In the specific sufferings of those who have chosen His way, we see God’s education of the individual for immortality. The first twelve verses of Hebrews chapter twelve deal with this subject and repay study.
“The LORD disciplines those He loves”
“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness and punishes everyone He accepts as a son.”
When we accept Christ, God becomes our Father caring for us and disciplining us, as is individually appropriate.
As children we are not sufficiently wise to know what is best for us, let alone for others, but the Bible helps us towards understanding by recording how some outstanding people came to view their own afflictions.
Earlier we quoted the example of the sufferings of righteous Job. He had been very self satisfied but when his trial was over, he declared his new insight:
“My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent…”
David was a man of great integrity, although there were times when he disobeyed God’s commands and suffered as a result. He wrote a long Psalm in praise of God’s law. In it he says
“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.” Psalm 119:67
The apostle Paul who did so much to establish Christianity, by preaching the gospel and writing a significant part of the New Testament, went through such terrible persecution that he thought he was going to die. Note his conclusion:
“This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God” 2 Corinthians 1:8-11
When a man or woman comes to rely on God completely they have reached the state of mind He wants.
After experiencing torture, imprisonment, danger and privation on many occasions (2 Corinthians 11:24-33) Paul wrote words of great comfort to his fellow believers in Christ,
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:18 and 28
In the Bible God has given us the reasons for human suffering and His requirements of those who want to enjoy life in the everlasting future when
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death,
or mourning, or crying or pain
for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4