- Category: NO COMPROMISE CHRISTIAN
Why Does God Allow Suffering, Trials, & Tests?
25 Keys To What The Storms of Life Can Do For A Believer
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-12 Jesus says, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS"...Paul says—"Therefore I take Pleasure in Infirmities, in Reproaches, in Needs, in Persecutions, in Distresses, for Christ's sake. For WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG."
BY MARTHA MAC / SO4J.com / SO4J-TV
Why Does God Allow Suffering, Trials, & Tests? - 25 Keys To What The Storms of Life Can Do For A Believer. This Bible Study helps a Believer to understand the Biblical purpose behind WHY God allows: Suffering, Trials, Tests. This is Part 1 in an SO4J Bible Studies called - Storms of Life. We Pray these 25 Keys will encourage True Repentant Believers in Jesus Christ to remember to run to Jesus & Trust in God's Word through the difficult Storms of Life. We hope this especially encourages Believers who are Physically Ill, or who have some sort of Physical Limitations, or have had various set backs in Life, or who are going through the Firey Trials (1 Pet 1:7-9) & Tests right now. This SO4J Bible Study has a large Collection of Scriptures on Suffering.
Now to answer a General Question: "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" Here is a summed up answer:
"All Humanity Suffers because we've Separated ourselves from the Lord because of our Sin."
Go Here for more Info on: Why Does God Allow Evil?
SO4J Scripture Spotlight on Suffering, Trials, & Trusting in Jesus—
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 “Lest I should be Exalted above Measure by the Abundance of the Revelations, a THORN in the FLESH was given to me, a MESSENGER of SATAN TO BUFFET ME, lest I be EXALTED ABOVE MEASURE. Concerning this thingI PLEADED WITH THE LORD THREE TIMES that it might DEPART FROM ME. And He said to me, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, for MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS." Therefore most gladly I will rather BOAST IN MY INFIRMITIES, That The POWER OF CHRIST may rest upon me. Therefore I take PLEASURE IN INFIRMITIES, in REPROACHES, IN NEEDS, IN PERSECUTIONS, IN DISTRESSES, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN I AM STRONG.”
- Psalm 144:2 (ESV) "HE is my STEADFAST LOVE and my FORTRESS, my STRONGHOLD and my DELIVERER, my SHIELD and HE in whom I take REFUGE".
- Psalm 62:6 (NASB) "He ONLY is ROCK and my SALVATION, my STRONGHOLD; I shall NOT be SHAKEN."
- Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB) “I would have DESPAIRED unless I had believed that I would see the GOODNESS of the LORD In the land of the living. WAIT for the LORD; Be STRONG and let your HEART take COURAGE; Yes, WAIT for the LORD."
- 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 "The PAIN caused you to REPENT and CHANGE your ways. It was the kind of SORROW God wants His people to have...For the kind of SORROW God wants us to experience leads us away from SIN and RESULTS IN SALVATION. There’s no regret for that kind of SORROW. But WORLDLY SORROW, which LACKS REPENTANCE, results in SPIRITUAL DEATH."
- Proverbs 3:5-8 "TRUST in the LORD with ALL your Heart, and lean NOT on your OWN UNDERSTANDING; In ALL your Ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, and He shall DIRECT YOUR PATHS. Do NOT be Wise in your own Eyes; Fear the LORD and DEPART FROM EVIL. It will be HEALTH to your Flesh, and STRENGTH to your Bones."
- 1 Peter 1:6-9 (NASB) "In this you GREATLY REJOICE, even though now for a LITTLE WHILE, if necessary, you have been DISTRESSED by VARIOUS TRIALS, 7)so that the PROOF of your FAITH, being MORE PRECIOUS than GOLD which is PERISHABLE, even though TESTED by FIRE, may be found to result in PRAISE and GLORY and HONOR at the revelation of JESUS CHRIST 8)and though you have NOT SEEN HIM, you LOVE HIM, and though you do NOT SEE HIM now, but BELIEVE in HIM, you GREATLY REJOICE with JOY INEXPRESSIBLE and FULL of GLORY, 9)obtaining as the outcome of your FAITH the SALVATION of your SOULS."
