Dt. 8:5-6 π Dt. 32:39 π Job 2:10 π Job 5:17-18 π Job 23:13 π Psa. 78:34 π Psa. 102:23 π Psa. 119:67 π Psa. 119:71 π Eccl. 7:3 π Isa. 48:10 π Hos. 5:15 π Lk. 6:40 π Jn. 19:11 π Acts 14:22 π Rom. 8:26 π Rom. 9:19 π Rom. 15:1 π Rom. 15:3 π 2 Cor. 1:4-5 π 2 Cor. 1:5 π 2 Cor. 4:11-12; 2nd π 2 Cor. 12:9 π 2 Cor. 12:10 π Eph. 1:11 π Eph. 3:13 π Phlp. 1:29 π Phlp. 2:13 π Phlp. 3:10; 2nd π Col. 1:24 π 1 Ths. 3:3-4 π 2 Ths. 1:4-5 π 1 Tim. 1:16 π 2 Tim. 1:8 π 2 Tim. 3:12 π Heb. 2:10 π Heb. 5:8 π Heb. 12:10-11 π Heb. 12:14 π 1 Pet. 2:21 π 1 Pet. 4:1 π 1 Pet. 4:13 π 1 Pet. 4:19 π 1 Pet. 5:10
We don’t look for sufferings, nor plan for them, but when they happen we should realize we are identifying with the Lord’s walk through comparable situations, and because He went through them first He will lead us safely through them. We are chosen in the furnace of affliction. Isa. 48:10 : “I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” (top)
1. For our own perfection: for without holiness no man shall see God. ( Heb. 12:14 ) “He who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.” ( 1 Pet. 4:1 ) “But the God of all Grace who has called us into His eternal glory by Christ Jesus after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” ( 1 Pet. 5:10 ) Jesus was made perfect through sufferings, and we are no different. ( Heb. 2:10; top )
“For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” ( Heb. 12:10-11; top )
2. Paul said he rejoiced in his sufferings to fill up that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ in our flesh for Christ’s body’s sake, which is the Church. This suffering is for the perfection of the Church, often more intense than the travail necessary to bring a person to salvation. ( Col. 1:24; top )
3. To learn our nothingness and God’s greatness: He weakens our strength so His strength can prevail. “That we might know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” ( Phlp. 3:10 ) His strength is made perfect in our weakness. ( Psa. 102:23 , 2 Cor. 12:9; top )
4. To follow Christ’s example: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” ( 1 Pet. 2:21 ) “The disciple is not above His Master.” ( Lk. 6:40; top ) As the Lord suffered, we are subject to the same stresses.
Paul fortifies this point by saying, “However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” ( 1 Tim. 1:16 ) To suffer as a comparable witness to Jesus Himself, as He did in His earthly ministry. “To not only believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake.” ( Phlp. 1:29 ) To show further that “all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” ( 2 Tim. 3:12 ) “For the sufferings of Christ abound in us...” ( 2 Cor. 1:5; top )
“Though He were a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” ( Heb. 5:8; top )
5. To show that He controls everything and that He is truly God Almighty. “See now that I, even I am He and there is no God with Me. I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any that can deliver out of My hand.” ( Dt. 32:39 ) “Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty, for He makes sore and builds up, He wounds and His hands make whole.” ( Job 5:17-18 ) Also Eph. 1:11 , Job 2:10 , Phlp. 2:13 , Job 23:13 , Rom. 9:19 , Jn. 19:11; top .
6. To show that it is a process whereby we enter into the Kingdom of God. “For your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure which is a manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God that you may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which you also suffer.” ( 2 Ths. 1:4-5 ) “...And that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God.” ( Acts 14:22; top )
7. Suffering is used to keep us closer to God: “Before I was afflicted I went astray.” ( Psa. 119:67 ) “In their affliction they will seek Me early.” ( Hos. 5:15 ) “When He slew them, then they sought Him; and they returned and sought diligently for God.” ( Psa. 78:34; top )
8. To also fulfill Scripture: “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him...” ( 1 Pet. 4:19 ) “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings...” ( 1 Pet. 4:13 ) “That no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulations, just as it happened, and you know.” ( 1 Ths. 3:3-4; top )
9. To show the principle of Bible power. Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distress for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” ( 2 Cor. 12:10 ) “For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death works in us, but life in you.” ( 2 Cor. 4:11-12 ) This is the way the Lord’s new life is ministered to others: “...share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” ( 2 Tim. 1:8; top )
10. To gain compassion for others. “Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble...for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.” ( 2 Cor. 1:4-5 ) “Sorrow is better than laughter; for by a sad countenance the heart is made better.” ( Eccl. 7:3; top )
11. To produce sacrificial, vicarious sufferings: “Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which are for your glory.” ( Eph. 3:13 ) “...But the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” ( Rom. 8:26 ) “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not to please ourselves...for even Christ did not please Himself.” ( Rom. 15:1 , 3 ) Also 2 Cor. 4:11-12 , Phlp. 3:10; top )
12. To learn to walk in His ways and to fear the Lord and keep God’s commandments: “...So the Lord your God chastens you, therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to fear Him.” ( Dt. 8:5-6; top )
“It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes.” ( Psa. 119:71; top )
I’d love to hear comments and/or questions from you! Email me!