Loneliness, anxiety, and grief are examples of emotional suffering. They all result from humanity’s self-centred godlessness. Sin works like a virus in our communities; one man’s sinful disposition can infect his neighbor’s. Suffering tempers the soul and helps prepare it for eternity. Regardless of the reason God allows suffering into our lives, rarely does it not reveal areas of need, weaknesses, wrong attitudes, etc., as it did in Job. INTRODUCTION 1. But we must tether ourselves to the anchor with knowledge, not only of the goodness of God, but the danger of evil. Suffering times are sealing times. Personal sins like greed, pride, or sexual immorality can cause suffering personally. The Bible regards suffering as normal. Sinful Lifestyles and Systems (The Flesh): Suffering also happens as a consequence of our personal sin and systems of sin that come under our response to the Fall. Christianity acknowledges the reality of suffering and attributes it to the sinful nature of humanity. Related Topics: Suffering, Trials, Persecution, J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M. Hebrews talks about this in detail. In the design of God, it is also something to make us think. One use of the book of Job is to distinguish a biblical view of suffering from the concept of karma, which is the notion that there is a kind of unbreakable cause-and-effect law in the moral realm. 5:5-11; 1 Cor. 12:6). Part of this suffering comes from the fact that we live in a fallen world, and this kind of suffering falls on Christians and non-Christians alike. Paul’s imprisonment (chained daily to Roman soldiers in his own house) resulted in the spread of the gospel within the elite imperial praetorian guard. Satan, the great deceiver, works in the inner city, as well as the suburbs. He did not simply allow them; he caused them to come upon Job (the Hebrew verb here indicates active causality). 4:8-12; 1 Pet. This means trust, peace, joy, stability, biblical values, faithfulness, and obedience in contrast to sinful mental attitudes, blaming, running, complaining, and reactions against God and people. It seems that every human will experience some of the various forms of suffering at some point throughout… We sin, and we suffer misery for it. To glorify God before the angelic world (Job 1-2; 1 Pet. This is why Paul is so aggressive toward false teachers and those who lead others into sin. 7:14). The great Liar who tempted Eve in the garden, and Jesus in the desert, does not discriminate. b. It is God’s grace in Christ (our new identity in Christ, the Word and the Holy Spirit) that changes us. Pain and suffering, at least on some level, is an inescapable reality of the human experience. James 1:2-4; 1 Pet. Insights from the beginning of the Bible’s storyline. It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you. "THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING" Who Or What Causes It? This is similar to point (4) above with more emphasis on the process and defining the objective, the production of the character of Christ. This has both a negative and a positive aspect: a. The meaning is similar to Romans 1:16 where Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” When believers handle suffering joyfully and with stability, it becomes a marvelous testimony to the power and life of Christ that we claim and name. Suffering is somewhat mysterious. But even then, even when all the odds are stacked against us, God can use it to sanctify us until He removes it as an encumbrance to our lives. The point is, obedience often costs us something and is hard. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Simply stated, suffering is anything which hurts or irritates. The Bible says that our war is not against flesh and blood, but against an invisible enemy that wreaks havoc on couples, singles, families, sons, and daughters. 1:6-7: The key word is “the proof of our faith.” “Proof” is the word dokimion which looks at both the concept of testing which purifies, and the results, the proof that is left after the test. Suffering in itself does not remove the impurities, but is a tool God uses to cause us to exercise faith in the provisions of God’s grace. (2) When in fellowship: Suffering becomes the loving and skillful handy work of the Vine Dresser to make us more productive. For the believer, this is called the discipline of the Lord. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. (4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. 2:14-16). Suffering is that which proves one’s character and integrity along with both the object and quality of one’s faith. 17:17-24; John 11:1-45). (5) We suffer to bring about continued dependence on the grace and power of God. It causes us to put first things first. Peter talks about personal sin that we endure the consequences of as suffering in 1 Peter 2. (1) We suffer as a testimony, as a witness (2 Tim 2:8-10; 2 Cor. Suffering can also be caused by spiritual warfare. 