The difference between Suffering and Challenges
This Article follows Waiting on Gods Timing
There are so many circumstances and situations in which we suffer or are challenged however they are not the same. In some cases we may need to really press into God to know if it’s just a tough challenge or actual unjust suffering. Sometimes it’s a combo of both, but there are distinctive factors that will let you know one from the other.
What is suffering?
Suffering is when we lack the basic needs for the existence God has called us to. Suffering in in Justice because it is cruel and wrong and no the will of God.
All suffering is caused by Sin and the Effects of Sin NOT God.
The effects of sin are soul wounds, All types of curses, natural repercussions and demonic torment (which only has the power to affect us when we are marked by sin.)
What are Challenges?
When we undergo circumstances that may be difficult or even painful but they are not by their nature destructive. They are circumstances that strengthen us by trying us.
Challenges can be brought about by God’s guidance (the more so when we are actively participating with God) or simply as the result of circumstances or actions we take.
ALL sickness, disease and bodily injury is suffering. God’s desire is for us to be whole and healthy and eventually pass away peacefully in our sleep. Until Then God’s Will is for us to be healthy in every way. Free of Sickness, a healthy natural weight and with all our bodily systems in balance. Anything short of that is NOT of God’s heart and is from the Enemy. We must reject ANY Lie that contradicts that. See this article about God’s willingness to heal.
God does NOT delay healing. His heart is for us to be healed INSTANTLY. Jesus is the ultimate representation of God and Jesus healed instantly. There were times when Jesus told be people do something to participate in the healing but he NEVER told anyone to wait or that God desired to teach them something because of the healing.
There are cases when Jesus was not able to heal people. When we do not experience instant or fast healing it’s due to blocks NOT God’s will. I will address that in another post.
When God uses sickness
Even though God does not give us sickness because of his goodness God Desires to bless us through sickness. God will upgrade our character. God will bring us revelations. God will do any number of wonderful things through and despite an illness. God’s heart is to take every attack of the enemy and turn it for good.
When God’s Grace Delays Sickness
Now God still does not CREATE sickness. God’s desire is still for us to be healed and healthy but sometimes sickness just inevitably comes upon us because of soul wounds or sin BUT God in his goodness gives us enough grace so it doesn’t manifest before we can handle it.
I was in a couple accidents and I went though a time when I injured my back through overuse. Even though I should have experienced the effects of the injury earlier they didn’t manifest until many years latter in a season when I had the time and resources to deal with the issue on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. If the sickness manifested earlier I would have been utterly crushed. The effects of the injury might have manifested before I could handle it if I wasn’t in submission to God but I was in submission to God and I was able to access grace.
Even though God’s will would not have been for me to suffer the back injury at all he blessed me despite it and showed me during that time the choices that allowed me to experience the infirmity in the first place and be healed of wounds and sin that would allow more sickness into my body.
Growing in Strength
There are cases when we are challenged in our health and it is not suffering. When we are being pushed to the limit but the purpose is simply to force our body to become healthier and stronger it’s not suffering even though it may be painful. An example is when a person undergoes physical therapy or even a medical treatment to get better. (Not all medical treatments are good but each case must be considered individually.) Another example is when an athlete pushes themselves and becomes stronger, or when we fast for health or spiritual reasons. In short cases in which we experience any level of discomfort for the sake of walking into better health is not suffering but simply a challenge and yes God can be the source of it.
Wealth and Resources
Poverty is not only when one can’t afford food or shelter or safety or health or provide for our basic bodily needs. Poverty is also when we are unable to live in the sphere of influence God has called us to.
Say you are called to the stage in New York. God’s basic provision and not being in a state of abject poverty would look like being able to pay for 700-2000+ a month for descent shared living quarters and even more to eat and get around the city. While someone called to missionary work might be just fine with the basics of clothes, food, transportation and shelter and safety.
It’s very important to hear God clearly about your calling. Say someone wants to be famous because it would be cool but in reality they would be crushed by that kind of pressure and would not actually be happy even if they weren’t. BUT if you have a big dream it could very well be from God. There are people in high up places who are destroying the world and God’s heart is for people driven by love to be in positions of influence. So one must really get close to God and figure out what purpose he put in your heart.
God desires to provide for whatever he calls you to. Poverty is when we are bared from our future or our calling due to a lack of resources or connections and God does not create poverty. His desire is to give us provision and wealth.
When God withholds a Promise
There are cases when God withholds a promise because we are not ready to steward it. God’s goodness withholds something that would actually be a curse until the person is able to handle it.
Say a person has a promise of wealth from God, but the person has wounding in their soul that would make them greedy and idolize the Money if they received it before being healed. Say they idolize money or grew up in a family that was poor and taught the person money was a status symbol that you shouldn’t share with anyone. Maybe the person simply needs to be given small levels of increase so they can learn to handle the responsibility. So God in his goodness withholds that blessing until the person is healed and can steward the blessing properly. Otherwise the person might be financially ruined. This happens all the time with the lottery.
God is good and loving and he directs our paths. We are in training and God will only give us challenges that we can handle at the moment. When we work with him He sculpts our paths perfectly.
Read the Next post about God as our Life Coach
Read the Next post about God as our Life Coach