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) “Therefore we DO NOT LOSE HEART. Even though our OUTWARD MAN is PERISHING, yet the INWARD MAN is being RENEWED DAY by DAY. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but for a MOMENT, is working for us a FAR more EXCEEDING & ETERNAL WEIGHT of GLORY, while we do NOT LOOK at the things which are SEEN, but at the things which are NOT SEEN. For the things which are SEEN are TEMPORARY, but the things which are NOT SEEN are ETERNAL”
- Psalms 25:16-18 (NKJV) "Turn Yourself (LORD) to me, and have MERCY on me, For I am DESOLATE and AFFLICTED. The TROUBLES of my HEART have ENLARGED; Bring me out of my DISTRESSES! Look on my AFFLICTION & my PAIN, and FORGIVE all my SINS."
- Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) “GOD is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present help in TROUBLE.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 (NASB) "CASTING ALL your ANXIETY on Him, because He CARES for you."
- Psalm 55:22 (NASB) "CAST YOUR BURDEN on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He will NEVER permit the RIGHTEOUS to be SHAKEN."
- Psalm 51:8-15 (NASB) "Make me to HEAR JOY and GLADNESS, Let the bones which You have broken REJOICE. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then MY TONGUE will JOYFULLY SING of YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. O Lord, OPEN MY LIPS, that MY MOUTH may DECLARE YOUR PRAISE.”
- Psalm 61:1-4 (NASB) “Hear my CRY, O God; GIVE HEED to my PRAYER. From the END of the EARTH I CALL to You when my HEART is FAINT; Lead me to the ROCK that is HIGHER than I. For You have been a REFUGE for me, a TOWER of STRENGTH against the ENEMY. Let me DWELL in Your TENT FOREVER; Let me take REFUGE in the SHELTER of Your WINGS.”
- Psalm 73:21-28 (NASB) "Thus my HEART was GRIEVED, and I was VEXED in my MIND. I was so FOOLISH and IGNORANT; I was like a BEAST before You. Nevertheless I am CONTINUALLY with You; You HOLD ME by my RIGHT hand. You will GUIDE ME with Your COUNSEL, and afterward RECEIVE me to GLORY. Whom have I in HEAVEN but YOU? And besides YOU, I desire NOTHING on EARTH. My FLESH and my HEART may FAIL, but God is the STRENGTH of my HEART and my PORTFION FOREVER. For indeed, those who are FAR from You shall PERISH; You have destroyed all those who DESERT You for harlotry. But it is GOOD for me to DRAW NEAR to God; I have put my TRUST in the LORD GOD, That I may DECLARE all Your WORKS."
- Psalm 71:20 (NASB) "You who have shown me MANY TROUBLES and DISTRESSES will REVIVE me again, and will BRING ME UP again from the DEPTHS of the earth."
Why Does God Allow Suffering, Trials & Tests?
25 Keys To What Suffering, Tests, and the Storms of Life Can Do For a Believer—
- LEAD US TO GOD'S WORD,AND REPENTANCE & FAITH IN JESUS—KEEPING US FROM INDIFFERENCE
- REMIND US OF WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE WORLD, AND EACH OF OUR DESTINIES
- TEST OUR FAITH & SHOW US WE MUST KEEP OUR EYES OFF OUR STORMS & ON TO JESUS
- PRUNE & PURIFY, CORRECT & DISCIPLINE US— PRUNING US FOR MORE FRUIT - PURIFYING MOTIVES
- SLOW US DOWN ENOUGH TO ALLOW US TO ASK IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
- GOD SHOWS US HIS GRACE, STRENGTH, & MERCY THROUGH WEAKNESSES - SO HE WILL GET GLORY!