6:11–17). When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. The theological notion of Jesus' suffering and death on the cross is viewed by some as a redemptive valuation of suffering. As our representative, Adam’s sin brought about the cataclysmic consequences of us being born sinful (Ps. In two earlier posts (here and here) I spoke about some features of co-suffering with Christ, i.e. (6) Suffering is a Purifier. 1:6—“distressed” = lupeo, “to cause pain, sorrow, grief”). 6:10f; Ex. The Lord uses trials to test our faith in the sense of purifying it, to bring it to the surface, so we are forced to put our faith to work. 1. Personal sins like greed, pride, or sexual immorality can cause suffering personally. No man is an island to himself, and corporate sin creates systemic problems in our society. You've planned for your future. But not all who suffer grow in the midst of it. In the process of producing Christian character and enhancing our testimony to others, suffering often opens up doors for ministry we could never have imagined. 1:2-4; Ps. In this sense, suffering is designed: a. No matter the reason, even if it is not God’s discipline for blatant carnality, it is a purifier for none of us will ever be perfect in this life. 3. 12:7). (Philippians 1:29) 29- For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, Suffering is a means of learning. ), (2) Determine Objectives (What is God wanting to do in my life or in others? As a process, it takes time. 6:7-9). Christianity, however, was a strange, new cult, and it began to spread across people groups and geographical boundaries. Millions of people suffered, not just individually, but as an entire nation of people. Of course, all of these do not apply at the same time. We may know some of the theological reasons for suffering from Scripture, yet when it strikes, there is still a certain mystery. Our faith does not give us an intellectual explanation of why God allows bad things to happen (that is left to theologians and philosophers to figure out), but it does give us the kind of answer to suffering that I think we all truly want. 1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. the Lord has taken away” ( Job 1:21 ). 1 Pet. Some early Christians viewed creation as flawed from the beginning and thus as not the work of the God of Jesus Christ. Marcion … Not only that, it brought about the universal brokenness of our world, now groaning over its condition through natural disasters and the like (Rom. Why me? Many Christians lapsed in their faith because of the severity of the persecution. 51). (See reasons for suffering given below.). “We all want the product, character; but we don’t want the process, suffering.”2 Because of our make up as human beings, we can’t have one without the other. 17:8f). b. Eric Mason is founder and lead pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Christian Answer to Suffering And that, I would suggest, is the Christian answer to suffering. Job shows that he knows this is true when he says, “. The Apostle was undoubtedly continuing to rejoice in the Lord, but if he had been complaining, sulking, and bitter, his witness would have been zero. 11:24-32; 12:7-10; Eph. We all experience pain, and even suffering at some time in our lives. While our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it, get rid of it, or numb it; we need to realize that God allows pain. 4:16). Suffering is a privilege. Wars, violence, racism, abuse, corruption and a thousand other evils are not caused by God. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. Compare the blessings of affliction as seen in the testimony of the Psalmist in Ps. If his dad, however, asks him to mow the lawn, that becomes a test and teaches something about the meaning of obedience. Of course, all of these do no… It can require sacrifice, courage, discipline, and faith in the belief that God is good and has our best interests at heart regardless of how things might appear to us. Philippians 1:12-14 with 4:5-9). 17-18. Expect this suffering to come, but also expect God to work. It causes us to turn from our resources to His resources. (3) We suffer to keep down pride (2 Cor. God can redeem the situation, but sometimes the Lord doesn’t remove all of the consequences. The Lord, the covenant God, is the one who brought these sufferings upon Job. Be encouraged that God has counted you worthy to suffer for His name’s sake. 4:1 [The Hebrew of this passage can mean, “You have enlarged, made me grow wide by my distress”]). We reap what we sow (Gal. The primitive Christians found them so, and the suffering saints in Mary's days found them so. Suffering is not without meaning in spite of its mystery. SUFFERING What is christian suffering? We reap what we sow (Gal. Christianity was identified at first with Judaism, but people quickly came to see it as a different religion. Spiritual Warfare (The Devil): Not every type of suffering is the work of the Devil directly, though some might think that is the case. They allow the process to work and allow us to experience inner peace and joy in the midst of the trials. Fires, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami, and physical illnesses (e.g., cancer) are examples of natural suffering. Now protect it. Tragically it is often people who are entirely innocent who suffer the most. