Summary: Why Suffering & Pain? ...A. To Reveal Ourselves To Ourselves ...B. To Bring Us Closer To God ...C. To Show God’s Sovereignty
Philippians 1:29 (AV)
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
1. Hardening Steel
- Iron coming from the earth
- Harder than copper or bronze
- Adding carbon to iron in a fire changes its strength
- Steel must be hardened then tempered so it can stand up to a lot of ware & tear
• To harden steel it must be heated red hot
• Quench the steel quickly in water
• Remove the water
• Heat the steel again watching its color change from a straw color to purple to temper it to the hardness you will need
• Now cool slowly
- Giving strength and removing the brittleness giving steel some flex
2. The Many Forms of Suffering
- Job 5:7KJV Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward
- Hardship, Distress, Anxiety, Depression, Pain, Loss, Grief, Injustice, Disease, Persecution, Loneliness, Death, Disaster, Sickness, Frustrated hopes, Spiritual Crisis one of the most persistent of all human problems
3. When Did Suffering Begin?
Suffering was not part of God’s plan
Genesis 3:16–19 (AV)
16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
4. Will Suffering Ever End?
Revelation 21:4 (AV)
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5. In the Mean Time
> Ro 8:18 “For I reckon” – Consider, reason, careful study, coming to a valid conclusion
> Romans 8:28 (AV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
6. Why Suffering & Pain?
A. To Reveal Ourselves To Ourselves
Job’s suffering – Job 1:1, 8
Job 42:6KJVWherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust
B. To Bring Us Closer To God
2 Corinthians 12:10KJVTherefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Smooth & polish our character
- In the rough, a diamond looks like a common pebble
- It is cut to bring out the hidden beauty
- Then it undergoes a finishing process to bring out its full radiance. - The gem is held against the surface of a grinding wheel.
- This process may take a long time, depending on the quality desired by the one who will buy it.
- A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without adversity.
C. To Show God’s Sovereignty
Psalm 66:10-12KJVFor thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast
tried us, as silver is tried. 11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. 12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
Malachi 3:3 (AV)
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
God is a Refiner – A lady visited a silversmith to learn about the process of refining silver. After the silversmith had described the refining process to her, she asked, "Do you sit while the work of refining is going on?" The silversmith replied, "Oh, yes, madam, I must sit with my eyes steadily fixed on the furnace because if the refining time is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be damaged." The lady at once saw the beauty and comfort found in the picture of God as our Refiner and Purifier! When God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace of affliction (or testing), His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, while His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not come at random