Lesson Seven

The Will of God

The Will of God and Suffering

A.     How Does suffering come?
  1.   Through our own sins and mistakes (Galatians 6:7)
  2.   Through the sins and mistakes of other (2 Corinthians 5:21; Genesis 37:23-28)
  3.   Through temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  4.   Through God's providential dealings with man (Job 1:13-22; 5:6-11; John 16:33)
B.     Why do Christians suffer?
  1.   Divine chastisement (Galatians 6:7; Numbers 32:23; Hebrews 12:6-11)
  2.   We are called thereunto (Philippians 1:29; Acts 9:16)
  3.   To identify with the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 2:21; Philippians 3:10)
  4.   In persecution (1 Corinthians 4:12; Acts 5:28-29, 41; 2 Corinthians 4:11)
  5.   In the expenditure of our personal resources (Philippians 2:30)
  6.   In oppression by Satanic forces (Job 1)
  7.   That the works of God might be made manifest (John 11:4)
C.     What does suffering accomplish in us?
  1.   Produces patience and faith (Romans 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5; James 5:10)
  2.   Produces experience through which we might comfort others (Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 1:4-5)
  3.   Produces hope through our experiences (Romans 5:3-5)
  4.   Produces holiness and a harvest (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:1)
  5.   Makes us perfect (1 Peter 5:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Job 23:10; James 1:2-4)
  6.   Establishes and strengthens us (1 Peter 5:10)
  7.   It is proof of godliness (2 Timothy 3:12)
  8.   Unifies the Church (1 Corinthians 12:26)
  9.   Glorifies God (1 Peter 4:14-16; Philippians 1:12-14; 1 Peter 1:7)
D.     What ways can you respond to suffering?
  1.   You can despise it and rebel against it.
  2.   You can faint in the day of adversity.
  3.   You can yield reluctantly.
  4.   You can yield to the will of God with rejoicing.
E.     What should our attitude be toward suffering?
      Accept these biblical truths:
  1.   suffering is an unavoidable part of human life (Job 5:6-11).
  2.   Suffering is part of our Christian calling (Philippians 1:21).
  3.   realize that God's plan is bigger than we are (Ephesians 2:6-7; Daniel 4:32, 35).
  4.   It is good to be afflicted (Psalms 119:71).
  5.   If we suffer, we shall reign (2 Timothy 2:12).
  6.   We should rejoice when we suffer (Colossians 1:24; Acts 5:41; Job 23:10).
  7.   Realize that all temptation, trials and suffering must pass through the permissive will of God (Job 1).
  8.   Worship amidst suffering proves our loyalty to God and repudiates Satan's lie (Job 1:13-22).
  9.   "We know that all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28; Genesis 50:20).
  10.   Our suffering cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us (2 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 8:18).

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