What Are Some Biblical Reasons For Suffering?
1. Because of sin in the beginning. (Garden of Eden) We humans, as well as creation, all suffer beginning with that choice that Adam and Eve made. The Bible says, 'Even creation groans'. We simply live in a fallen, imperfect world now where sin and evil and sickness and suffering exist everywhere. And just in case you want to say, 'Well, that's not fair that innocent people suffer for what someone else did!'; not one of us is any better than Adam or Eve. The Bible says that 'all have sinned' and 'we all fall short' and 'we all, like sheep, have gone astray' and 'each of us has turned to his own way' and 'there is none without sin not one'. We cannot say that we are any better and would not have done the same thing, or something similar.
2. Because of our own personal sin. (Jer. 38) (Heb. 12:5-6) (1 Corinthians 11:17-32) **This is more common then realized; the first thing you need to do when suffering comes upon you is CONFESS any sin, and ask the Lord to search your heart as David did...'Search me and try me and see if there be any wicked way in me'. Let God judge you (1 Cor. 11:31,32), do not try to judge yourself as you may plead innocence. Be open to anything He shows you. Do not be prideful. If you have been rude or unkind to another, confess it. Make it right. Apologize. If you are caught up in sexual sin, flee like Joseph did. If you are a slanderer, practice saying only kind things about others behind their backs. If you gossip, repent. Listen to the godly counsel of those who are more mature in the Lord or over you, and accept it. Do not be wise in your own eyes.
3. Because of sins of others/victimized. (Moses wandering in the desert) (Joseph in prison)
4. For Jesus sake (Christians) - when sharing gospel. (Matt. 5:11) (John 15:18)
5. To advance the gospel. (Paul's sufferings)
6. To make more fruitful. (John 15)
7. To remind us our sufficiency is in God. (2 Cor. 12:9)
8. To humble. (Proverbs 8:13) (2 Cor. 12:7)
9. That God will be exalted, for His glory. (John 9:3)
10. Unknown reasons. (Job) God never told Job - even though Satan and God knew.
**This list is certainly not exhaustive in any way; but a beginning.
We may never understand as long as we have breath on this earth why particular things happen, but ultimately it started with sin. It may be God testing us, it may be because of our own sin, it may be for the glory of God, it may be for someone else, it may be for our refining, or it may simply be because we live in an imperfect, fallen world now.
Once you have asked the Lord to search your heart, and have confessed and repented of anything you need to, don't get caught up in trying to figure out why you are suffering, but rather just purpose to praise Him, obey Him, and love Him in the midst of it. Life is all about a personal relationship with Him. Live for that purpose.
I have suffered much in my past, and still occasionally now, but I have learned that God is still a God of love and loves me more than I can imagine.
God is good! Praise be to God, the Ultimate Comforter... Jill Mary