1) Suffering as a consequence to sin
2) Suffering as a testing of our faith
The first one is obvious, cause and effect. We see this daily with our children. You disobey, you suffer the consequence. The second one is more puzzling. The best example of this is in the book of Job. A man who was blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. If you read through Job 1:6-12 you can see the conversation that takes place between God and Job. God initiates the topic of Job and gives permission to Satan to attack his life. WHAT! Why did the Lord chose to test Job? God is sovereign and He knew the results. Here is what Job says at the end of his trial BEFORE the blessing and restoration of the second half of his life (Job 42:12-17).
Job 42:5 "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,but now my eye has seen you."
Job learned the lesson and was proven faithful to His God but along the way the people around him were less than encouraging to him. As I look at the life of Job I am often brought back to the second chapter where his wife had the following conversation with him:
Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!” But he replied, “You’re talking like one of the godless women would do! Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” In all this Job did not sin by what he said.Job 2:9-10Ladies...since we are one flesh with our husbands we SHARE in his suffering. Not only do we experience trials of our own but we are called to support our husband in his. We are not called to carry the burden but to support the one who is struggling. Wives, we can support through prayer, words of encouragement, a welcoming home and physical affection. You know your husband better than anyone. Ask God to show you how to support him as God has uniquely designed him.
My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything. But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways. James 1:2-8
If you are looking to dig deeper I would recommend a study by Kay Arthur called Living Victoriously in Difficult Times