Lessons We Should Learn
Suffering is not limited to those who are wicked.
Some people think that only wicked people suffer, but God is on the side of the righteous and will remove all their troubles. It follows that, if a person is suffering, he must have committed some sin he should repent of.
This was the theory of Job's friends (Job 4:7-9); disproving this idea is a main theme of that book. This same false doctrine is taught by many "faith healers" who teach people that God must remove all their problems if they are right with Him.
But we have learned that even righteous people suffer. This is important for the following reasons:
* We should not conclude that we have been guilty of sin every time we have a problem. Maybe we are suffering because of sin, so we should examine our lives. But maybe we are suffering for other reasons, perhaps because we are righteous.
* We should surely never reject a Bible teaching just because it may lead to suffering. If all suffering was the result of our own sin, and if a course of action led to suffering, then we would conclude it was a sinful act. But we have learned that godly people often suffer for doing right.
* We should not become Christians thinking it will automatically solve all our problems. If this is our motive, we may fall away when the hardships come.