God created the world perfect – free from sickness and death (Genesis 1:21). This is the will of God for His created beings (Jeremiah 29:11). But man’s disobedience brought sickness, suffering and death (Romans 6:23). And this is the will of the devil for God’s children (John 10:10a).
Satan the originator of pain
Satan may be permitted to do his work lest he be able to charge God that He was not fair or that people worship Him for selfish reason. This principle is plainly illustrated in the story of Job (chs. 1, 2) whom the Bible says about him “that man was perfect and upright” (Job 1).
God aids His children
Many believers in God passed through long hours of sickness and suffering. But the good news is that during these difficult times, they were sure that God is working all things for their good, even the trials of the enemy (Rom. 8:28). If God permits suffering to come upon His children, it is not to destroy them but to purify and sanctify them (Rom. 8:17).
God’s grace through pain
Many godly men were sustained by God’s grace through their sickness and death:
(1) Elisha, who had been influential in healing others of their diseases, even bringing back the dead to life, yet he himself died with a mortal disease. Elisha was not privileged to ride the fiery chariot to heaven like Elijah before him. He suffered through sickness and finally died (2 Kings 13:14).
(2) And John the Baptist was imprisoned and was blatantly beheaded because of the foolishness of an immoral king and an evil wife (Mark 6:14-29).
(4) Likewise, the disciples faced their fatal destinies, except John, and endured torture and banishment. In all of their trials, these faithful persons did not complain or lose their faith in God. They knew that the presence of the Lord was always near and that angels were by their side.
Thus, we can see that this has been the experience of God’s children, and they have been able to say that God never left them (Ps. 119:67, 71; Heb. 12:11). And at the end of his life, Joseph said to his brothers, “Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” (Gen. 50:20).
In His service,
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