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SUFFERING

Some Reasons/Purposes/Values

"Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?"

-Job 2:10

 

To produce endurance, perseverance, character, and hope.

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4

"My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord — that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. " James 5:10-11

 

To comfort those who go through similar troubles.  And to teach us to have mercy, grace, compassion, kindness, and understanding towards others.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

To test/try our faith.

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ..." 1 Peter 1:6-8, also the Book of Job.

 

To glorify God.

"Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him." John 9:1-3

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." ........... Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."   Daniel 3:16-18, 24-25

 

Persecution for being Christ's.

"If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified." 1 Peter 4:14-15
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19

"But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered , He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously..."

1 Peter 2:20-23

 

Gods discipline.

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:5-11

 

Suffering from our own foolishness/evil doing/sin.

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer (criminal), or as a busybody in other people's matters." 1 Peter 4:15

Also: Idolatry; not honoring your Father and Mother; hate and rage; coveting; adultery; fornication; stealing; lying; wickedness; maliciousness; envy; murder; strife; deceit; evil-mindedness; backbiting; violence; pride; boasting; inventing evil things; undiscerning; untrustworthy; unloving; unforgiving; unmerciful; practicing witchcraft/occult; homosexuality/lesbianism. (Deuteronomy 5:1-17; James 4:17; Romans 1:29-31; Leviticus 19:31; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27))

Also: Being rude, selfish, vindictive, greedy, worrisome, anxious, etc.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galatians 6:7-8

 

To draw us closer to Him.

"This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life." Psalm 119:50

 

To keep us from going astray. To learn obedience.

"It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes." Psalm 119:71

"...though He was a Son (speaking of Jesus), yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:8-9

 

Suffering from lack of knowledge.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

 

To keep us from pride

God hates pride, was the first sin, the one that entered Satan.

 

To stir up the soil of our heart so His word can be planted deep.

When we go through trials and troubles, it causes His words to go deeper into us (assuming we are seeking Him).

 

Suffering from not listening to wisdom/hating knowledge/not fearing God.

Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: 'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." Proverbs 1:20-33, also chapter 2 (not printed here)

 

To cleanse us from impurities (sin, flaws, character issues)

Suffering reveals what is really inside of us. If there are negative things they will come to the surface, in order that they might be cleansed from us. Just like silver is smelted in the fire to bring the impurities to the top and to leave the pure silver behind, so God does the same to us.

"For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined." Psalm 66:10

 

As a witness to unbelievers.

They can see the future hope we have. They  can see how we go through suffering with God. They can see God deliver us, and hear our testimonies. They can see how we deal with suffering in a way which is different from the world.

 

As a testimony to Gods faithfulness.

"Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits : Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

Psalm 103:2-5

 

To get our minds/focus off this world and onto eternal things. To loosen the grip of worldliness and materialism.

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

  

It teaches us about God's  character: His mercy, grace, kindness, healing, love, forgiveness, compassion, and His care for us.

If we never messed up, how would we understand mercy? grace? forgiveness? healing? Through suffering we can learn certain things about God  that we would otherwise not know.