Job’s wife), Curse God, & die
Pro.24:10 – [Giving up:] If thou faint in the day of adversity
Jer.15:18 – [Questioning:] Wilt Thou be unto me as a liar?
(See also Pro.18:14; Lam.3:39.)


Exo.3:7 – I have seen the affliction of My people…heard their cry… I know their sorrows
Mat.5:4 – Blessed are they that mourn…they shall be comforted
Jn.14:18 – I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you
Rom.8:26 – The Spirit helpeth our infirmities
1Pet.5:10 – But God…after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you
(See also Psa.23:4; 37:24; 145:14.)


A. The Lord promises to deliver us from our suffering:

Psa.30:5 – Weeping may endure a night, joy cometh in the morning
Psa.34:19 – Many are the afflictions…but the Lord delivereth
Psa.103:9-14 – He will not always chide…He knoweth our frame
Lam.3:31,32 – Lord will not cast off for ever: though He cause grief
Isa.54:7,8 – For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but…mercy
(See also Exo.3:7,9,10; Deut.26:6-8; Psa.66:11,12; 94:12-14; 107:11-14; 118:17,18.)

B. Pray for deliverance:

Psa.34:6 – Lord heard him, & saved him out of all his troubles
Psa.34:17 – The righteous cry, & the Lord…delivereth them out
Psa.50:15 – Call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee
(See specific examples in Ezra 9:5-15; Isa.38:1-3.)

C. God’s conditions:

2Chr.6:27-30 – [Release from suffering if men repent & seek the Lord]
2Chr.7:13,14 – If My people…shall humble themselves, & pray, & turn from wicked ways; I will hear…forgive…heal
Job 33:27-29 – If any say, I have sinned…He will deliver his soul
Job 36:8-11 – If they obey & serve Him, they shall (have) prosperity
Jon.2:1-10 – [Jonah praised God in his trouble, & was delivered]


Job 6:14 – To him that is afflicted pity should be showed
Job 16:5 – I would strengthen you…asswage your grief
Isa.50:4 – Speak a word in season to him that is weary
Lk.10:30-37 – [The good Samaritan] Go, & do thou likewise
Rom.12:15b – Weep with them that weep
1Cor.12:25,26 – Whether one member suffer, all…suffer with it
Gal.6:2 – Bear ye one another’s burdens
Heb.13:3 – Remember them which suffer adversity
Jam.1:27 – Visit the fatherless & widows in their affliction
(See also Job 19:21; Mat.25:34-45; 1Tim.5:10.)


Or even of backslidden, disobedient Christians:

Deut.28:20 – The Lord shall send upon thee cursing…because of the wickedness of thy doings
Deut.28:15-67 – If thou wilt not hearken…these curses shall come…
Job 15:20a – The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days
Psa.32:10a – Many sorrows shall be to the wicked
Isa.42:24,25a – Neither were they obedient unto His law. Therefore He hath poured upon him the fury of His anger
Isa.57:20,21 – Wicked are like troubled sea…no peace to the wicked
Heb.2:15 – Who through fear of death were…subject to bondage
1Jn.4:18 – Fear hath torment
(See also Job 20:all; Eccl.2:22,23; Lam.3:42-47.)


A. Drug abuse, alcoholism etc.:

1Cor.3:17 – If any man defile (his body), him shall God destroy
Pro.23:29-35 – [Alcoholism brings on woe, sorrow, wounds]
(See also Pro.23:21; 31:4,5; Isa.5:11; 28:7.)

B. Overeating:

Num.11:19,20, 31-34 – [Hebrews gluttonously overate quails & as a result, the fattest of them" died See Psa.78:26-31]
Phi.3:19a – Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly
(See also Pro.23:1-3,21a)

C. Overdoing physically gets body’s resistance down:

Eccl.12:12b – Much study is a weariness of the flesh
Phi.2:27a,30 – He was (sick) nigh unto death, not regarding his life

D. Suffering because of sexual sins:

Rom.1:27 – [Sodomites]…receiving in themselves that recompense of their error [disease & infection]

E. Pollution by factories, pesticides, chemicals etc.:

Isa.24:5 – The earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof
Jer.2:7 – Ye defiled My land, & made (it) an abomination
Amos 7:17b – Thou shalt die in a polluted land
Mic.2:10b – Because it is polluted, it shall destroy you
Zeph.3:1 – Woe to her that is filthy & polluted, to the oppressing city
Rom.1:30,32a – Inventors of evil things…worthy of death
Rev.11:18b – [God will] destroy them which destroy the earth
(See also Gen.4:8,16,17; Isa.5:8; 14:21 – re: unnatural cities & industrialisation)

F. Greed & oppression cause wars, suffering & misery:

Josh.7:1-26 – [Achan's covetousness caused many Israelites to die]
Pro.15:27 – He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house
Nah.3:1 – Woe to the bloody city! it is full of lies & robbery
1Tim.6:9,10 – They that will be rich…drown in destruction…sorrows
Jam.4:1,2 – From whence come wars?…even of your lusts…ye kill
Jam.5:1-6 – Rich men…ye have condemned & killed the just
(See also Psa.73:3-20; Mic.6:12-15.)


A. Some do not repent despite suffering & affliction:

Isa.1:5 – Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt
Isa.42:25 – Yet he knew not…yet he laid it not to heart
Isa.57:17 – I smote him…he went on in the way of his heart
Jer.2:30a – In vain have I smitten…they received no correction
Jer.5:3 – Thou hast stricken them, but they…refused to return
Dan.9:13 – All this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer
(See also Neh.9:26-29; Isa.9:13; Amos 4:6.)

B. Suffering causes the truly wicked to curse God even more:

2Chr.28:22 – In time of his distress did he trespass yet more
Pro.29:1 – He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, & that without remedy
Isa.8:21 – When they shall be hungry, shall curse…their God
Rev.16:9-11 – Men scorched with heat, blasphemed God, repented not
(See also Lev.26:23,24)

C. It causes some to repent & seek God:

Deut.31:17 – Many evils & troubles shall befall them [to make them realise they've forsaken God]
2Chr.15:4 – When they in their trouble…sought Him, He was found
Psa.78:34 – When He slew them, then they sought Him: & returned
Isa.26:16 – Poured out prayer when Thy chastening was upon them
Jer.2:27b – They have turned the back…but in the time of trouble

D. It even turns some unsaved or disobedient to God:

2Chr.33:9-13 – [Manasseh's suffering in prison turned him to God]
Job 34:31,32 – I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more
Dan.4:30-37 – [King Nebuchadnezzar's abasement & salvation]
Lk.15:16-20 – [Suffering caused the prodigal son to repent]
Rev.11:13 – Earthquake (killed) 7,000…remnant gave glory to God
(See also Hos.2:6,7)

18. Suffering, Copyright © 1998-2012, The Family International