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A Summary of Reasons for Suffering

 

All the passages below are taken from Elisabeth Elliotís book ďA Path Through Suffering.Ē It was published in 1990.

 

For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men (Lamentation 3:31-33, RSV).

WE MAY GROUP SOME OF GOD'S reasons into four categories. The list of references is by no means exhaustive.

 

1.      First, we suffer for our own sake

 

1.1         that we may learn who God is

 

 

 

1.2         that we may learn to trust

 

 

1.3         that we may learn to obey

 

 

1.4         discipline is proof of the Fatherís love and of the validity of our sonship

 

   

1.5         it is the condition of discipleship

 

 

 

1.6         it is required of soldiers

 

 

1.7         we are being "pruned" that we may bear fruit

 

1.8         that we may be shaped to the image of Christ

 

1.9         to qualify us to be fellow-heirs with Christ

 

 

1.10    to qualify us for the kingdom of God

 

 

 

1.11    to qualify us to reign with Christ

 

 

1.12    that our faith may be strengthened

 

 

 

1.13    that faith may be tested and refined

 

 

 

 

 1.14    that we may reach spiritual maturity

 

 

1.15    power comes to its full strength in weakness

 

1.16    to produce in us endurance, character, hope

 

1.17    to produce in us joy and generosity 

 

 

 

2.  Second, we suffer for the sake of God's people

 

2.1         that they may obtain salvation

 

 

2.2         to give them courage

 

 

2.3         that because of death working in us, life may work in them

 

 

2.4         that grace may extend to more

 

2.5         that our generosity may bless others

 

 

3. Third, we suffer for the world's sake

 

  3.1 that it may be shown what love and obedience mean

 

 

  3.2 that the life of Jesus may be visible in ordinary human flesh

 

 

4. Fourth, we suffer for Christ's sake

 

4.1         that we may be identified with Him in His crucifixion

 

 

4.2         suffering is the corollary of faith

 

 

 

 

4.3         that we may share His suffering

 

 

 

 

 

4.4         that we may share His glory

 

 

 

 

Ps 46:1,10;

Dan 4:24-37;

the   Book of Job

 

2 Cor 1:8-9

 

 

Psalm 119:67, 71

 

 

Hebrew 12:5-11

 

 

 

Acts 14:22;

Luke 14:26-27,33

 

 

2 Timothy 2:4

 

 

John 15:2

 

 

Romans 8:29

 

 

Romans 8:17

 

 

 

2 Thes 1:4-5

 

 

 

2 Timothy 2:12

 

 

James 1:3; 2 Thes 1:4-5; Acts 14:22

 

 

Is 43:2;Dn11:35; Mal 3:2; 1 Cor 3:13; 1 Pt 1:7

 

 

James 1:4

 

 

2 Cor 12:9

 

 

Rom 5:3-4

 

 

2 Cor 8:2

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Tim 2:10

 

 

Phil 1:14

 

 

2 Cor 4:12; Gal 4:13; 1 Jn 3:16

 

 

2 Cor 4:15

 

 

2 Cor 8:2

 

 

 

 

 

The book of Job; Jn 14:31; Mt 27:40-43

 

2 Cor 4:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gal 2:20

 

 

Ps 44:22; Acts 9:16, 14:22; 2 Tm 3:12; Jn 15:18-21; Thes 1:6, 3:4

 

 

1 Pt 4:12-13; Phil 1:29, 2:17, 3:8, 10; Col 1:24; 2 Tm 1:8; Heb 13:13

 

 

Rom 8:17-18; Heb 2:9-10; 2 Cor 4:17

 

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