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Why Christians Suffer

Hebrews 12:3-15

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can also download our service at Baptist-Christian at iTunes. Louis Sperry Chafer is one of my favorite theologians. I like his outline for today’s lesson and thank him for it. We often ask why bad things happen to good people; or why good things happen to bad people. Jesus gives the answer to both questions in Matt. 5:45. Today we want to look at a few reasons why Christians suffer. God always know exactly how much to allow to accomplish His perfect plan for us. Christians often suffer

  1.  AS A MEANS OF PREVENTION. Read 1 Cor. 12:1-10. Suffering can keep us from becoming conceited. In its simplest form conceited means self exaltation. Many times we become “proud” of ourselves for things God accomplishes in/through us. Suffering often reminds us to remain humble so we don’t “think more of ourselves than we ought.” Suffering can also keep us from condemnation. In Gal. 2:11-13 Peter was being a hypocrite when Paul called him on it. The embarrassment he “suffered” was a reminder that we must treat others as we want to be treated. In Titus 3:9-11 we are reminded not to do those things we condemn others for doing. It’s not that God enjoys seeing us suffer, it is just that He knows suffering is most effective as a tool of prevention. We also suffer sometimes as a
  2. MEANS OF CORRECTION! Our focal passage deals with correction. Three words help us understand: 1= Discipline which deals with the activities of raising a child to maturity. It is a way of education and cultivation, as well as a goal. For the Christian the goal is being transformed into the image of Christ, by way of God’s Law. Correction can also be 2= rebuke! Rebuke means to show someone their sin, and summons them to repentance. As Christians we must remember true repentance is turning completely from sin and sinfulness completely to God. We must then replace the sinful act or attitude with one that is Godly; otherwise we have just turned from one sin to another! Correction can also be punishment. God does NOT punish us for what we do not know, He punishes us for what we know but ignore! God takes great care to help us know all we are expected to learn without overloading us. He is also very patient, but will not tolerate constant refusal on our part. He is a perfect Father! Finally suffering can be used
  3. AS A MEANS OF EDUCATION. Read John 15. The word pruning can also mean cleansing. Orchards were “cleansed” by handpicking the bugs off the trees. Then, as now, diseased parts were cut off and burned. From a Scriptural perspective pruning always has to do with moral purity which is received through cleansing/suffering within our souls. God is always willing to use the least hurtful method of prevention, correction or education. However, if we force His hand, He will steadily increase the degree of suffering until we respond as He desires. Our suffering is always guided and controlled by God’s perfect will and reasoning. We can rest assured there is always a reason!

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