What is the Purpose of Suffering

Trials, Tribulations And Afflictions

Ps. 25:18 “Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.”

Jesus was perfect and had pharasees (religious spirit) and accusers.  The pharasees and accusers put Him on the cross for our sins.  You are not perfect and when following the Lord and being obedient, you will have pharasees and accusers at your door.

Romans 5:3-5 “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

The purpose of suffering is to makes us a better person – more Christ like.  Through suffering we run to Christ to sustain us and through Him, if we allow Him, the suffering produces endurance, character, hope that will not put us to shame.  Not only that, you will see the miracles of God helping you through the suffering … especially for the gospel of God.

1 Peter 4:12-17 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. …”

The purpose of suffering through persecution and hardship for the gospel do happen when sharing in Jesus’ suffering.  In 1 Peter 4:12-17 you see to rejoice in our sufferings and that glory is revealed.  I believe suffering helps humble us and keep pride out of our hearts or remove it if it did enter in our hearts.  We serve a God and there is a roaring devour to eat us up especially when sharing the gospel with others.

Christians are experiencing trials, tribulations and afflictions of all kinds. Suffering is so contrary to our natural fleshly response to suffering.  Afflictions many times is a result of sanctification – dying to self. Times of greatest difficulty and disappointment often lead to repentance and change.  Afflictions are to draw our attention to God and His Word.

What is the value of affliction or the purpose of suffering? In Psalm 119:71 the Psalmist says, It is “good for me that I have been afflicted;that I might learn thy statutes.”

Kinds of Afflictions

1. Men afflicting men

2. Men oppressing widows

3. Husbands mistreating wives

4. Masters or bosses oppressing slaves or employees

5. Conquerors afflicting the conquered (war)

6. Self-affliction of the soul by fasting or like our young people today self afficticting to deal with emotional pain.

7. Wicked men afflicting neighbors in various ways

8. Wicked persecuting the godly

9. Gentiles oppressing Jews

10. Heavy responsibility

11. Sufferings of Christ

12. Various agents of God causing many kinds of suffering according to God’s law of sowin and reaping

Learn The Purposes of Affliction

1.  To work good in a person (Ps. 119:71)

2. Hide pride from man (Job 3314-29)

3. Demonstrate God’s faithfulness (Ps. 119:75)

4. To test sincerity (Mark 4:17; Job 1-2; Jas. 5:10-11)

5. To refine, purify and increase fruitfulness (Isa. 48:10; Jn. 15:2; Heb 12:10-11)

6. To increase power and grace (Rom. 5:1-88; Jas. 1:2-4; 4:7; 1 Pet 5:9

7. To bring back to God – the backslide (Hos. 5:15; Job 33:14-29)

8. To humble and correct (2 Sam. 12:14; Ps. 89:30-32; Heb. 12:5-6)

9. To make examples (1 Cor. 10;5, 11)

10. To manifest love (Pr. 3:11-12; Heb. 12:5-10; Rev. 3:19

11. To give reward (Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 4:17; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet 1:7; 4:14)

12. To learn obedience and truth (Ps. 119:71; Heb 5:8; 12:5-10)

Hope for the Suffering Believer

The purpose of suffering, the purpose of suffering

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