Summary: Message 26 expands on the last message. It serves as an overview of Biblical teaching on suffering.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Faith’s Response to Suffering” Pt 2
James issued some instructions to his readers regarding suffering and persecution. How would someone with strong trust in God respond to trials and suffering no matter the source? As we have observed throughout the letter, James holds up a mirror to our life that accurate reflects the sincerity of our faith. He portrays how someone with faith in God responds to various life circumstances. Today I want to broaden our observation from our current passage to a comprehensive view of tribulation and suffering as provided in the whole New Testament. I hope to provide you a template to refer to when life feels difficult. This is not comprehensive but an attempt to provide the raw material for your further study and reflection. Review the principles provided here and make application where it may fit your particular circumstance.
I. Source of Suffering
A. God’s Initial Design
God planned a perfect environment. Evil did not originate with God. He did not plan it. Although He planned for it. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights who cannot be tempted by evil nor can He tempt anyone to evil.
B. Man’s Intentional Default
We understand that sin originally came into our world through the heart and mind of Lucifer. Scripture states clearly how sin came into the human experience.
Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned - Rom 5:12
It is passed down.
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 1 Peter 1:18
Every person disobeys.
We have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18
C. God’s redemptive Desire
As by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
God has an order to His redemptive plan.
• Regeneration/transformation/glorification of the of the spirit/soul
• Resurrection and transformation of the physical body.
II. The Nature of Suffering
A. Biblical Terms
Misfortune, calamity, affliction, Mistreatment, oppression, Bear hardship, receive or suffer hard blows from without, Distressed by outward circumstances, Distressed by inner emotional upheaval
Those actions of people or those events of life that produce physical, psychological, or spiritual pain and or pressure in my life
SIMPLY-- Any person or circumstance that produces pain or pressure.
These pressures and pains range from slight to severe. It may be anything from an unexpected expense to complete financial disaster. From an exasperating marital disagreement to an excruciating divorce. From a temporarily rambunctious, strong-willed child to a totally rebellious one. From fighting a troubling head cold to facing a terminal illness.
B. Suffering is no respecter of Persons – everyone suffers
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:12
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Joh 16:33
Suffering and evil permeates every sphere of this broken cursed world.
C. Suffering never arrives announced
III. Possible Divine purposes of suffering
A. Suffering promotes purity and maturity
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Heb 2:10
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces endurance; endurance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Rom 5:3-5
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops endurance. Endurance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Jam 1:2-4