Summary: Suffering should be viewed as a precious and important part of doing the will of God
The Will of God
· C. S. Lewis describes the role of suffering in the life of the believer as “soul-making.” It is the shaping of the Christian with the hammer and chisel of adversity. Lewis also said “God whispers to us in our pleasures; speaks in our consciences; but shouts in our pains.”
· Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
~ Helen Keller
· Do Christians Suffer? Should Christians Suffer? Why Do Christians Suffer?
· The answers are: Yes, Yes, and because of their sin, or their faith?
Those that suffer should…
I. Be mind IF it’s in the will of God, ‘according to the will of God’
A. Non-Christians suffer because of their sins
1. They suffer in this life,
2. They will suffer in the next life, Rev. 20:11-15
B. Carnal Christians suffer because of their sins,
1. I Pet. 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
2. I Pet. 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
C. Spiritual Christians suffer because of their faith
- II Tim. 3:12 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
- I Pet. 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
- I Pet. 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
- I Pet. 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
- I Pet. 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
- Five Reasons Spiritual Christians suffer
1. That we might learn patience, Romans 5:3 -- "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;"
2. That we might experience grace, II Corinthians 12:9 -- "And he said unto me, My GRACE is sufficient for thee:..."
3. That we might experience 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."
4. That we might experience fellowship with Christ, 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;"
5. That we might reign with Christ, II Timothy 2:12 -- "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
Those that suffer should…
II. Turn their lives over to Jesus, ‘commit the keeping’
A. This means to surrender to Jesus, ‘commit’