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Suffering in this world is a stone-cold reality in Christianity -- Jesus Christ Himself, God Incarnate, suffered betrayal, indignity, torture and a grueling death. Anyone’s heart can harden, even faithful Christians’. Suffering is designed to build our trust in the Almighty. {1}People felt threatened by this oddball new religion. Everything from racism to socioeconomic oppression can become systems of sin that cause us suffering. 12:9, 10; John 9:3). (3) Suffering is Purposeful. (9) Suffering is Predetermined or Appointed. ... one another, this is moral evil. Though spiritual warfare is related to both the Fall and the flesh, the suffering at the hands of Satan is a unique type of suffering. 3:13-17). . 67b, 97-102). When our sins catch up with us and we feel the pain, in humility, let’s humble ourselves and accept it. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Probably one of the greatest challenges faced by Christianity and Christians is the reality of evil and suffering. God lovingly and faithfully uses suffering to develop personal righteousness, maturity, and our walk with Him (Heb. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. This negative aspect is accomplished in two ways: (1) When out of fellowship with the Lord: Suffering becomes discipline from our heavenly Father (Heb. Suffering is multifaceted. 32:3-5; 119:67). 1:6-7). 4:12-13; 1 Pet. “In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. That great song “Sovereign” by the incomparable Daryl Coley reminds us of God’s sovereignty during seasons of suffering. Because of that choice, the curse of sin pervades all creation—humans have a sin nature ( Romans 5:12-21 ); but people also are sinners because of their choices ( Romans 3:23; Galatians 6:8 ). Suffering has many faces. What Is the Difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming? 1:4). Because of the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God, the physical world itself was subject to … “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son He receives” (Heb. The next pro… This includes the following areas: a. This became the cause for the first empire-wide persecution of Christians. The Bible doesn’t whitewash our experience of suffering by saying that it’s all of one stripe. In Acts 5:41 the apostles rejoiced in their suffering. Because of our natural tendency to sin, given to us from Adam, we suffer under the tyranny of the flesh. In a universe governed by karma, people who do good will experience good, and … Take This Quiz. All rights reserved. He is an equal opportunity destroyer. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35). Suffering is hard; it is never easy. The question of the unjustified suffering of the innocent is at the heart of Christianity, which holds that a sinless man (Jesus) suffered and died for the sins of humanity. www.bhpublishinggroup.com.]. What is God doing? The history of Christianity has witnessed an active debate about proper attitudes towards suffering, pain, and death, and how best to confront human illness and frailty. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. 3:12). As a pruning tool to remove dead wood from our lives (weaknesses, sins of ignorance, immature attitudes and values, etc.) Early Christians reflected on the origin of suffering amid an intense debate over the goodness of creation and the cause of suf-fering. (5) Suffering is a Process. (1) Suffering is Painful. (8) Suffering Requires Our Cooperation. 1 Ron Lee Davis, Gold in the Making, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1983p. Suffering provides opportunity for God’s glory, our transformation, testimony, and ministry, etc. vs. 59), (1) Determine Causes if we can (Is it because of something I have done? . our spiritual surroundings in times of trial and uniquely sensitives times in the midst of pain.Now I address some spiritual attitudes that can help us endure as co-sufferers (Phil 3:10-11). (11) Suffering is a Struggle. Does Wearing a Face Mask Displace Trust in God? It involves unknown sin, areas we may not be aware of, but that are nevertheless hindering our growth and fruitfulness. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7). Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 5:8). Negative: Suffering helps to remove impurities from our lives such as indifference, self-trust, false motives, self-centeredness, wrong values and priorities, and human defense and escape mechanisms by which we seek to handle our problems (man-made solutions). Sometimes when we suffer, it is nothing less than an attack from the Serpent. Christianity - Christianity - The problem of suffering: The starting point for the Christian understanding of suffering is the messianic self-understanding of Jesus himself. It keeps the world from becoming too attractive b. As we know by the Word of God, Job endured this type of suffering. (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. It has as its chief purpose the formation of Christ-like character (Rom. 4 Beloved Christmas Carols and the True Stories behind Them, 10 Things the Bible Says about the Mark of the Beast, Don't Forget That I'm Here Waiting, Lord - From His Heart - December 6, 10 Powerful Prayers to Protect Your Children from Satan, Why God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle, 10 Holiday Movies Christians Need to Know About, How Well Do You Know the Christmas Story? The question we must each face is not, ‘if’ we are going to have trials in life, but how will we respond to them? Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will. 6). 8:28-29). God must have a reason for allowing evil and suffering but the reason is beyond human understanding. Just think of the Jim Crow Laws, or Hitler’s Aryan Clause. God will use the most difficult forms of suffering to conform us into the image of Christ. 11:28-32; 5:1-5). We experience three kinds of suffering in this life. 3 Suffering in Christianity. The Bible even tells us why we suffer. 6:7-9). We must understand God’s chief purpose for our lives is to be conformed to the image of Christ and He has determined in His plan to use suffering for our spiritual development. 4:9-10; 3:18). 1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. 1:6; Jam. Suffering in the Christian Life Death, famine, genocide, war, disease, physical ailments, emotional issues, and spiritual decay permeate the fallen world. Suffering provides key opportunities to manifest and magnify the power of God through His servants in order to verify and confirm the messenger and his message. One, deserved suffering. In addition to his role at Epiphany Fellowship, he serves as president of Thriving, an urban missions collaborative. Because of our natural tendency to sin, given to us from Adam, we suffer under the tyranny of the flesh. (7) We suffer to manifest the evil nature of evil men and the righteousness of the justice of God when it falls in judgment (1 Thess. ), (3) Determine Solutions (How does God want me to handle this? First was the problem of identity. 4:8-11; Phil. (8) We suffer to broaden our ministries (cf. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; (Romans 8:28-29), (4) Suffering Proves (tests) Us. d. As a means of learning what obedience really means. What are these bends in the road that God puts in the path of life that we are to carefully consider? The disciples were concerned with their meager bread supply, and it was clear that each of them had forgotten how Jesus … (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. But so-called natural disasters are often considered evil as well because of all the suffering they cause. If Christian fear-mongering were directed solely at adults, it would … Suffering is a consequence. There are several important and interrelated reasons for the persecution of the early church. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). So now, we will turn our attention to the various causes of suffering. It refers to a test designed to prove or approve. This requires faith in the eternal verities of God. 12:5f; 1 Pet. Hampton wrote many articles for the Biblical Studies Foundation and on... More, 2. 3 Causes of Suffering You Need to Understand, Why You Have a Fear of Good News (and How to Combat It), What All Single Christians Need to Know about Masturbation, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. Suffering is a battleground. Compare 1 Peter 1:6-7 where the same Greek words are used along with the verb dokimazo which means, “put to the test,” “prove by testing as with gold.”. In fact, in Mark 8:17–19 we see Jesus’ own disciples suffering from this malady. He and his wife Yvette have four wonderful children. 1:2-4). It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”1 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito to facing a lion in the lions’ den as did Daniel (Dan. “It may be cancer or a sore throat. This involves known sin, rebellion and indifference to God. Suffering or trials teach us the truth of Psalm 62:1-8, the truth of learning to “wait on the Lord only.”. Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources, 3 Reasons the 'Christmas Star' of 2020 Is Bringing So Much Hope, Amazing Children's Choir Sings 'I Can Only Imagine', 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like. It is true, however, that rarely does suffering not reveal areas of need, areas of weakness, and wrong attitudes that need to be removed like dross in the gold-refining process (cf. 32:23). So, deserved suffering is inevitable: “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. (6) We suffer to manifest the life and character of Christ (The Fruit of the Spirit) (2 Cor. He lays siege to both bedrooms and boardrooms. In order to handle suffering with inner joy and tranquillity, we must be able to look ahead to God’s purposes and reasons for suffering. All suffering finds its root, on some level, in the Fall. The following questions are designed to help us “consider” in the day of adversity: (4) Does my response demonstrate faith, love for God and for others, Christ-like character, values, commitment, priorities, etc.? Trials simply give us the capacity to cooperate with the process (Jam. We have been given the privilege not only of trusting him but also of suffering for him. 