There is a deep desire in humans to find a reason for their suffering and to discover some meaning in it. Does God allow these things happen to me? How do these things come about?God couldn’t stop it, God let it happen, God made this bad thing happen to me Am I being rewarded/punished for something? Should/Can I blame God for things happening? How should I respond to bad things that happen? Why me, could be the wrong question. That question only leads to blame and feeling victimized. Maybe there is another question to ask instead.
Discussion 11/27: Why Me?
How did you feel when that happened? Do you think you deserved it? Was it because something that you did, or was it something that was out of your control?
There is a deep desire in humans to find a reason for their suffering and to discover some meaning in it.
Why as I born here and now?
Why do I struggle with certain things in my life and others don’t? (appearance, weight, talents)
Why is my family having so many problems?
If I’m suffering, why isn’t everybody else?
Does God allow these things happen to me?
How do these things come about?
– God couldn’t stop it, God let it happen, God made this bad thing happen to me
Rewarded/punished for something?
Should/Can I blame God for things happening?
Why am I blaming God?
I have blamed somebody, what do I do now?
How should I respond to bad things that happen?
Why me, could be the wrong question. That question only leads to blame and feeling victimized. Maybe there is another question to ask instead.
Why me? Why now? What is God doing? Suffering is a tool God uses to get our attention and to accomplish His purposes in our lives. Suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources.
The following questions can help us during adversity:
(1) How am I responding to it?
(2) How should I respond to it?
(3) Am I learning from it?
(4) Does my response demonstrate faith, love for God and for others, Christ-like character, values, commitment, priorities, etc.?
(5) How can God use it in my life?
General Causes of Suffering
(1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men.
(2) We suffer because of our own foolishness.
(3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline.
(4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith
The Nature of Suffering
(1) Suffering is Painful.
(2) Suffering is Perplexing. Why now? What is God doing
(3) Suffering is Purposeful . God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
(4) Suffering Proves (tests) Us . Suffering is that which proves one’s character and integrity along with both the object and quality of one’s faith.
(5) Suffering is a Process.
(6) Suffering is a Purifier.
(7) Suffering Provides Opportunity . Suffering provides opportunity for God’s glory, our transformation, testimony, and ministry, etc.
(8) Suffering Requires Our Cooperation. “We all want the product, character; but we don’t want the process, suffering.”
(10) Suffering is Inevitable. The question we must each face is not, ‘if’ we are going to have trials in life, but how will we respond to them?
(11) Suffering is a Struggle.
Purposes and Reasons for Suffering
(1) We suffer as a testimony, as a witness. When believers handle suffering joyfully and with stability, it becomes a marvelous testimony to the power and life of Christ that we claim and name.
(2) We suffer to develop our capacity and sympathy in comforting others
(3) We suffer to keep down pride
(4) We suffer because it is a training tool.
a. As discipline for sin to bring us back to fellowship through genuine confession.
b. As a pruning tool to remove dead wood from our lives (weaknesses, sins of ignorance, immature attitudes and values, etc.).
c. As a tool for growth designed to cause us to rely on the Lord and His Word.
d. As a means of learning what obedience really means. It becomes a test of our loyalty.
(5) We suffer to bring about continued dependence on the grace and power of God.
(6) We suffer to manifest the life and character of Christ (The Fruit of the Spirit)
a. Negative: Suffering helps to remove impurities from our lives such as indifference, self-trust, false motives, self-centeredness, wrong values and priorities, and human defense and escape mechanisms by which we seek to handle our problems (man-made solutions).
b. Positive: when believers live under suffering joyfully (i.e., they endure and keep on applying the promises and principles of the faith).
(7) We suffer to manifest the evil nature of evil men and the righteousness of the justice of God when it falls in judgment . It shows the evil character of those who persecute others and the justice of God’s judgment when it falls.
(8) We suffer to broaden our ministries . In the process of producing Christian character and enhancing our testimony to others, suffering often opens up doors for ministry we could never have imagined.