Making Sense of Suffering - Part C
Making Sense of Suffering ... Part C
7 PERSONAL REASONS FOR SUFFERING
For he (God) does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men. Lamentations 3:33
We all suffer, however it can be very hard to believe that I may have contributed to my suffering. Listed below are some brief Biblical truths that will help make sense of life.
7 Personal Reasons for Suffering
- To bring me to repentance and understanding - To understand my misguided actions and ways is a mercy of the Lord. Surely suffering will teach me to not repeat mistakes and errors. This is the first step in pruning, to take me to a position of fruitfulness and indeed more usefulness for Him. (Jer 31:19)
- To be pruned for fruitfulness - God is making me more useful to Him. (That is terrific, He has much permanent good for me to do. Jn 15:16, Eph 2:10 ) In pruning God is making His rough diamond into one that will perfectly reflect Himself. With fruitfulness, I will deliver faithfulness. He is able to move me to a new place of service. Suffering can take me from faithlessness to fruitfulness.
- For my personal good - A raw egg does not taste too good. But when it is mixed up in a mess, beaten and then baked, the whole cake will taste great. This beaten up egg actually holds the entire cake together. The rawness had to be dealt with. There is a far higher good for the egg that cannot be obtained if it is not messed up 'a bit.'(Rms 8:28-30)
- My foolishness - Mockers suffer, falling asleep in an open window could cause my fall to death or I just may lack correct judgment. I may not be sinful just foolish in my speech or actions, these too God will use to teach me lessons from. (Prov 9:12b, 28:19, 29:1,6, Acts 20:7-12)
- My sin
- When God delivers suffering it can be because I have given Him cause. (Ez 14:23) He disciplines the ones He loves. (Hebs 12:1-13) Suffering actually removes sin (1 Peter 4:1-2) so I can live now for God's purposes for me and not mine.
- I can unwittingly place myself under the God's law of reaping and sowing. (Job 4:8, Hosea 8:7, 2 Cor 9:6) as I have done to another, it shall also be done unto me. It is so helpful and wise to look at suffering and ask - am I reaping what I have sown? To be useful to God I really must have sins removed or sin will remove me! (Lev 26:14-45, Ps 107:17, Prov 28:26 & 27,29:16, Jer 30:15, Jn 5:14/9:2, 1 Cor 11:27-30, James5:16). My own heart/desires can lead me into sin (James 1:14) and then what the heart conceives, the head believes, and the body receives.
- God wants to bring early release - God sees and loves the righteous and the troubled. He sees their tears (see Soul Snack 26), and fully knows their future. To spare them further pain, He may choose to take some home prematurely.(see Soul Snack 8/12) This is a great grief to those left behind but ultimately an unknown mercy to those who receive it.(Is 57:1)
- I am constrained by my circumstances/difficulties - Jeremiah knew what it was to be held captive, so too the apostle Paul. (Jer 32:2, Acts 28:16 ) Both men were in exactly the right place (Acts 17:26) to hear from God, and prepare for the future that God had for them and many. God had stopped them, imprisoned them and then worked mightily through them. My suffering will always be for the good of others as well! Suffering has then become part of God's Positioning System (G.P.S.Soul Snack ) for me. Suffering has become a God utilised tool of guidance for me.
No life can ever be immune from the assault of pain, yet pain handled well will definitely be for gain (Roms 8:28). Suffering is to be felt not fled, this is developed in the final instalment.
Read the final article in this series "My personal responses in suffering."