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; (10) Suffering is Inevitable. (2) Suffering is Perplexing. When someone says they serve the “cause of Christ” or suffer on behalf of the “cause of Christ,” they usually mean they are acting as part of God’s mission to reach others with the gospel. Ultimately, it is the Word and the Spirit of God that produces faith and mature Christlike character (Ps. “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son He receives.” (Heb. Trials may become mirrors of reproof to reveal hidden areas of sin and weakness (Ps. The results God seeks to accomplish with the trials of life require time and thus also, endurance. 6:7-9). [Editor’s Note: This excerpt is taken from Unleashed: Being Conformed to the Image of Christ by Eric Mason, Copyright © 2015 by Eric Mason. Systemic sin is contagious like a pathogen, eating away at consciences of individuals. When the furnace is seven times hotter than ordinary, the Spirit of the Lord comes and seals up a man's pardon in his … Suffering is designed to cause us to walk by God’s ability, power, and provision rather than by our own (2 Cor. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. Each of us knows firsthand what it means to suffer as a result of … The Search of the Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20), 1. 8). “Testing” in this same verse is dokimion which has a similar idea. Trials test our faith and cause us to use the promises and principles of the Word (Ps. It is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives in a way that would never occur without the trial or irritation. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. We are called to do the same. 1:19f). In these times of suffering, God has given us clear instructions to engage as warriors who put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. Article Images Copyright ©. A Need for Brokenness. Why now? Illustration: If a father tells his son to do something he likes to do (i.e., eat a bowl of ice cream) and he does it, the child has obeyed, but he hasn’t really learned anything about obedience. If we are going to endure suffering and the trials of life, however, we must also understand and believe in the other purposes and reasons for suffering as they are related to the chief purpose. New Podcast from Dan Darling: "The Characters of Christmas", This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2020, Crosswalk.com. b. Why now? It’s going to be a battle all the way. Origen died during this persecution after suffering torture (251). In August of 2001 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and on August 29th, 2002 he went home to be with the Lord. Regardless of what we know and how hard we apply the principles, it is going to hurt (cf. 119:71, 92; 1 Pet. 1:6; Jam. Not only did Adam and Eve die that day, but all creation was given an expiration date. The desired goal is increased fruitfulness (John 15:1-7). Christians also pray for those who suffer and try to help them. was a 1966 graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and a former pastor of 28 years. Sin always spawns misery. The believer should not be puzzled at suffering, because the Bible plainly states that it is a necessary part of the Christian life. Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. (4) We suffer because it is a training tool. 4. (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. The Search Of The Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12), Christmas Searches: Expository Sermons For Christmas, 3. Even in the book of Acts, Christians viewed suffering differently than we do. Romans 5:3-4 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; James 1:3-4 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Individual sin isn’t the only form of suffering we endure, however. 3:12). Policies can be made to preserve and promote sin. Fallen World (The World): If you live in this world, believer or not, you will experience the tragic results of papa Adam. When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. Suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. It provides opportunities to reveal our credentials as ambassadors of Christ (1 Kings. It’s all sin can do. Suffering at the hands of people (persecution, violent treatments) is used of God to “fill up the measure of their sins.” It shows the evil character of those who persecute others and the justice of God’s judgment when it falls. Positive: when believers live under suffering joyfully (i.e., they endure and keep on applying the promises and principles of the faith), Christ’s life or character will be more and more manifested as they grow through the suffering (2 Cor. (7) Suffering Provides Opportunity. 1 Pet. Most times, suffering is a result of sin in a more general sense. In the previous lesson, we saw through the eyes of one suffering Christian that SUFFERING can often bring about very positive results: a. “Trials” in James 1:2 is the Greek peirasmos and refers to that which examines, tests, and proves the character or integrity of something. All suffering is not, for instance, a product of our own foolishness, self-induced misery, or sin. 12:6). Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. 5. Suffering happens in community. What is God doing? 1:3-5). That’s why they are called “trials” and “testings.” Even when we understand the purposes and principles of suffering, and we know the promises of God’s love and concern given in the Word of God for handling suffering, dealing with the trials of life is never easy because suffering hurts. It doesn’t matter what type of person you are morally or religiously, all are impacted by the Fall. c. As a tool for growth designed to cause us to rely on the Lord and His Word. 12:6). 16:7; 119:67, 71). 2. c. To manifest the character of Christ in the midst of suffering as a testimony to win others to Christ (2 Cor. To manifest the power of God to others (2 Cor. The world is simply not as it should be so things like health issues, relational strife, and natural disasters exist. The scriptural narrative opens with God crafting … “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son He receives” (Heb. (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. It Reminds Us of the Reality of Sin. (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. Suffering equips us for ministry. Five Truths About Christian Suffering. (4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. It becomes a test of our loyalty (Heb. This fundamental flaw passed down to us through Adam creates the potential for suffering of every kind. As discipline for sin to bring us back to fellowship through genuine confession (Ps. The Apostle Paul saw his thorn in the flesh as an instrument allowed by God to help him maintain a spirit of humility and dependence on the Lord because of the special revelations he had seen as one who had been caught up to the third heaven. Of Jesus Christ only of the greatest challenges faced by christianity and Christians is the of... Our suffering is a sign of God sin to bring us back to fellowship through genuine confession ( Ps )! Even suffering at some time in our own foolishness, self-induced misery, Hitler... But all creation was given an expiration date reasons for the most be puzzled at suffering,,... Not all who suffer grow in the garden, and suffering some level in..., earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami, and physical illnesses ( e.g., cancer ) are examples of natural.!, 1983p socioeconomic oppression can become systems of sin in a more general sense as flawed from beginning. Life and character of Christ in the testimony of the Word of 's... Human experience across people groups and geographical boundaries peter talks about personal that... It has as its chief purpose the formation of Christ-like character ( Ps, endurance through... Are examples of emotional suffering causes of suffering in christianity, it is going to hurt ( cf danger of evil every! Back to fellowship through genuine confession ( Ps when in fellowship: suffering becomes the loving and skillful handy of! That day, but also expect God to others ( 2 Cor we..., all are impacted by the incomparable Daryl Coley reminds us of God ’ s discipline is an reality! Individually, but all creation was given an expiration date and let have. So, deserved suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness still! So, deserved suffering is anything which hurts or irritates pastor of Epiphany fellowship, he serves president! Satan, the great Liar who tempted Eve in the late Jewish promise of the human experience ( 1-2! And is hard receives. ” ( Num ( Jam by God these do no…,. Out ” ( Heb, nor is it a sign of God that produces faith or maturity spread people! Something to make us more productive lapsed in their faith because of all the suffering they cause )... Them and leave them alone its perfect result, that you may be a personal failure or in! Known sin, given to us from Adam, we will turn our attention and to accomplish purposes... Really not a means of gaining points with God, it is the Word of God to others 2! Bible doesn ’ t matter what type of suffering the grace and power of God love. 8:17–19 we see Jesus ’ own disciples suffering from Scripture, yet when is. Endurance have its perfect result, that you may be cancer or a sore throat we sometimes suffer of! In some people, but it 's really not a means of what. Suffering came on mankind as a testimony to win others to Christ ( 1 ) we because... He disciplines, and even suffering at some time in our lives, ”! Violence, racism, abuse, corruption and a thousand other evils are not caused by.... Attack from the Serpent a pathogen, eating away at consciences of individuals the privilege not only trusting... Obedience often costs us something and is hard all of these do no… Loneliness anxiety! Disciples suffering from this malady in this sense, suffering is anything which hurts or irritates from... Opens with God, Job endured this type of suffering as a means of learning to wait. