Joyful In Suffering?

Yesterday, I visited the Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance, and I read WHO SUFFERS FOR WHOM?

crossHave you suffered? Have you seen others suffer and wondered why? Everyone knows how the world persecuted the early Christian church, and the world began to so shortly after the apostles began to preach. In Acts 5:17-42, Luke tells us how Jerusalem’s High Priest, all the High Priest’s companions, and members of the local party of the Sadducees became extremely jealous of the apostles. So they had the apostles arrested and whipped. What’s astounding is how the apostles reacted.

Acts 5:41-42 Good News Translation (GNT)

41 As the apostles left the Council, they were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Jesus. 42 And every day in the Temple and in people’s homes they continued to teach and preach the Good News about Jesus the Messiah.

(continued here)

Why would the apostles choose to suffer and do so with joy? Why did they not hate Jesus for bringing such pain upon them? What does the Bible say? What did they and the people who wrote the Bible give as their reason? How does Jesus explain the problem of pain? Why does evil exist?

Why Does Evil Exist?

On October 5th, Robert R Barkman will start A 7-Part Bible Study Series, “The Existence Of Evil.” I listened to Barkman’s video series, Why Does Evil Exist?, and that was very good (Here is the pdf version). Barkman’s Biblical exposition makes it much easier to understand how God uses the suffering that results from evil to sanctify Christians. Therefore, I expect the Bible study version to be well worth taking the time to digest.

I could try to condense what Barkman has prepared, but I think the subject too difficult and important. We all need to listen to or read a Biblical presentation on the nature of evil such as that Barkman has prepared.

What is Suffering?

Last Sunday, my pastor preached from the Book of Lamentations, reminding me of this chilling, yet strangely hopeful book.  In Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah weeps over the grizzly destruction of Jerusalem.  Imagine living through what the prophet describes.

Lamentations 2:17-22 Good News Translation (GNT)

17 The Lord has finally done what he threatened to do:
He has destroyed us without mercy, as he warned us long ago.
He gave our enemies victory, gave them joy at our downfall.

18 O Jerusalem, let your very walls cry out to the Lord!
Let your tears flow like rivers night and day;
Wear yourself out with weeping and grief

19 All through the night get up again and again to cry out to the Lord;
Pour out your heart and beg him for mercy on your children—
Children starving to death on every street corner!

20 Look, O Lord! Why are you punishing us like this?
Women are eating the bodies of the children they loved!
Priests and prophets are being killed in the Temple itself

21 Young and old alike lie dead in the streets,
Young men and women, killed by enemy swords.
You slaughtered them without mercy on the day of your anger.

22 You invited my enemies to hold a carnival of terror all around me,
And no one could escape on that day of your anger.
They murdered my children, whom I had raised and loved

Because it was drawn out, and the people of Jerusalem were starved as well as brutalized, Jeremiah said the people of Jerusalem suffered more than the peoples of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19).  Nonetheless, in the middle of Lamentations, Jeremiah includes these lines.

Lamentations 3:22-30 Good News Translation (GNT)

22 The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue,
23     Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.
24     The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.

25 The Lord is good to everyone who trusts in him,
26     So it is best for us to wait in patience—to wait for him to save us—
27     And it is best to learn this patience in our youth.

28 When we suffer, we should sit alone in silent patience;
29     We should bow in submission, for there may still be hope.
30     Though beaten and insulted, we should accept it all.

Imagine. Put yourself where Jeremiah stood. Could you admit that you and the people of Jerusalem deserved God’s wrath? Could you accept the fact God’s wrath has a merciful purpose?

Our Choice

We don’t usually think of choosing what we suffer. Nonetheless, we do have choices both in what we suffer and why we suffer. Consider the words of the Apostle Peter.

1 Peter 3:13-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

Peter spoke as one who knew his end, crucifixion (John 21:18-22). Therefore, when he wrote of choosing to suffer for doing what is right, he spoke as one practicing what he preached.

What is the alternative? The Book of Lamentations tells us of that. When God wants us to reform, He helps us understand the evil we do by letting us experience the outcome of our deeds.  Therefore, when the people of Jerusalem insisted upon doing evil, God allowed an evil nation to take them captive.


  1. The verses you covered are very well explained Tom. I really appreciate your application to sinful nations facing harm do to their sinful stance. By God’s grace alone… may our country escape the painful intervention of the Lord. This will only be done through repentance and a turning back to Him and His Word. Thanks for the mention of my upcoming series. It is much appreciated.

    Lord bless you.


Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

In My Father's House

"...that where I am you may be also." Jn.14:3

Mental health 360°

Raising awareness through personal and professional experiences

The Curmudgeon

Not afraid to offend

Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach

Christian Outreach Ministry to those Incarcerated, with Addictions and our Military

Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts

“God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”


Life through the eyes of "cookie"

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. We are the masters of our own disasters.


Supplying the Light of Love

The Recovering Legalist

Living a Life of Grace

Write Side of the Road

writing my way through motherhood

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.


Finding Clear and Simple Faith


Author Alexander Hellene - Pulp with Style

John Branyan

the funny thing about the truth

Because The Bible Wasn't Written In English

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine


Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren


“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few" Luke 10:2

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Luis C. Almeida, Ph. D.

College Professor


Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.


The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

quotes and notes and opinions

from a Biblical perspective




The view from the Anglosphere

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.


My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

%d bloggers like this: