| Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. ... Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (I Peter 4:19, 5:6-7)
If you read the book of Job or listen to Jesus' teachings, you will learn that suffering and sickness are not a sign of being out of the will of God. Job's friends never fell ill, yet were entirely wrong. Likewise, suffering is not a sign that people are being punished for their sins. Rather, suffering is a sign of our insufficiency and mortality. Suffering can be relieved by prayer, by wisdom, by the touch of a friend, and by the touch of God. The instruction of the apostle Peter is for us to follow Jesus in his suffering, bringing glory to God when we bless those who persecute us. Eventually, the love of God will eliminate suffering.
Scriptures on Suffering
|For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17)
- Job 19:25-26 "For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:"
- Job 33:12b-13; 34:7,9-10 God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters...What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? ... For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity.
- Job 40:2,8 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. ... Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
- Matthew 25: 34b-40 Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
- Luke 10:8-9 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
- I Corinthians 4:12b, 13a Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat:
- I Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
- Hebrews 12:1-3 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
- James 2:8 "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:"
- I Peter 2:21-25 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
- I Peter 2:21-24 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
- Jude 1:21-24 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
- Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
William Branham talks about suffering
William Braham often taught that suffering comes as a result of not following the will of God. He also taught that God punishes others for the mistakes of important people. His doctrine on suffering is very close to the doctrine of Job's friends.
- And--and there, friends, is where my sorrows started. I listened to my mother-in-law in the stead of God. He was giving me the opportunity. And there this gift would've been manifested long time ago, if I'd just went ahead and done what God told me to do. But instead of that, I didn't want her to be angry, and I didn't want to hurt nobody's feelings. And so I just--just let it go like that. Just walked, I just said, "All right, we won't go." And right there, the sorrows started. Immediately after that, my father died. My brother was killed a few nights later from that. I almost lost my own... I lost my father, my brother, my wife, my baby, and my sister-in-law, and almost my own life within about six month's time. And just started going down. My church, pretty near everything went down, down, down. Hope taken sick. Just right after that, the 1937 flood come on. (Life Story, Phoenix, Arizona, April 15, 1951)
- I pulled some branches off the trees, walked back out there, where those ministers was standing. And threw it over their feet like that, and said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD, if we go down, even to Klarksdorf, you'll suffer the results. You got me here. I haven't even got money to pay my way back. You--you got me here, and I can't go back, 'cause I couldn't go back. He told me to ahead to Johannesburg. You got me sewed up here." I said, "You'll see, as Paul said one day, you should've listened to me." See? (July 13, 1952) ...You see, when I was over there I disobeyed God and I picked up ameba. (June 9, 1953)
William Branham learned this doctrine from his first pastor, Roy Davis, who wrote:
- As a direct result of my failure to listen to God on matters so deeply important to us both and to the world in general, I went through the very fires of hell. (Roy Davis, October 1950, The Voice of Healing, Page 14).