Suffering for the right reasons.
Why do good people suffer?

Suffering is what no one prays for but they are part of life.

What do we do with the loss of a loved one? Loss of job, poverty, childlessness, fire incident, sickness, accidents, rejection, etc.

They are like a necessary evil.

  • What is suffering?
  • Where does suffering come from?
  • Is there any part of suffering that we can say is a blessing?
  • How is suffering a blessing?
  • Conclusion



Suffering is simply a difficult or unpleasant situation.

Many times, life does not turn out as we planned it to, with many ups and downs and things we never wished for.

A popular adage says we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Why prepare for the worst?

Because if we prepare for adversity or not, it happens and the author was charging us that we should prepare rather than be taken unawares.

When we face unpleasant situations, we say life has happened. An understanding of what suffering is and how to maximize the experience will ensure we do not get broken beyond measure and we do not get burnt in fire.



This is a million-dollar question as almost every human being on earth asks this question.

Why do bad things happen?

And especially, why do bad things happen to good people?

We reason that if we reap what we sow, then the bad guys should reap evil while the good guys should reap good things.

When these sad tales occur, we can’t help but question why good people go through adversities.

Why do bad things happen to good people, we ask again?

It is important we know that there is a difference between evil and suffering.

Though both may look alike they are not the same.

Though they have the same appearance, they are not the same.

We will also distinguish people not based on good and evil but based on kingdoms.

The difference between them is in the intention.

Evil intends to steal, kill, and destroy; suffering/adversity intends to purify. I used adversity here because I wanted to show you another face of suffering.

A look at the scripture shows us this in clear terms.

John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” NIV

The above is the vision statement of Jesus Christ and that of Satan lumped into a single scripture.

Situations may arise, and adversities may come our way, but what we should look out for is the reason they are there in the first place.

Remember this scripture in Genesis 50:20

20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” NIV

This is what Joseph told his brothers at their reunion.

One thing that helped Joseph forgive his brothers was that he believed a scripture that says

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose” NIV

Joseph knew that all things would work out for his good.

I told you we would distinguish people based on kingdoms because that is how God sees us.

He doesn’t see people as good and bad, he looks at the kingdom where we belong.

An unbeliever cannot be good even though he does good things. A believer cannot be bad even though he does bad things – this is a heavy statement that if we begin to explore it, we will digress from our topic of discussion.

I hope to write on this soon if the Lord permits me to, but I will let you know that a believer is not a sinner even though he sins.

For the people who belong to the kingdom of God’s dear son according to Colossians 1:13

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,” NIV.

If you belong to this kingdom, things would work differently for you even though we experience the same things.

A look at Romans 8:28, says that all things work for good for those who love the Lord, who has been called according to His purpose.

Things working for good are only for people who love the Lord not people whom the Lord loves.

Read the above again.

You see, there is a difference between those who love the Lord and those He loves.

In John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV

God loves the entire world but the entire world doesn’t love Him.

Both sinners and believers, God loves everyone.

Even when there was no believer in the world, God still loved us.

Just as when you reading this hasn’t come to God through Christ, God still loved you.

Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” NIV

God’s love is not dependent on what we have done, God just loves us. We didn’t do anything to merit His love, it is a gift He gives to mankind.

If you have not come to Christ because you do not believe God loves you because of the things you have done, he does love you whether you do good or bad.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God according to Romans 8:35

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” NIV

However, God loving us is the first level, there is another love which is when we reciprocate this love of God.

It is at this level where everything will work for your good, no matter what it is.

The question becomes, do you love God?

Loving God is not something we sing in songs or we tell Him in prayer. Neither of these things minister love to God.

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote about the 5 love language but that’s for us on earth, God has a love language and this love language was not included in the 5 love language of Dr. Gary Chapman.

It is good to sing sweet songs to God but as you know, we do not speak our language to our lover, we speak the love language of our lover.

This is part of the issue many couples have, they speak their love language and expect their partners to understand it.

You have to step out of yourself if you will love your partner like they wants to be loved.

God doesn’t receive words of affirmation nor does he see your acts of service as an expression of love.

He doesn’t have a physical body to be touched, even though He wants you to spend quality time with Him, He still doesn’t see that as an expression of love.


A look at the scripture will expose this.

John 14:15

“If you love me, keep my commands.” NIV

God’s love language is keeping His commandments.

We divorced the law by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross

Romans 7:2 – 4

“For example, by law, a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him

So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, so that we might bear fruit for God” NIV

This is why we go through baptism, to signify that we partake of the death of Jesus and now we are alive unto God.

Did this rule out our striving to live Holy lives? No, it doesn’t.

Just like the Apostle Paul said in Romans 6:1 – 23

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 

By no means! We are those who have died of sin; how can we live in it any longer? 

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 

because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

Now if we die with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 

10 The death he died, he died to sin once and for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 

13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 

14 For sin shall no longer be your master because you are not under the law but under grace.

Slaves to Righteousness

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 

16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 

17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 

18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.