- CONFORMS US INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST— LEADING US TO EXUDE CHRIST-LIKENESS
- PROTECT TRUE BELIEVERS FROM PRIDE—THEY GIVE THEM A NEED TO REACH FOR GOD'S HELP
- TRIALS REVEAL YOUR CHARACTER— WHAT IS PRESENTLY INSIDE US: FAITH, FEAR, UNBELIEF
- ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GOD TO ETERNALLY REWARD YOU
- WILL PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT OUR FAITH IN GOD WAS IN DEED GENUINE
- MAKES US PARTNERS WITH CHRIST; SHARING HIS SUFFERINGS— WHEN WE STOP SINNING TOO
- KEEPS US FROM CHASING OUR FLESHY DESIRES & MAKES US ANXIOUS TO DO GOD'S WILL
- HELPS US TO LEARN OBEDIENCE, LIKE CHRIST, FROM THE THINGS WE SUFFER
- HELPS US TO EMPATHIZE WITH OTHERS—GOD WANTS US TO SHARE EACH OTHERS BURDENS
- BRINGS BELIEVERS TOGETHER FOR PRAYER & TO BUILD UP GOD'S ETERNAL KINGDOM
- BE SENT FROM GOD TO KEEP FAR WORSE PROBLEMS & THINGS FROM HAPPENING TO US
- USED BY GOD TO DEMONSTRATE HIS POWER TO DO A MIRACLE IN YOUR LIFE, & TEACH YOU FAITH
- THEY MOTIVATE US TO LEAVE ONE SITUATION FOR ANOTHER, FULFILLING GOD'S WILL
- LEAD US TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL IN A GREATER WAY, AND IN PLACES WE WOULDN'T HAVE GONE
- OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SHINE FOR JESUS IN FRONT OF PEOPLE YOU WOULDN'T HAVE
- CAN BE GOD GETTING US INTO POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY (ON THIS EARTH OR FOR ETERNITY)
- SATAN TRIES TO CHOKE GOD'S WORD OUT—BE FAITHFUL & YOU'LL RECEIVE THE CROWN OF LIFE
- BE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR US TO BE OVERCOMERS THROUGH JESUS—LEADING TO ETERNAL LIFE
- CAN BE THE LORD TEACHING US NOT TO RELY ON OURSELVES, BUT TO RELY 100% ON GOD
Why Does God Allow Suffering, Trials, & Tests? - Intro
When True Believers Go Through: Suffering, Trials, Tests, Temptations, and it is for God's Eternal Purposes. First of all, God cares much more about our Eternal Soul than He cares about our Earthly Temporal Happiness. He also knows how much Suffering each of us can personally endure in order for us to Surrender All and bow our knee to Him, and/or for us to be Rewarded Eternally by Jesus for overcoming any Fiery Tests and/or Trial (1 Pet 1:7-9) that was allowed in our lives by God. God can use Pain, Suffering, and Sorrow in the Life of a true repentant Christian to Turn us from Sin (2 Cor 7:9-11), so that we would seek Jesus, and be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. And no matter what Trial comes the way of a True Believer, they can have complete Faith, Confidence, & Trust in God’s Word which says in:
- Romans 8:28-31 "God causes ALL things to WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who LOVE GOD, to those who are the CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. For whom HE FOREKNEW, HE also PREDESTINED to be CONFORMED to the IMAGE of HIS SON, that HE might be the Firstborn among many Brethren. Moreover whom HE PREDESTINED, these HE also CALLED; whom HE CALLED, these HE also JUSTIFIED; and whom HE JUSTIFIED, these HE also GLORIFIED. What then shall we say (in response) to these things? If GOD IS FOR US, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a Charge (accuse) against GOD'S ELECT? It is God who Justifies." MORE - DOCTRINE OF ELECTION SCRIPTURES - HERE
- 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 "The Pain caused you to Repent and Change your ways. It was the kind of Sorrow God wants His people to have...For the kind of Sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from Sin and Results in Salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of Sorrow. But Worldly Sorrow, which lacks Repentance, results in Spiritual Death."
- John 16:33 Jesus says, "Here on earth you will have many TRIALS and SORROWS. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
- Acts 14:22 "They strengthened the Believers. They encouraged them to continue in the Faith, reminding them that they must enter into the Kingdom of God through MANY TRIBULATIONS."
- 1 Peter 1:6-9 "So be truly glad. There is wonderful Joy ahead, even though you have to Endure MANY TRIALS for a little while.
(Amazing & Inspirational Story of God's Grace in a Believer's Sufferings)
These TRIALS will show that your FAITH IS GENUINE. It is being Tested as Fire Tests and PURIFIES GOLD —though your Faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your Faith remains strong through MANY TRIALS, it will bring you much Praise and Glory and Honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a Glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."
