Oftentimes when we see people suffering, we assume they’ve committed some heinous misdemeanor in life to warrant the “punishment”. But i’d like to propose that suffering does not always necessarily qualify as “punishment”.
Simply because Billy Graham lives almost a century and is highly respected doesn’t mean Jesus Christ who didn’t get to 35 & lived a tumultuous, trial-ridden life is not His Lord and incomparable in great greatness. Remember the word says: it is for His mercies that we are not consumed.
God allows the sun to shine both on the righteous and the unrighteous. The fact that it’s raining on someone doesn’t mean they’re more or less in offense; it may simply reiterate the fact God has ordained seasons which will come & go throughout time with various people.
Kindly don’t misunderstand what i’m saying. There is no doubt suffering is unpleasant; it is painful, horrible, needless to say, frustrating, debilitating, possibly demeaning and in many cases unbelievably unbearable. Suffering not something to be desired. No one naturally gravitates towards pain or seeks after it. It can be tortuous and inexplicable to those not experiencing it… Etc. Nevertheless, it exists in our fallen world as a result of man, and many will experience its woes. My point simply is not to be quick to judge (we shouldn’t judge at all lest we be judged by the way). We shouldn’t presume offense always precedes suffering; because it may turn out that suffering is actually the precedent to elevation and blessing.
I think we’ll be surprised to find that people who suffered much for reasons unknown will have greater rewards, inheritances, glory & crowns in heaven than several whom we thought were better off for not going through as much persecution or trouble in life; just like Lazarus and the rich man’s story in the bible. Be careful how you treat those in persecution, for they may simply be qualifying for their greater level. They may actually be more of a divine threat to the kingdom of darkness and of incredible value to God; thus they are tried and troubled like Job since they aren’t complacent & powerless…therefore negligible.
Likewise be careful how you respond to persecution yourself so as not to unintentionally forfeit everlasting glory or the blessing which comes with being persecuted for righteousness’ sake as Christ said. The barely troubled church in America isn’t somehow better than the grossly persecuted church of the middle east or 3rd world countries. God simply shows mercy and in every circumstance, we must give thanks and remain humble not only to God to one another.