Biblical view on suffering

I wondered if people could share their thoughts on suffering as a Christian. What does the Bible promise and what should our realistic expectations be of things like of persecution, or hunger, for example? How do we get a balanced view of being protected from harm versus reading stories like Job? Also how do we account for stories in the last century of persecution as we look towards the end times? How does this sit together Biblically?

Psalm 37:25

I have been young, and now am old;
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his descendants begging bread.


“I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.” (Eccl.3:10, KJV)

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.” (Lam.3:25-27, KJV)

Hi, @alison :wave:
This may not directly address your stated concerns, but allow me to share my take on the title heading.

The subject of pain and suffering tends to be lengthy due to its multifaceted nature. But what we often fail to do is to go back to the basics. Much like our basic necessities which the Apostle Paul only summed up as “food and raiment” (1Tim.6:8), we are being taught in our experiences to live as simple as we can to be spared from much of the worldly heartaches, and be better able to extend help to others in need.

The two verses above shows as much. We are to get used to suffering while “under the sun” and while we are young, and learn that the Lord is good to those who hope and wait for Him.

This may sound too simplistic, but consider the following:

  1. Generally, the poor has lesser concens than the rich
  2. The rich, though much privileged, tend to suffer greater than the poor under similar circumstances
  3. The poor is more easily relieved by simple conveniences than the rich, despite the greater privileges of the wealthy
  4. Suicide rate is higher among the rich than the poor

The reason behind all these is that the more complex our lifestyle becomes, the more harder it is for us to cope with life’s challenges and hardships, and harder to extend help to others. After all, why would I give my extra cloak to others when I might need it for a replacement, just in case. It would take a simple view of life to do it.

So how do we best respond to those in need or suffering?
At the very least, if there’s nothing else we could do to extend a hand, be with them. Just as Jesus has been the Emmanuel, God with us.

As one song puts it,
“How can we reach a world we never touch?”

“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Heb.2:16-18, KJV)