- Psalm 30:11-12 (NASB) “You have turned for me my MOURNING into DANCING; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with GLADNESS, that MY SOUL may SING PRAISE TO YOU and NOT be SILENT. O LORD my God, I will give THANKS to You FOREVER.”
New Testament Storms—
- Jesus Walks On Water During A Storm: Matt 14:24-33, Mark 6:47-51, John 6:15-21
- Jesus Takes A Nap In The Boat During A Storm: Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25
- Paul Sails For Rome – The Storm & The Shipwreck: Acts 27:13-44
Below are 25 Keys to remember, to help a True Believer go through the Storms of Life. We at SO4J.com pray that God’s Word will encourage you to run to Jesus through your Storms of Life, and that you will live a life that is worthy of your Eternal calling.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:11 "We keep on Praying for you, that our God will make you WORTHY OF THE LIFE to which He called you. And we Pray that God, by His power, will fulfill all your good intentions and faithful deeds. Then everyone will give honor to the name of our Lord Jesus because of you, and you will be honored along with Him. This is all made possible because of the undeserved favor of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ."
Why Does God Allow Suffering Trials & Tests?
25 Keys To What the Storms of Life Can Do For a Believer—
1 - Lead Us to God's Word, and Repentance & Faith in Jesus - Keeping Us from Indifference
Here is what King David said when he was encountering the Trials of his life.
- Psalm 119:71 “This SUFFERING Oh Lord that You sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to Your Principles (God’s Word & God’s Commandments).”
If you do not know Jesus, or you have been Lukewarm in your love for Him (Rev3:15-21), it is a Merciful & Loving God that will allow Circumstances to Spin out of our control in our lives in order for us to get our attention on Him, so that He can be in control, and thus we can be truly Saved. God is not as concerned about our temporal earthly happiness as He is our Eternal Soul. The Lord only knows how many days that each of us has on this Earth, and He uses: Suffering, Pain, Sorrow, and the Storms of Life to Humble us (or keep us humbled) to get us to bow our knee to Jesus, and surrender our sins and life to Him. He wants to save us from the Wrath of Hell that will come upon all those who push His Truth away. (Rom. 2:4-11, John 3:36, Matt.13:40-43, 2 Thess 1:10, Rev 21:8-9, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Ephesians 5:3-7, 2 Cor 5:10-11, James 4:4-10) If you haven’t surrendered all to Jesus today, don’t delay! Repent & Turn from your Sin and have Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ.
2 TYPES OF SORROW IN OUR LIFE:
When we've sinned against a Holy God, God wants us to have a SORROW about our sin that leads us to REPENTANCE—to change our evil ways. There is also another kind of Sorrow that leads to DEATH and HELL, because this kind of Sorrow has not resulted in a TURNING AROUND of our sinful behavior—no True Godly Repentance. See this below Scripture in 2 Cor 7:8-11.
- 2 Corinthians 7:8-11 "I am no longer sorry that I sent that letter to you, though I was sorry for a time, for I know that it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to have remorse and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from Sin and Seek Salvation. We will never regret that kind of sorrow. But sorrow without repentance is the kind that results in Death (Hell). Just see what this Godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish the wrongdoer. You showed that you have done everything you could to make things right."
- 1 Timothy 1:19-20 "Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God."
- Revelation 3:19 Jesus commands us to, "Be diligent and turn from your indifference (lukewarmness)."
- Acts 17:30-31 “God commands everyone everywhere to Repent of their Sins and Turn to Him. For He has set a Day for Judging the World with Justice by Jesus Christ…”
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 Paul wrote, "I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you, something so evil that even the pagans don't do it. I am told that you have a man in your church who is living in sin with his father's wife....you must cast this man out of the church and into Satan's hands, so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved when the Lord returns."
2 - Remind Us of Who is in Control of the World, and Each of Our Destinies
- Matthew 8:23-27 “Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey Him!”
When you are going through Trials and the Storms of your Life, it appears at times as though the Lord is unaware or unconcerned about your circumstances. It appears that God is not in control and is asleep at the wheel (so to speak), as Jesus appeared to be in the above verses, but was clearly not the case. When we put our complete faith and trust in Jesus by surrendering “our boat” (life) to Jesus (especially when we go through the storms and trials of our life), the opposite couldn't be more true. God is Sovereign and in complete control of each of our personal destinies. Repent & Trust in Jesus, and make Him the Captain of your ship, and Jesus can calm each and every storm you face as you call out to Him.
