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Yes, we all have our own trials, but there are a few Christians who, very obviously, suffer so much more and much more often too (I am not talking about "bad choices" either, so please do not even bring that up).

Are these tormented Christians cursed by God? Does satan just have a major vendetta towards them? Are they not "truly" saved? Is God punishing them for small sins, hates them, or what?

Not sure how else to ask this, so if any of the Stack Exchange contributors have any suggestions, please let me know.

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  • I've added some more tags to open up the question and made some minor edits to encourage others to participate. It's a good question, by the way. – Lesley Nov 28 '20 at 10:17
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    It would help if you could include in your question details of the 'few Christians', the 'tormented Christians', you are describing in order to give us some focus on the question. Who are they ? What have they suffered ? – Nigel J Nov 28 '20 at 10:43
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    @Nigel J Perhaps the suffering and tormented Christians referred to in this question are known personally. They might be family or close friends. Certainly there are many Christians today (throughout the world) who are being persecuted for righteousness' sake. – Lesley Nov 28 '20 at 10:49
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    My eldest daughter has had to and still does endure myriad sufferings (nearly all not of her own doing) for the majority of her life thus far. I cannot explain why God has chosen this path for her but He has not abandoned her there. She is not alone. – Mike Borden Nov 28 '20 at 13:19
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Jesus warned his disciples that following Him would not be easy:

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)

Jesus knew that many of his followers would be persecuted for righteousness’ sake:

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John16:33).

Even the Apostle Paul had difficulties in his life – he was beaten, falsely accused, imprisoned and eventually killed because of his faith in Christ Jesus. He also had a personal affliction which he had to bear. Yet his faith never faltered:

Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his suffering, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:8-11).

Does Satan just have a major vendetta towards them? I think it’s fair to say that Satan hates all Christians and his aim is to destroy their faith and get them to renounce Christ Jesus. He certainly tried his best to turn Job – but failed.

Are they not "truly" saved? Satan would like Christians to question their salvation, to cast doubts into their minds, to make them stumble and fall. But Satan is a liar, and the father of the lie. Jesus promised that all who confess that He is the Son of God can be assured that He abides in them.

Are persecuted, suffering and tormented Christians cursed by God? Is God punishing them for small sins, hates them, or what? No. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in Him.

Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the Day of Judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother (1 John 4:15-21).

Christians suffer in this world, but this world and all that is in it will pass away; the kingdom of God is eternal. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).

Christians who follow Christ do not see the things of this life, good or bad, as the end of the story. Even the sufferings we endure, as terrible as they can be, “are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him (James 1:12).

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6)

A final word of encouragement: God has removed sin from all who have repented and turned to Him “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). This promise stands forever: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). https://www.gotquestions.org/salvation-doubt.html

Conclusion: We do not know why some Christians suffer more than other Christians, but we know this:

In all things God works for the goodof those wholove him, who have been called according to his purpose... If God is for us, who can be against us? ...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convincedthat neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:28, 31,37-39).

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    Up-voted +1. I think you have struck a right balance, here. ... they that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution...2 Timohty 3:12 KJV. It is the common lot of Christians to suffer and to endure affliction. – Nigel J Nov 29 '20 at 20:58
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People often try to search for meaning and spiritual causes for problems and suffering. Some take the perspective that trials and suffering are a punishment of God, while others see suffering and tribulations as a proof of being on the right path, and a consequence of loyalty to god, because Jesus and many others were persecuted and even killed. Here a small compilation of bible scriptures that helped me explore the various perspectives on this interesting topic of trials, problems and suffering.

In Ecclesiastes 9:11 Solomon wrote:

Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. (ESV)

One of the causes of problems and suffering is just plain bad luck. There is also the chapter in Psalm 73 where Asaph, speaks about the prosperity of the wicked. But later in the chapter in 73:17, when he discerned their end, he admits that he was senseless and ignorant (73:22), in envying their temporary prosperity, and he concluded that it is good to draw near to God as a refuge (73:28). So another, reason for suffering is that making the right choices pays of on the long term but is some times is not the most beneficial on the short term. As Asaph, noticed godless and selfish people might seem more prosperous on the short term.

Another cause of suffering was described in Ecclesiastes 8:9

I saw all this when I thought about the things that are done in this world, a world where some people have power and others have to suffer under them. (GNT)

It emphasizes that people suffer because of the actions of others. Other reasons for suffering are indirect and direct influences of Satan:

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (1 John 5:19, ESV)

Other examples are the Story of Job (Job 1:8-22) and, the Satan tempting Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11).

Cause and effect. Also the natural consequences of our own actions can cause suffering. Galatians 6:7,8:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (ESV)

Punishment of God Some suffered because God has punished people in the past (Numbers 21: 6) because they kept repeating the same mistakes, violated his commandments and ignored warnings. (Numbers 20:5, 21:5, Jeremiah 17:1-5. However god generally gives warnings before he punishes (Amos 3:6,7), and he does not tempt with evil (James 1:13). When people told Jesus about a recent tragedy in Jerusalem, Jesus mentioned another tragic event and said:

Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:4 ESV)

Jesus not only told that those tragedies were just accidents and no punishments but he also emphasized that we are all sinners/offenders and that in the big picture all will perish if we do not repent our sins. Later he also told that his followers would face additional tribulation and suffering because of being Christians, and because a lack of love in people.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:9-14 ESV)

Knowing and believing the good news from the bible, gives joy, hope and faith. But it is no guarantee for an easy life free of suffering. Righteous people have suffered, and unrighteous people have suffered, because of different causes. More important that the specific cause for our suffering is our reaction to it. As the example in Luke 13:4 illustrates, no matter what the cause for problems or suffering is, it is good to repent mistakes we might have made in the past, even if they are not directly related to the situation. And if we or others are suffering problems either trough persecution because of being Christians, because of temptations by Satan (Job 1), because of natural consequences of actions of ourself or others, or maybe just because of blind bad luck, it is any way good to focus on prophecies from the bible that give hope for a better future.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3 ESV)

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