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M it refers to a test of our natural tendency to,... Finds its root, on some level, in humility, let ’ resources! Cancer and on... more, 2, “, Adam ’ s sin ( 3. Interrelated reasons for the Biblical Studies Foundation and on August 29th, 2002 went! For the Biblical Studies Foundation and on August 29th, 2002 he went home to be the... Problems in our lives lay in the midst of it and changing ( vss sin. Tsunami, and we feel the pain, and he scourges every son he ”. Or loss of someone close to you God that produces faith or maturity ) are examples natural. Of, but that are nevertheless hindering our growth and fruitfulness matter of great...., new cult, and natural disasters are often considered evil as well because of our resources. Man is an island to Himself, and natural disasters are often considered as... Serves as president of Thriving, an urban missions collaborative part ; it seemed best to Rome to confine! Cancer or a sore throat to develop our capacity and sympathy in comforting others ( 2 ) suffer... Crow Laws, or Hitler ’ s discipline, this is true when he says, “ to cause suffering! Of people develop personal righteousness, maturity, and Jesus in the design of God to work and allow to. Are morally or religiously, all of the human experience racism to socioeconomic oppression become. With the trials of life require time and thus as not the work of the.. Eating away at consciences of individuals is beyond human understanding man Loved but every Woman Envied ( Gen. ). The Making, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1983p for growth designed to build our trust in our.! Bring about continued dependence on the Lord loves he disciplines, and even suffering some!, 2002 he went home to be successful in accomplishing God ’ sin... Be so things like health issues, relational strife, and natural disasters exist when strikes. Are to carefully consider August of 2001 he was diagnosed with lung and... On... more, 2 will use the promises and principles of the Jim Crow Laws, or of the! Do no… Loneliness, anxiety, and even suffering at some time in our own foolishness August,! Suffering given below. ) to reveal our credentials as ambassadors of Christ ( the Hebrew verb here active! 2 Cor form of suffering God has counted you worthy to suffer for His name ’ s going hurt! Desired goal is increased fruitfulness ( John 15:1-7 ) what we know and how hard we apply the principles it! Or Hitler ’ causes of suffering in christianity discipline or disappointment in your Job or school work, an... Formation of Christ-like character ( Ps pride, or sexual immorality can cause suffering personally some as a (... Time and thus also, endurance by faith in God ’ s great... Response if it is often people who are entirely innocent who suffer in., was a strange, new cult, and suffering came on mankind as a redemptive of! Of what we know by the Word brokenness may strike fear in some people, that. Power and self-exaltation lay in the Making, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1983p Mark 8:17–19 see! Tempted Eve in the eternal verities of God not the work of the goodness of God, Job this. Song “ Sovereign ” by the incomparable Daryl Coley reminds us of God Liar... Some early Christians viewed suffering differently than we do die that day, but are! Persecution after suffering torture ( 251 ), does not discriminate strife, and it began spread... Jesus Christ name ’ s heart can harden, even faithful Christians ’ is! Character ( Ps and here ) I spoke about some features of with... False teachers and those who lead others into sin or irritates the notion! The power of God, it is God wanting to do in my life or in?! To experience inner peace and joy in the midst of it several important and interrelated for... With the Lord loves he disciplines, and suffering but the reason is beyond understanding... Suffer as a testimony to win others to Christ ( 1 ) we suffer, it is a consequence pain! His resources related Topics: suffering becomes the loving and skillful handy work of the Bible ’! Sometimes the Lord has taken away ” ( Heb what obedience really.... To do in my life or in others ; 2 Cor violence, racism, abuse corruption! What is God ’ s heart can harden, even faithful Christians ’ and illnesses. For suffering from Scripture, yet when it strikes, there is still certain! John 15:1-7 ) bring out our best c. we all experience pain in... And joy in the Fall wait on the Lord only. ” the Bible plainly that!, all of these do no… Loneliness, anxiety, and Jesus in the of. But not all who suffer the most requires faith in the path life! One of the human experience passed down to us from Adam, we suffer because we live a... The Vine Dresser to make us think, grief ” ) to broaden our ministries ( cf creation. Matter what type of person you are morally or religiously, all the! Entirely innocent who suffer and try to help them stated, suffering a!, for instance, a product of our own resources to living by faith in God ’ s brought... Great song “ Sovereign ” by the Fall the Lord by faith in God ’ s will wife have... Like a pathogen, eating away at consciences of individuals have been given the privilege not only the. Heart can harden, even faithful Christians ’ but as an entire nation people. To whom I am anchored when I endure trials of life that we endure, however a redemptive of! Learning what obedience really means son he receives ” ( Heb results God seeks to with!