- Hebrews 13:5 God has said,” I will never leave you nor forsake you."
3 - Test Our Faith & Show Us We Must Get Our Eyes Off Our Storms & On To Jesus
Video: Fanny Crosby - Her Life & Testimony - Blind Christian Songwriter who Praised God for her Blindness
Songs that Fanny wrote: "Blessed Assurance", "To God be the Glory," "Praise Him"& thousands of others
Peter Gets Out Of His Boat To Walk On Water With Jesus When A Storm Hits
- Matt 14:24-33 “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.”
In this Scripture, the Disciple Peter took a Step of Faith to call out to Jesus to help him as he took a Step of Faith out into the Stormy Waters of the Unknown. Your Fears will cause you to Panic & Sink, like Peter. We must however keep our Eyes fixed on Jesus, and not on our Circumstances if we are to rise above the Storms of Life (so to speak), and live a life that is Victorious (an overcomer) over Sin, and one that is pleasing to the Lord.
- Philippians 4:13 "I can do ALL things thru CHRIST who STRENGTHEN ME."
If you feel like you are Sinking (so to speak) & want to Give up after Stepping Out in Faith & Coming to Christ, Get out of your Boat, don't give up and Sink! Call out to the Lord Jesus for Help, and Jesus will immediately come to you, and reach out His hand and help you.
- Rom 10:13 "Whoever CALLS on the NAME OF THE LORD shall be SAVED."
4 - Prune & Purify, Correct & Discipline Us - Pruning For More Fruit, Purifying Motives
Pruning & Purifying Us—
- John 15:1-8 Jesus says, “I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't’ produce Fruit, and He PRUNES the branches that do bear Fruit so they will produce even more…”
1 Pet 1:6-9 "So be truly glad. There is wonderful Joy ahead, even though you have to Endure MANY TRIALS for a little while.
These TRIALS will show that your FAITH IS GENUINE. It is being Tested as Fire Tests and PURIFIES GOLD —though your Faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your Faith remains strong through MANY TRIALS, it will bring you much Praise and Glory and Honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a Glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."
During the Tribulation—
- Daniel 12:8-13 Daniel asked the angel, “How will all this finally end, my Lord?” But he said, “Go now, Daniel, for what I have said is kept secret and sealed until the TIME OF THE END. MANY WILL BE PURIFIED, CLEANSED, AND REFINED BY THESE TRIALS. But the Wicked will continue in their wickedness, and none of them will understand. Only those who are Wise will know what it means."
If God in His mercy, through the Storms of Life and His Pruning & Purifying of your life lovingly corrects you, it is Proof of His love for you. It is not fun to be corrected by the Lord, but it is a sign of His love for you when unpleasant things are allowed to take place in your life, or when hidden sins become exposed to you or the world.
We know that there is no such thing as a Worldly Christian (unholy) being allowed to enter God’s Kingdom. There is no mention of Christ Marrying a Bride (the church) in whom the Bride comes to the altar with Christ in a Wedding Dress that has stains on it. On the contrary, Christ marries a Bride that is Pure and Holy, and who is wearing a Wedding Dress that is without Spot or Wrinkle (Eph 5:27; Rev 19:7-8). If you are found out to have had a Lukewarm Heart in your love for Jesus, having a: Hard, Rocky, or Thorny Ground Heart response to God’s Word, you will be spewed out of the mouth of Jesus, and shut out of Heaven for all Eternity. Be warned! Read Rev 3:15-22, Matt.7:21-23, James 4:4-10, 1 John 3:7-10, 1 John 2:15-17.
- Heb 12:14 says, “Without Holiness no one shall see the Lord.”
- Heb 12:5-11 “And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord Disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one he accepts as his child.” As you endure this Divine Discipline, remember that God is treating you as His own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t Discipline you as he does all of His children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really His children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the Discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? For our earthly fathers Disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s Discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his Holiness. No Discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)
- Eph 5:27 “That He (Jesus) might present her to Himself a Glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle (sin) or any such thing, but that she should be Holy and without blemish.”
