the purpose of suffering christianity

Philippians 1:12-14 with 4:5-9). The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. Regardless of what we know and how hard we apply the principles, it is going to hurt (cf. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. (5) We suffer to bring about continued dependence on the grace and power of God. Hampton wrote many articles for the Biblical Studies Foundation and on... More, Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, 4. Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. Suffering in this world is a stone-cold reality in Christianity -- Jesus Christ Himself, God Incarnate, suffered betrayal, indignity, torture and a grueling death. Compare 1 Peter 1:6-7 where the same Greek words are used along with the verb dokimazo which means, “put to the test,” “prove by testing as with gold.”. This involves known sin, rebellion and indifference to God. In this sense, suffering is designed: a. Evil and suffering can sometimes make people question their religious beliefs. Illustration: If a father tells his son to do something he likes to do (i.e., eat a bowl of ice cream) and he does it, the child has obeyed, but he hasn’t really learned anything about obedience. 119:67, 71). The nature of divine chastening is described in the twelfth chapter of... 3. To Share in the Purpose of Suffering Jesus' suffering was not in vain. Simply stated, suffering is anything which hurts or irritates. Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. The history of the Church is replete with examples of persecution, deprivation, martyrdom, starvation, and imprisonment, as well as the quiet agonies of the soul. 4:8-12; 1 Pet. This has both a negative and a positive aspect: a. It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. 12:7). In the design of God, it is also something to make us think. SUFFERING What is christian suffering? God lovingly and faithfully uses suffering to develop personal righteousness, maturity, and our walk with Him (Heb. Sin as the misuse of human freedom has led humans into total opposition … 32:3-5; 119:67). Philippians 3:10: . Suffering is an individual's basic affective experience of pain or distress, often as a result of one’s physical, emotional or spiritual circumstance (Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy 2006). 1:2-4). We’re on a mission to change that. 2 Corinthians 1:8–9: We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. The Purpose of Suffering: A Christian Perspective The concept of suffering plays an important role in Christianity, regarding such matters as moral conduct, spiritual advancement and ultimate destiny. 1:6—“distressed” = lupeo, “to cause pain, sorrow, grief”). The Apostle was undoubtedly continuing to rejoice in the Lord, but if he had been complaining, sulking, and bitter, his witness would have been zero. We reap what we sow (Gal. Suffering is designed to build our trust in the Almighty. Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. “Testing” in this same verse is dokimion which has a similar idea. The purpose of suffering as a Christian PLEASE NOTE: This article is not really about suffering in general and it probably wouldn’t be helpful to someone facing sickness, bereavement, breakdown of relationship or the other kinds of pain which can afflict us in life. We may know some of the theological reasons for suffering from Scripture, yet when it strikes, there is still a certain mystery. We seldom know the micro reasons for our sufferings, but the Bible does give us faith-sustaining macro reasons. This is similar to point (4) above with more emphasis on the process and defining the objective, the production of the character of Christ. Regardless of the reason God allows suffering into our lives, rarely does it not reveal areas of need, weaknesses, wrong attitudes, etc., as it did in Job. (11) Suffering is a Struggle. (6) Suffering is a Purifier. Of course, all of these do not apply at the same time. (Romans 8:28). 6:10f; Ex. It is the price of being human, of our … Christianity believes in a benevolent God who created the universe and all things in it. Why now? Suffering Is Mysterious and Pervasive. What is God doing? This article talks about two unique purposes of suffering in Christian Life. 1:6-7: The key word is “the proof of our faith.” “Proof” is the word dokimion which looks at both the concept of testing which purifies, and the results, the proof that is left after the test. 1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. The suffering of Christ was God’s plan for the salvation of the world. 4:9-10; 3:18). And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Suffering is not without meaning in spite of its mystery. Related Topics: Suffering, Trials, Persecution, J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M. The Analysis is based on 2 Corinthians 1, 3-4 and Acts 14, 22. This includes the following areas: a. 17:8f). Christianity acknowledges the reality of suffering and attributes it to the sinful nature of humanity. Suffering is somewhat mysterious. The message of the cross, (the suffering and shame that Jesus took for us) is directly contrary to what the world and its system lives by and believes. Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. (7) Suffering Provides Opportunity. Luke 13:4–5: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7). It provides opportunities to reveal our credentials as ambassadors of Christ (1 Kings. First Peter 2:21 says, “To this [suffering] you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (NIV). Indeed an emphasis on suffering pervades the Gospel of Mark where, it can be argued, we are shown how to “journey through suffering” (Ditzel 2001) in the image of the “Suffering Son of … Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will. Hebrews 12:6, 10–11: “The Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” . 3:12). The Purpose of Suffering: A Christian Perspective. