Regarding "Suffering" (סֵבֶל) in context to scripture, we learn in [Hebrews 10:36] "You need to suffer so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

We also learn in [Iyov (Job) 2:6] the Satan (הַשָּׂטָ֔ן), a prosecutor angel for YHVH, is allowed His Hand (יָֽדְךָ֔) to touch (גַ֥ע) Iyov (אִיּוֹב֒) to the point of "preserving His life" (נַפְשׁ֖וֹ שְׁמֹֽר). - "suffering" appears to come from Satan's Hand not from God's Hand.

We later learn in [Iyov 36:15] "He rescues the lowly from their affliction, And opens their understanding through distress."

  • King David explains Distress (לַּ֣חַץ) is from adversaries not God. In [Tehillim (Psalms) 56:2-3]. Regarding physical stress (לַּ֣חַץ) or "suffering", David (דָוִ֣ד) adds "in God I trusted, I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?" - Demonstrating his soul is more important to save than his body.

So - If all bodies eventually endure some form of suffering, does God cause suffering to save people from sin, or allow Satan to cause suffering to harvest faithful souls?

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    This question has not been scoped to any particular Christian way of thinking. I cannot see how it can be anything other than off-topic on a Christianity website. – Nigel J Aug 5 '20 at 18:00

Does God cause suffering to save people from sin?

Take a look at James 1:13:

When under trial, let no one say: “I am being tried by God.” For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone.

So, God isn't the one causing us to suffer. If he did, that would go against Job 34:12 "God does not act wickedly."

James 1:14, 15 continues on by saying:

14 But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.

Each person makes his or her own decision as to their own actions; whether to follow God's commandments or not. This is the free will that God has given us.

I am not sure which translation your quote from Hebrews 10:36 comes from but the Greek word ὑπομονῆς (hypomonēs) Strong's 5281 is usually translated as "endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for." (see the various translations at BibleHub.)

Paul is admonishing us to "put up with" the world around us because so much of it can cause our faith to waver.

Just think: if God was causing humans to suffer, such as with disease, then why did Jesus heal people of their sicknesses?

Does God allow Satan to cause suffering to harvest faithful souls?

1 John 5:19 tells us:

We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.

Satan is doing everything he can to turn us from following God. Did God allow Satan to hurt Job? Yes, but in the end Job made the decision to keep his integrity to God.

God is aware of all the things going on with his people. “I well know the pains they suffer.” (Exodus 3:7)

For further information, I recommend the article "Why Does God Permit Suffering? from the November 2006 issue of the Awake! magazine.

(All scripture quotations from the New World Translation)

  • @ctaylorgraphics As Paul put it at Romans 10:14 "How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?" – agarza Aug 5 '20 at 20:30

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