Hello there Rosary lovers! In this post, we will reveal some Bible quotes on suffering. What does the Bible have to say about suffering?
The Bible is the most sensible Book in the world and seeks to give us REALITY. To grasp human experience, it is necessary to LIVE human experience. And a massive part of human experience is suffering and pain.
The Bible talks a lot about suffering, and can therefore help prepare us for sufferings.
Let us look at some key verses from the Bible on suffering.
If we are God’s children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, on the condition that we suffer with him, so that we may also be glorified with him.
This passage of Scripture from the Apostle Paul teaches us how necessary suffering is in the lives of followers of Jesus. Notice that: ‘on the condition that we suffer with him’. We cannot become joint heirs with Christ, we cannot be glorified with him if we don’t suffer with him.
Jesus suffered for us, his way to resurrection and glory was the way of the Cross. It was the way of suffering, persecution, mockery, pain and death. He was ‘a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.’
Suffering is a great sign that God loves you and is seeking to perfect you and bring you to heaven and glory.
Don’t fight sufferings so much that you miss out on what God is trying to do. Suffering is NECESSARY for us. It is always wise to submit to God’s will if we cannot obviously free ourselves from suffering.
That I may know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings. I want to be conformed to Christ’s death, so that by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
In this well-known passage, the Apostle Paul tells us that he wishes to know Christ above all things. Knowing Jesus is the foremost thing in life; it is really all that truly matters.
But to know Jesus, it is necessary for us to partake in the fellowship of his sufferings. If we wish to know the power of his resurrection, we need also to know the fellowship of his sufferings. We need to be willing to suffer with him, and to submit ourselves to the divine will if we suffer.
In this passage, Paul goes on to say that he has not already been perfected, but that he presses on to be perfected. But it is clear from this passage that he has come a very long way.
If we look at the lives of some of the greatest saints in history, they all cherished suffering. You can read about this here.
The saints eventually come to the point where they realise that if they truly want to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection, they need to be willing to suffer.
When they had preached the Good News to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into God’s Kingdom.
‘Through many afflictions we must enter into God’s kingdom’. So Christians are not yet fully in God’s kingdom, because that comes when we get to heaven.
But to get to heaven, we must get there ‘through many afflictions’. Through sufferings and trials.
None of it is pleasant at the time, but it is necessary to enter heaven.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn your statutes.
The Psalmist comes to see his sufferings as a good thing. ‘It is good that I have suffered’.
Why? Because it has helped him learn God’s commandments. It has helped him learn obedience and grow in perfection.
God often permits sufferings to enter our lives when we disobey him. He does this to chastise us into obedience.
He also permits sufferings often to preserve us in holiness. He did this to the Apostle Paul. God permitted Paul to experience a ‘thorn in the flesh’ to keep him from falling into the sin of pride.
Any sufferings that bring us back to Christ or keep us clinging to Christ are well worth it in the long run.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake [i.e., the Church], and fill up on my part in my flesh that which is lacking of the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his Body, which is the Church.
This is a staggering verse, and might confuse us at first glance. It seems Paul is saying that there is a lack in Christ’s sufferings that Paul believes he can somehow ‘fill up’.
But Paul does not literally mean this. He is using exaggerated language, to make his point. Or he is speaking figuratively.
There is no real lack in the sufferings of Christ, but Paul is saying that he wishes to embrace the full measure of those sufferings appointed for him, so that Christ’s sufferings can bring as much grace as possible to the whole Church.
The theology here is found most explicitly in Catholic theology. I am not aware of any other Christian community in the world which so explicitly follows this theology.
It goes like this: Paul believes that by his sufferings, by his participation in the sufferings of Jesus, his sufferings can – somehow – truly benefit the Church and Christians.
Catholic theology teaches that when we suffer, we should offer our sufferings on behalf of the Church, or on behalf of others who suffer, or on behalf of the holy souls in purgatory.
We are all one Body, and when any of us suffers, we each have the chance to gain tremendous grace through our sufferings. God can use that grace to benefit others, mysteriously.
This all comes to us ultimately through the sufferings of Jesus for us all.
So, we are able to truly HELP others simply by submitting to our sufferings, and offering them up to God on behalf of others, in union with Christ’s sacrifice.
So we see here the COSMIC significance of our sufferings. Suffering is never in vain, unless we choose to waste it.
We can do IMMENSE good for others through our sufferings. Our sufferings, like Christ’s, have redemptive value.
1 Peter 4:1-2
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind. For those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin, that we no longer should live the rest of our time in the flesh following the lusts of mankind, but for the will of God.
Christ suffered for us in his body, so we need to be prepared for the same. When we become Christians, we need to be aware that suffering will likely be a normal part of our lives.
This is because when we convert to Christ, the goal of our lives becomes HOLINESS. We seek to become saints, and to become holy.
Suffering is a crucial thing God uses in our lives to make us holy. Suffering helps us submit to the will of God, which is all we really need to follow in life.
Suffering has a cleansing effect, cleansing us from sin and lusts that are common amongst those who don’t suffer much in this world.
There are plenty of other Bible quotes on suffering, but I offer these simply as an introduction to the theme of suffering in the Bible.
God bless you