Suffering is an ontological phenomenon in life. The Bible reads, “…the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time.” There is the disaster of human suffering as Paul continues to write “…but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly” (Rom. 8: 22, 23). The human civilisation suffers a trail of despair. Either we suffer illness, or suffer premature death. Either one encounters poverty, or disability. The other suffers depression, and another suffers persecution. The one who escapes a disaster, ends suffering bereavement. Each one of us is made an ambassador of a sort of suffering in life. And as a world family, we’re constantly reminded by our fears. The most talked about apocalyptic dread of our world today is global warming. World leaders fear global warming.
So what do we do? Should the awareness of substantial suffering shutters our dreams, aspirations, and joy in life? Or should we continue to lament and amass worries upon worries we cannot change?
No! A world that continues to survive in such an imaginable suffering has something more to offer than pain. Our world is not empowered by the engines of suffering. It is empowered by the engines of love that dispel the dark side of this life. This reminds me of a schizophrenic world of pain and joy:
I’m being reminded of daybreak, seeing the breaking of the dawn of light through the dark.
I’m being reminded of the clouds departing after the heavy rains.
I’m being reminded of the cry of a new life after the cry of the old life is gone.
I’m being reminded of the noises of the drums and dancing after the noises of the battle cries.
I’m being reminded of the sprout from the tree after it is has been hewed down.
I’m being reminded of summer coming to take over from winter.
Love has so much to offer to keep our moods in balance in this life and beyond.
Therefore, the Bible reminds each one of us to trust in the love of God: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. “They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lam. 3: 22, 23).
Sure, suffering may last but love overrides all. The Lord’s appearing will vanquish the condition of suffering into His glorious presence. Thus, Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8: 18).