There are believers who love the Lord but to some extent could be suffering needlessly. There are some kinds of suffering which are not necessarily “Paul’s thorn” or “carrying one’s cross” for Jesus Christ.
Oppression by demons is clearly not God’s perfect will for a believer. Scripture teaches us that disciples have been given authority over all demons.
Luke 9:1 And He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.
But since the Church generally does not teach us how to exercise this authority over demons effectively, believers oppressed by them can continue to suffer unnecessarily. After a while, they come to believe that their suffering is God will for them.
Continued physical sickness, according to James, is also not God’s perfect will for a believer.
James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. (NIV) 15 and the prayer of the faith shall save the distressed one, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if sins he may have committed, they shall be forgiven to him. (YLT) 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (NIV)
James instructs us that if we “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other”, we can be healed. “The prayer of the faith shall save the distressed one, and the Lord shall raise him up.” There appears to be little provision here for continued suffering from sickness as a “thorn” in our flesh or as a “cross” we are bearing for Christ. It is not clear that Paul’s thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:7 was a physical infirmity.
If we have met the condition for our sins to be forgiven, James teaches that the prayer of the faith will make the sick person well. However, we have not been taught what he actually meant when he taught us to “pray over” the sick with the “prayer of the faith.” We are taught that James meant traditional prayer to the Father for healing. But we hardly ever witness miraculous healings when we pray for the sick in the traditional way. Could it be because we do not understand what James actually meant?
Because of our lack of understanding in the two areas of demons and diseases, some Christians can continue to suffer unnecessarily. They believe that somehow God is allowing their suffering. Over time they can develop a very unhealthy “victim mentality” whereby they just passively accept their suffering year after year. They do not look for supernatural deliverance from the Lord.