 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.


We are not indebted to sin nor can we continue to sin but we keep sin away because we are free from it and it is now a response we give to God not so He will accept us but our love walk with Him.


Are you part of the people who deliberately go into sin because you are taking God’s grace for granted knowing He will forgive you? Surely, He will forgive but you are not speaking His love language and these are the set of people who all things may not work for their good.

There is a condition for all things working for your good and that is – if you love the Lord.

I challenge you today, to search the scriptures looking for how to love God because many benefits accrue to those who love Him.

With that said, we proceed.

You see, there are people for whom all things work for their good including things the enemy intended for harm, God turns it out for good.

He changes the intention.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV

He turns evil to good that even if He doesn’t rescue you, you know He is with you.

Psalm 91:15

“He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

This is the process of suffering.

God doesn’t just come to rescue you ASAP, but when you call, He answers you.

You see, the proof of God answering you is not that you are free from the situation; it is His presence with you that makes all the difference.

He was with Daniel in the lion’s den.

God was with Joseph and prospered in everything he did even in prison.

He was Abednego and his brothers, and guess what?

God is with you.

He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you

Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” NIv

God answers you but He stays with you in the fire.

One way you’d know that what you are going through is adversity not evil, is if the fire is burning and raging, and yet, it is not consuming you.

That was the encounter of Moses, the presence of God is not the absence of storms or fire, it is peace in the storm.


The question then becomes, why does God allow us to pass through fire even when He knows it won’t harm us?

What is the purpose of adversity/suffering?

James 1: 2 – 4

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We should rejoice in adversity!

Wow, who does that?


Something huge is coming out of it. You see, if you love God, nothing can happen to you without the permission of God.

Satan had tried to attack Job but there was no loophole he could use to attack him.

Listen to what he told God.

Job 1:10

“Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” NIV

This means he had tried to break in on him and around him and it didn’t work. He tried his household, but it didn’t work because Job was offering sacrifices on behalf of his children.

He tried everything!

Satan tried everything and none worked for him.

So, if there’s an area not working in your life, if you have bound the devil and he is not going, there is no way Job would have bound the devil.

Please go and pray to God. If God doesn’t give you the strategy to deal with the situation, you may suffer.

God doesn’t want to bring you out, He wants to bring you through it.

Suffering can be due to the evil done but I want you to remember we are talking about suffering for the right reasons.


Because of His intentions for you.

And not just His intentions for you, but your response to His intentions for you.

Remember Matthew 22:14

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” NIV

Who gets chosen?

What criteria does God use to select those He chose?

2 Timothy 2: 20 – 21 will show us.

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use.

 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master, and prepared to do any good work.” NIV

Your being useful to the master depends on how malleable you are in the fire.

Some get into the fire and get burnt – they are the wood vessel

Many do not even get into the fire at all – the clay vessel

Some get in and do not stay through it; the level of your staying in the fire determines whether you’d be gold, silver wood, or clay.

It all depends on you, everyone has been invited.

Would you respond to the suffering invitation by God?

Mark 4:49

“Everyone will be salted with fire.”

We get our salt from the fire.

Remember Matthew 5:13

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” NIV

If you do not go through the fire, you have lost your saltiness and you are not a vessel unto honor.

Matthew 5:13 says you shall be trampled underfoot – that’s a common use as Mark 4:49 said.


There are attitudes you must have when you are in the fire.

  1. THANKSGIVING: You must give thanks to the fire.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” NIV

Thanksgiving is your passport in the fire. If you are not giving thanks in the fire, you may get burnt.

Murmuring and complaining do not cohabit with God. God inhabits the praises of His people – Psalm 22:3.

The only way you will be sure that God is with you in the fire is that you are giving thanks else if you complain, you may chase Him out and His presence is what dampens the effect of the fire. You will leave honorably without the stench of smoke.


  1. PRAY – You will get to know when the fire is over by praying and you will draw strength from prayer. This kind of prayer does not bind the devil, it is to commune with God and hear Him.

What to do, how to do it or even to be calm comes from prayer.

Paul and Silas prayed and sang in the prison.

Be like them.


  1. LEARN LESSONS: Many times, adversities come as purifiers fire, burning out the chaff in us. Often it is to mold us to be better vessels. It is not time to be bitter, it is time to yield to the fire and learn lessons.

The earlier you learn the lesson the adversity came with, the earlier you step out of it.

It is like writing a promotional examination, you won’t be promoted until you pass the class exams. And the adversity will keep showing up in different forms until the lesson is learned.

Pass your exams and if you quiet your spirit, you will see the lessons littered everywhere.

  1. It will be beautiful to have people in the faith you trust, hold your hand, and walk you through the process.


  1. Prepare for honor: After the fire is over, it always goes with honor appearing. Expect to be honored. Suffering for the right reasons brings honor.


I hope your doubts and questions on why good people suffer.

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