Suffering is an unfortunate part of this broken world. Creation is broken. Our bodies are broken. Why is there so much suffering? What do we do with it as followers of Jesus?
We are looking into some of the reasons suffering exists and also how to overcome it.
Here’s a major reason we suffer. Because of other people’s sin.
When sin entered the world, so did the desire to hurt and manipulate others. The first example of this is Cain killing his brother, Abel. Cain’s sin was rooted in jealousy and pride and people have been hurting one another ever since that murderous moment (Genesis 4).
We must be vigilant to recognize jealousy and pride in our own lives and kill them before they grow in power to hurt someone else.
Here is another of God’s weapons for handling the sins of others: forgiveness. Through the grace and mercy of Jesus, we were offered forgiveness for our sins. As God forgives us, we are now to forgive one another (Colossians 3:13).
We are not to seek vengeance (Romans 12:19), but rather forgiveness. In Luke 23:34, Jesus says, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This is the only way to be set free from those who hurt you.
When you forgive other people, it frees you up from being negatively affected by their sin. It frees you from bitterness. The age old saying, “Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the person who offended you to die” is so very true.
Kill jealousy and pride. Cain shows us it can lead to murder.
And when others hurt you, flee from bitterness. It will only hurt you.
Then you will never hurt others…and have helped alleviate suffering in this broken world.