Suffering and Deliverance (Part 2) - Why God Allows Us to Suffer (Part A)


III. Sometimes God causes or allows us to suffer and does not deliver us from it for various reasons. 1. Christians are appointed to affliction by God (1Th 3:3; Act 9:16). A. Affliction n. - 1. The action of inflicting grievous pain or trouble. 2. The state of being afflicted; sore pain of body or trouble of mind; misery, distress. B. Appointed ppl. - 1. Fixed by agreement; settled beforehand. 2. Fixed by authority; ordained. C. In the same way that God has given us the gift of faith (Rom 12:3), so he has given us the gift of suffering for His sake (Php 1:29). D. When God chose Paul to be the apostle to the Gentiles, He also ordained that he would suffer greatly for Him (Act 9:15-16). E. The more wisdom, knowledge, and faith that is given to a person, the more grief, sorrow, and chastisement he should expect to receive from God (Ecc 1:18; Ecc 7:4; Luk 12:47-48). i. Grief n. - 1. Hardship, suffering; a kind, or cause, of hardship or suffering. ii. Sorrow n. - 1. a. Distress of mind caused by loss, suffering, disappointment, etc.; grief, deep sadness or regret; also, that which causes grief or melancholy; affliction, trouble. iii. Stripe n. - 1. A blow or stroke with a staff, sword, or other weapon, with a missile, with the claws or hoofs of an animal, etc. 2. A stroke or lash with a whip or scourge. Now arch., chiefly in pl. F. Jesus Christ, our Lord, Master, and Saviour, was a man of sorrows (Isa 53:3). i. As His disciples we should expect to suffer like He did (Joh 15:20). ii. The multitude of the elect which no man could number that John saw in heaven had come out of great tribulation (Rev 7:9, 14). iii. So if you're a Christian, or desire to be one, don't expect to get through this life without suffering. 2. God may permit suffering for the purpose of: 3. punishment A. When God's people are living like the heathen, God will punish them with the heathen (Jer 9:25-26). B. Punish v. - 1. a. trans. As an act of a superior or of public authority: To cause (an offender) to suffer for an offence; to subject to judicial chastisement as retribution or requital, or as a caution against further transgression; to inflict a penalty on. C. If God's church (which Jerusalem was symbolic of) is living in wickedness, it will not be unpunished when God judges the world (Jer 25:29). D. God will not completely destroy His people when they are judged with the world, but they will not be left unpunished (Jer 30:11). E. The LORD chastens whom He loves (Heb 12:5-8). i. The chastening is grievous (Heb 12:11). ii. But it's purpose is to bring about the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11). iii. Wise people will recognize God's punishment, receive it, and correct their behavior (Pro 9:9). iv. But fools will be ground to powder and never change (Pro 27:22). 4. growth and improvement through suffering A. Sometimes God lets us suffer to humble us and strengthen us as we rely on Him (2Co 12:7-10). i. Paul had a thorn in the flesh which buffeted him (v.7). a. Thorn n. - 1. A stiff, sharp-pointed, straight or curved woody process on the stem or other part of a plant; a spine, a prickle. 2. fig. (or in fig. context): Anything that causes pain, grief, or trouble; in various metaphors, similes, and proverbial expressions, as a thorn in the flesh or side, a constant affliction, a source of continual grief, trouble, or annoyance; (to be, sit, stand, walk) on thorns (a thorn), (to be, etc.) in a painful state of anxiety or suspense. b. Whatever Paul's thorn in the flesh was, it was a continual source of grief, trouble, and pain for him. c. Buffet v. - 1. trans. To beat, strike, esp. with the hand; to thump, cuff, knock about. ii. He suffered with infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions, and distresses (v.10). a. Infirmity n. - 1. Weakness or want of strength; lack of power to do something; inability. Also with pl. an instance or case of this. 2. Physical weakness, debility, frailty, feebleness of body, resulting from some constitutional defect, disease, or (now mostly) old age. b. Reproach n. - 1. A source or cause of disgrace or shame (to a person, etc.); a fact, matter, feature or quality bringing disgrace or discredit upon one. c. Necessity n. - 1. a. The fact of being inevitably fixed or determined. Obs. 10. a. The condition of being in difficulties or straits, esp. through lack of means; want, poverty. 11. A situation of hardship or difficulty; a pressing need or want. (Chiefly in pl.) d. Persecution n. 1. a. The action of persecuting or pursuing with enmity and malignity; esp. the infliction of death, torture, or penalties for adherence to a religious belief or an opinion as such, with a view to the repression or extirpation of it; the fact of being persecuted; an instance of this. e. Distress n. - 1. a. The action or fact of straining or pressing tightly, strain, stress, pressure; fig. pressure employed to produce action, constraint, compulsion; less usually, pressure applied to prevent action, restraint. 2. a. The sore pressure or strain of adversity, trouble, sickness, pain, or sorrow; anguish or affliction affecting the body, spirit, or community. iii. Paul took pleasure in these afflictions because God made him strong through his weakness (v.10). iv. Pleasure n. - 1. a. The condition of consciousness or sensation induced by the enjoyment or anticipation of what is felt or viewed as good or desirable; enjoyment, delight, gratification. The opposite of pain.
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