Why do God’s people suffer while the wicked seem to prosper?
One of the most difficult things to understand in our walk with Christ is why it appears so often that we are losing battles or even worse, that God is losing battles. When the people of God are faithful, but still seem to lose, it is very difficult to understand. This was a question Job posed to the Lord, “Why do the wicked continue to prosper?” (Job 21:7). Of course, he asks this as he is suffering in torturous ways after being so faithful to God.
It is not that God wants any of His people to suffer, and it is not His will that we suffer. Yet, He knows our suffering is necessary for our maturity and His glory. For God to reveal to us the full measure of His power to overcome the enemy, He has to allow the power of the Enemy to be seen. If God never allowed the enemy to do anything, we would become spoiled and neglectful of the power of God at work within our life. If we never had a problem, we would not see the lengths God will go to deliver us. Suffering also gives us the opportunity to be used for His glory.
God’s glory is seen brightest in the darkest moments.
Jesus loved the world from the beginning and He loved the world the same during His three years of ministry. But His love was most evident in the face of crowds shouting ‘Crucify Him.’ (Luke 23:21). To hang on a cross unjustly and forgive those who were responsible reveals to a much greater level the grace and love of Jesus Christ. And the same is true for us. When we face the most difficult situations, but maintain our joy, our hope, our love, it is a revelation for others the power of God at work within us.
I know some may say that it would be better if God simply kept all believers from trouble and hardship all the time. As wonderful as that sounds, it would be a disaster for our souls. We would respond to God like some kind of genie or sugar daddy. We would not love Him. We would take Him for granted. He desires our love, not our demands.
Someone might say that if all believers never suffered, everyone would want to be a believer and that would be great. But again, this idea misses the main point of God creating us-love. He loves us and wants to be in a loving relationship with us. If people claimed Christ as their Lord to avoid suffering, would their motives by pure? No, they would be using God. Suffering must be present in our life.
God is always preparing us for greater things
But the Good News is that the Lord knows us even better than we know ourselves. He knows how much suffering we need to push to the next level of faith without so much suffering that our spirit gives up. It is not that we don’t at times feel like giving up. In fact, those moments when we want to give up are when we are at the very limit of our faith and if we can push through in that moment and dig deep into our soul to find faith, our faith will increase. Faith is the conduit of God’s goodness in our life. To increase our faith is to increase our capacity for God’s goodness.
But the really good news is that God allows these moments of defeat only for a time before He arrives and delivers those who have stayed true to Him. There does come a day when we see His plan, when we see how He used our suffering to prepare us for greater things. No matter where we are, soon, His righteousness and power will be made evident in our rescue as long as we hold near to Him. And it is when we come out on the other side and see He was with us the whole time preparing us for glory that we fall in love with Him even more. And this brings us to the Verse of the Day:
9 My soul yearns for you in the night;
in the morning my spirit longs for you.
Those who wait on the Lord will increase their strength (Isaiah 40:31)
The prophet wrote these words after a great time of suffering followed by the deliverance and restoration of the Lord. But we don’t want to be a people who ‘need’ to see victory to give Him praise. The Lord’s desire is that we would be so certain in our faith that our suffering will last only a while, but He will surely appear on our behalf. When we can have this faith, He is glorified even more from our confidence in Him that keeps our heart joyful and peaceful even in times of great strife.
Praise Him in the victory, but also praise Him waiting for the victory for He will surely appear.
3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge him.
As surely as the sun rises,
he will appear;
he will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth. ”
Have there been times in your life where you have reached the end of your rope, but mustered up more faith and then seen the glory of God in your life? Leave a comment to be a blessing for others.
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Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.