Thursday, December 16, 2010

A summary of reasons for suffering

A friend sent me this awhile ago. I keep my copy in my Bible and thought others might appreciate it too.

"For the LORD will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men."
Lamentations 3:31-33

We may group some of God's reasons into four categories. The list of references is by no means exhaustive.

First, we suffer for our own sake:

that we may learn who God is  --     Psalm 46;1,10, Danieln 4;24-37; the book of Job

that we may learn to trust --       2 Corinthians 1;8-9

that we may learn to obey    - Psalm 119:67, 71

discipline is proof of the Father's love and
of the validity of our sonship    -  - Hebrews 12:5-11

it is the condition of discipleship -- Acts 14:22, Luke 14;26-27,33

it is required of soldiers -- 2 Timothy 2:4

we are being 'pruned' that we may bear fruit --John 15:2

that we may be shaped to the image of Christ  -- Romans 8;29

to qualify us to be fellow-heirs with Christ --Romans 8;17

to qualify us for the kingdom of God -- 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5

that our faith may be strengthened -- James 1:3, Daniel 11:35, Malachi 3:2, 1 Corinthians 3:13, 1 Peter 1:7

that we may reach spiritual maturity -- James 1:4

power comes to its full strength in weakness -- 2 Corinthians 12:9

to produce in us endurance, character, hope -- Romans 5;3-4

to produce in us joy and generosity -- 2 Corinthians 8;2


Second, we suffer for the sake of God's people:

that they may obtain salvation -- 2 Timothy 2;10

to give them courage --Philippians 1:14

that because of death working in us, life may work in them -- 2 Corinthians 4:12, Galatians 4;13, 1 John 3;16

that grace may extend to more -- 2 Corinthians 4;15

that our generosity may bless others -- 2 Corinthians 8:2


Third, we suffer for the world's sake:

that it may be shown what love and obedience mean -- the book of Job, John 14;31, Matthew 27:40-43

that the life of Jesus may be visible in ordinary human flesh -- 2Corinthians 4:10


Fourth, we suffer for Christ's sake:

that we may be identified with Him in His crucifixion -- Galatians 2;20

suffering is the corollary of faith ---Psalm 44;22, Acts 9;16, and 14:22, 2 Timothy 3;12, John 15:18 -21, 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and 3:4

that we may share His suffering -- 1 Peter 4;12-13, Philippians 1:29, 2;17, and 3:8,10, Colossians 1:24, 2 Timothy 1:8, Hebrews 13:13

that we may share His glory -- Romans 8:17-18, Hebrews 2:9-20, 2 Corinthians 4:17


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Intense Debate Comments

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1