Suffering and Deliverance (Part 3) - Why God Allows Us to Suffer (Part B)


B. Temptations and trials work patience which works in us to bring us to perfection (Jam 1:2-4; Jam 1:12). i. Patience n. - 1. a. The suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure; the quality or capacity of so suffering or enduring. ii. Perfect adj. - 1. Thoroughly made, formed, done, perfomed, carried out, accomplished. Obs. 2. a. Fully accomplished; thoroughly versed, trained, skilled, or conversant. 4. a. In the state of complete excellence; free from any flaw or imperfection of quality; faultless. But often used of a near approach to such a state, and hence capable of comparison, perfecter (= more nearly perfect), perfectest (= nearest to perfection). iii. Without suffering and enduring pain, trouble, and evil we would never learn to do so with calmness and composure and would therefore not grow into mature Christians. C. Tribulation works patience which works experience which brings hope (Rom 5:3-5). i. Tribulation n. - 1. A condition of great affliction, oppression, or misery; ‘persecution; distress; vexation; disturbance of life’ ii. Experience n. - 1. a. The action of putting to the test; trial. to make experience of: to make trial of. 2. Proof by actual trial; practical demonstration. to put in experience: to fulfil in practice. Obs.; passing into 3. 3. The actual observation of facts or events, considered as a source of knowledge. iii. Hope n. - 1. a. Expectation of something desired; desire combined with expectation. iv. Hope, along with faith and charity, is one of the three chief Christian virtues (1Co 13:13). v. In order to have the lofty virtue of hope we must endure suffering affliction, oppression, and misery. vi. Hope will save us temporally, enabling us to faithfully finish our course in this life (Rom 8:24-25). D. The Lord lays affliction on us to prove us and try us as silver is tried (Psa 66:10-11). i. Prove v. - 1. a. trans. To make trial of, put to the test; to try the genuineness or qualities of; to try, test. ii. Try v. - 1. a. trans. To separate (one thing) from another or others; to set apart; to distinguish. 2. a. To separate the good part of a thing from the rest, esp. by sifting or straining; hence, to sift or strain. 3. spec. To separate (metal) from the ore or dross by melting; to refine, purify by fire; also, to remove (the dross or impurity) from metal by fire. iii. When God tries His children He separates the men from the boys. iv. Silver has to be put through the fire to remove impurities from it (Pro 25:4). v. Likewise the Lord tries our hearts to remove sin from them (Pro 17:3; Mal 3:3). vi. God tries our work and burns off that which is not profitable in our service to Him and leaves what is (1Co 3:12-15). vii. If we purge ourselves of our dishonorable qualities we will be prepared for greater service to God (2Ti 2:20-21). E. Another way God brings suffering into our lives for the purpose of growth and improvement is through marriage. i. Marriage is a great blessing, but it is also a source of trouble (1Co 7:28). ii. Trouble n. - 1. a. Disturbance of mind or feelings; worry, vexation; affliction; grief; perplexity; distress. iii. Getting married will bring out carnality and character flaws in you that you didn't know about and which would not have been revealed otherwise. a. Marriage will (or should) greatly facilitate growth in the Christian life. b. It is important for husbands and wives to correct sinful and foolish behavior and tendencies in their spouse because nobody else will. c. When your spouse smites you (figuratively, of course) because of your sinful or foolish behavior, realize that God is using him or her to improve your character, and thank him or her for loving you enough to correct you (Psa 141:5). iv. Marriage will give you a graduate level course in bearing trouble patiently and learning to both forgive and ask to be forgiven. 5. an example of suffering patiently to others A. God allowed the prophets to suffer as an example to us of how to suffer patiently (Jam 5:10). i. Example n . 1. A typical instance; a fact, incident, quotation, etc. that illustrates, or forms a particular case of, a general principle, rule, state of things, etc.; a person or thing that may be taken as an illustration of a certain quality. 6. A person's action or conduct regarded as an object of imitation; often qualified by adjs. good, bad, evil, etc. Phrases, to give, leave, set an example. Also, a person whose conduct ought to be imitated; a ‘pattern’ of excellence. ii. Consider just a few of the prophets. a. Think about prophets like Jeremiah who was persecuted and was imprisoned in horrible conditions for preaching the truth. b. Consider Elijah who stood alone against hundreds of prophets of Baal and was persecuted by the king and queen of Israel. c. Think about Micaiah who was persecuted by king Ahab for telling him the truth in opposition to the other 400 false prophets. d. (Details will be given on these prophets later in the study.) iii. The examples which the prophets left us of suffering patiently have provided millions of Christians with hope and courage for thousands of years. iv. Their suffering had a purpose that extended beyond their own lives. v. God allows us to suffer for the same purpose. B. God allowed Job to suffer unimaginably as a example for us to endure affliction patiently (Jam 5:11). i. Endure v. - II. To last; to suffer continuously. 2. intr. To last, continue in existence. Also, to persist, ‘hold out’ in any action, etc. 3. trans. To undergo, bear, sustain (continuous pain, opposition, hardship, or annoyance); properly, to undergo without succumbing or giving way. ii. Those who continue in pain, opposition, hardship, or annoyance without giving up are blessed. iii. They are a good example to others. C. The Lord allowed Paul, our apostle, to suffer long and endure persecutions and afflictions as an example for us to learn from (2Ti 3:10-11). i. Paul's suffering was "fully known" (2Ti 3:10) to Timothy and others because he as a minister of God was to serve as our pattern and example (Tit 2:7; 1Ti 4:12; 2Th 3:9). ii. Paul was longsuffering (2Ti 3:10). iii. Longsuffering n. - Patient endurance of provocation or trial; longanimity. iv. He wrote about his tremendous suffering so that Christians would have an example to follow. Consider the things he suffered (2Co 11:23-28):
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