Now that we have briefly stated the type of world we live in (read about it here), we will turn our attention to the six specific causes of suffering (to learn about them click here, here, and here) and what each teach us.
The first specific cause of suffering is our own sin. When we suffer because of our sin, it reminds us that our sins have consequences. It teaches us that God is just and that His justice requires judgment of sin. This should lead us to realize that we need to confess our sins to God, and ask for forgiveness so that we can avoid the ultimate punishment for sin, hell .
The second specific cause of suffering, suffering for another person’s sin, also aids us in our journey to heaven. One way it does so is by teaching us more intimately what Jesus went through on the cross. The cross of Christ is the ultimate example of someone suffering because of the sins of another. When a person suffers because of someone else’s sins they are taught a great lesson about the sacrifice of Jesus who willingly suffered on our behalf (I Corinthians 15:4, 1 Peter 2:21-25).
The third specific cause of suffering is due to the natural world. When we see suffering take place because of natural law, it reminds us that we live in an ordered universe. This should lead us to reflect upon what that means spiritually. If our world is ordered on the physical level, then we would assume that our world is ordered in the spiritual level as well. Suffering then provides us with the desire to seek those spiritual truths in our world and live accordingly.
The fourth way suffering teaches us is related to the disciplining aspect of suffering. Obviously in this case suffering serves as a means to correct our sinfulness and put us back on the path of holiness. Just as correction from a parent to the child teaches the child to do the right things, the same is true with God and His correction of us. Although the correction is painful it allows us to do better.