For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. John 3:16
We have all suffered to one degree or another. It might happen on the commute home from work. Wham! A guy sideswipes you on the freeway and your car tips and starts flipping. Three kinds of suffering begin to unfold – for the driver of the car that hit you, for you, and for the witness.
The guy who hit you will experience consequential suffering from his DUI; this will diminish his character and pollute his ability to lead. You did not see him coming so you experience accidental suffering, this garners sympathy, and the process of physical therapy and rehabilitation garners admiration and inspires. And then there’s Noble suffering, the witness who saw the accident, noticed flames and stopped to pull you out. His suffering stands apart from the first two, catapulting his status because of the cost he paid. He made an honorable choice and suffered for someone else.
The last kind of suffering can also make a generation great. George Washington made such a sacrifice along with his men who he honored for their terrible suffering to save this country. These guys blew Washington’s mind. Suffering showed their true character which turned out to be shockingly noble. These men could have shown mutiny or wilted under the conditions. This was different; the pain they suffered put one of History’s greatest men in a state of amazement.
The turning hour in life is when we accept suffering for something greater than ourselves. Our willingness to become vulnerable and taking on risk for others is what Jesus did for all of mankind. Now… we can understand the question of why did God make good people suffer. Suffering is needed to build the character that our Father wants to build in each of us.
Father God, you sent your son, who said “I and the Father are one”. You suffered for me.