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. Instead Lewis’s conviction that suffering can lead to humility is tied to grasping that Christians worship Jesus Christ, and as the 19th century writer George MacDonald (whom Lewis quotes in The Problem of Pain) commented, “The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their sufferings might be like His.” To glorify God before the angelic world (Job 1-2; 1 Pet. 119: Learning and turning (vs. 71, cf. that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings. The truth is: Suffering is inevitable. (See reasons for suffering given below.). “For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son He receives” (Heb. This means trust, peace, joy, stability, biblical values, faithfulness, and obedience in contrast to sinful mental attitudes, blaming, running, complaining, and reactions against God and people. Table of Contents [ Show] 1. Suffering in the Christian life is not random or arbitrary, but our suffering is given greater meaning when we remember that Jesus also suffered. God has promised us many things, but He has not promised us immunity from suffering in this life. Why me? 11:28-32; 5:1-5). (9) Suffering is Predetermined or Appointed. Suffering is designed to cause us to walk by God’s ability, power, and provision rather than by our own (2 Cor. vs. 59), (1) Determine Causes if we can (Is it because of something I have done? (3) Suffering is Purposeful. Suffering itself is not the thing that produces faith or maturity. It is not surprising that the purpose of suffering has been discussed in every generation from Joseph Smith to our prophets today. c. As a tool for growth designed to cause us to rely on the Lord and His Word. Why me? All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. It causes us to turn from our resources to His resources. . (1) Suffering is Painful. It is good to have a way to remember some of these so that, when we are suddenly afflicted, or have a chance to help others in their affliction, we can recall some of the truths God has given us to help us not lose hope. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. This idea receives its clarification from the Christian understanding of sin. 5:5-11; 1 Cor. Suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. To manifest the power of God to others (2 Cor. b. 4:8-11; Phil. Righteousness: Suffering is the discipline of our loving heavenly Father so that we come to share his righteousness and holiness. It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). b. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. If we are going to endure suffering and the trials of life, however, we must also understand and believe in the other purposes and reasons for suffering as they are related to the chief purpose. 17:17-24; John 11:1-45). (2) When in fellowship: Suffering becomes the loving and skillful handy work of the Vine Dresser to make us more productive. Renike quotes author Rankin Wilbourne who … Psalm 22:14–18 details some of the suffering of the Messiah: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. The Purpose of Pain We all experience pain, and even suffering at some time in our lives. The purpose was to … That’s why they are called “trials” and “testings.” Even when we understand the purposes and principles of suffering, and we know the promises of God’s love and concern given in the Word of God for handling suffering, dealing with the trials of life is never easy because suffering hurts. This requires faith in the eternal verities of God. 12:9, 10; John 9:3). 1:6-7). (3) We suffer to keep down pride (2 Cor. 1:6; Jam. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. 4:12-13; 1 Pet. Suffering is a privilege. It’s going to be a battle all the way. It involves unknown sin, areas we may not be aware of, but that are nevertheless hindering our growth and fruitfulness. It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”1 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito to facing a lion in the lions’ den as did Daniel (Dan. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. The concept of suffering plays an important role in Christianity, regarding such matters as moral conduct, spiritual advancement and ultimate destiny. Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective phenomena.The opposite of suffering is pleasure or happiness. (2) Suffering is Perplexing. You remember the account in John 9, of the man who was born blind, and... 2. 2 Corinthians 4:17: This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (1) We suffer as a testimony, as a witness (2 Tim 2:8-10; 2 Cor. Satan is the author of sin, and suffering came on mankind as a result of Adam’s sin . Ultimately, it is the Word and the Spirit of God that produces faith and mature Christlike character (Ps. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; (Romans 8:28-29), (4) Suffering Proves (tests) Us. Finally, Reminder: Suffering reminds us that God sent his Son into the world to suffer so that our suffering would not be God’s condemnation but his purification. 4:1 [The Hebrew of this passage can mean, “You have enlarged, made me grow wide by my distress”]). In order to handle suffering with inner joy and tranquillity, we must be able to look ahead to God’s purposes and reasons for suffering. 4:4-7), 3. The Lord uses trials to test our faith in the sense of purifying it, to bring it to the surface, so we are forced to put our faith to work. 16:7; 119:67, 71). 11:24-32; 12:7-10; Eph. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. The macro purposes of God in our sufferings include: Repentance: Suffering is a call for us and others to turn from treasuring anything on earth above God. Why now? b. As a pruning tool to remove dead wood from our lives (weaknesses, sins of ignorance, immature attitudes and values, etc.) (Psalm 34:19). 1:4). The results God seeks to accomplish with the trials of life require time and thus also, endurance. Devotional excerpted from Which has a similar idea our loyalty ( Heb plan for the salvation of the man was!: 5 R’s ( or if it is also something to make rely. 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