Summary: Why do the righteous suffer? I have found ten reasons. (If you know of any others revealed in scripture, contact me -- firstname.lastname@example.org)
A. The problem of suffering.
B. Job’s plight.
C. God is not guilty.
1. Satan = cause for suffering.
2. Law of sin = cause for suffering.
D. Suffering is not God’s perfect will.
E. Because of our flesh natures, suffering does have purposes.
I. SO THE BELIEVER MAY KNOW TRUE JOY -- Acts 5:41 -- "And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
II. SO WE MAY LEARN PATIENCE -- Romans 5:3 -- "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"
III. SO WE MAY DEVELOP HOPE -- Romans 5:3-5 -- "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
A. Patience leads to experience.
B. Experience = knowing something HAS happened.
C. Leads to hope = knowing something WILL happen.
D. Learning/conditioning -- the more times experienced, the greater the knowledge (ex: God’s power or peace.)
IV. SO WE MAY EXPERIENCE GOD’S GRACE -- II Corinthians 12:9 -- "And he said unto me, My GRACE is sufficient for thee:..."
V. SO WE MAY EXPERIENCE HIS POWER -- II Corinthians 12:9 -- "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
VI. SO WE MAY ATTAIN GREATER KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS -- Philippians 3:8-10 -- "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
VII. SO WE MAY HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM IN HIS SUFFERINGS -- Philippians 3:10 -- "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;"
VIII. SO WE MAY REIGN WITH JESUS -- II Timothy 2:12 -- "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
IX. SO WE MAY BE GLORIFIED WITH JESUS -- Romans 8:17 -- "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
A. Jesus has overcome the world -- John 16:33 -- "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
B. He expects it of His people as well -- I John 5:4-5 -- "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
X. GOD WANTS TO REWARD HIS PEOPLE -- I Corinthians 3:13-14 -- "Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward."
1. God is both merciful and just.
2. Because of His mercy, He provided Christ so that we could live with Him forever. Because of His justice, God can only give us the rewards we earn.
3. In allowing us to be tried, He gives us the ability to attain rewards in Heaven.
A. God isn’t guilty for what we go through.
B. There is a devil, and we, ourselves, often eat the fruit of our own ways.
C. But God can use all things to work together for our good as believers.
Dr. D.R. Carpenter, Th.D.
Adjunct Professor, Freedom Bible College & Seminary