- Rev 19:7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him Glory, for the Marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) has come, and His wife (Godly Believers) has made herself ready." And to her it was granted to be arrayed in Fine Linen, Clean and Bright, for the Fine Linen is the Righteous Acts of the Saints.”
5 - Can Slow Us Down Enough to Allow Us to Ask Important Questions
Storms in Life can slow us down to help us rethink and examine ourselves and ask, “What exactly am I doing for Jesus?” (Examine Yourselves - 2 Cor 13:5) Ask yourself "Am I so busy doing things for Jesus that I'm not spending any quality time with Him?" Our Service for Jesus should not become Self-Serving. God wants us to also Serve Jesus by sitting at His feet (like Mary did) being broken, having a Humble and Contrite heart, loving Jesus and spending time simply thinking of how Amazing He is, and how Kind He is to save us (if He has saved you). Your relationship and time spent alone with the Lord comes FIRST, before anything. You will wither up and die without your personal time simply loving Him constantly, and reading and understanding God’s Word. And then allowing the Lord to give you a passion and concern for those who are Lukewarm & Lost, as well as a Genuine Love for True Believers. (1 Tim. 2:1-4) God can frustrate your plans by using the Storms of Life (big or small) to get you to a place for you to understand that all that truly matters in life is your relationship with Jesus.
- Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and the Disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed them into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
- Deut 8:3 "Yes, He humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every Word of the Lord."
6 - God Shows His Grace, Strength & Mercy Through Weakness; He Will Get The Glory!
Jesus says that when we are weak, low, and are being humbled, it’s His Grace that is all we need. He tells us that His power works best in our weaknesses! God says that He will not share His Glory with no one; and because of that He chooses to display His mighty power through weak, humble, and lowly people. He wants all to know and understand that it’s by Grace one is saved, not by our works lest anyone should boast.(Example David & Goliath 1 Sam.17:1-58)
- John 15:5 Jesus says, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
- Isa 42:8 “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my Glory to anyone else, nor share my Praise...”
- Eph 2:8-9 “God saved you by His Grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a Gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
- Eph 2:7 "So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus."
- Eph 2:4-7 "But God is so Rich in Mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our Sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His Grace and Kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus."
- Psalm 25:16-18 (NKJV) "Turn Yourself to me, and have MERCY on me, For I am DESOLATE and AFFLICTED. The TROUBLES of my HEART have ENLARGED; Bring me out of my DISTRESSES! Look on my AFFLICTION & my PAIN, and FORGIVE all my SINS."
- Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) “GOD is our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a very present help in TROUBLE.”
Thorn In Paul’s Flesh—
- 2 Cor 12:7-10 Paul says, ”even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to Torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time Jesus said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I SUFFER for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Those Whose Weakness Turned To Strength / The Hall Of Faith—
- Heb 11:33-40 “By Faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.”
7 - Conforms Us Into the Image of Jesus— Leading Us to Exude Christ-Likeness
For Any True Believer—God the Father's Number 1 Goal is for them to be Conformed into the Image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Lord uses various ways to do accomplish this, he uses Marriage & Relationships to sharpen & correct us, but He also uses Suffering and Hardships.
The farther a Rubberband is stretched, the farther it goes. God the Father wants to stretch the Faith of all His people; so that in the end we will become as James 1:2-4 says "be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
God uses Trials and the Storms in Life to produce Godly Character & Christ-likeness in us, so that we would exude and radiate Jesus in us, and through us vs radiating the Natural Man (Gal 5:16-20) who likes to exalt himself. God can't and won't use such a selfish person. The Greater the Suffering you endured in this life for JESUS, by putting the Flesh under— the greater your effectiveness for Jesus, and the greater your Reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ. God's Ways are far above our ways.
What If King David & Paul Never Had Suffered or had a Trial—
- If King David never had SUFFERED, had a Trial or Test, there would never be the Book of Psalms.
- If the Apostle Paul never had a Trial (and he had countless Trials & Tribulations) there would never have been 13 Books of the Bible written; as Paul wrote many of these letters from his sufferings in Prison.
The Biblical results of Conforming into the Image of Jesus through such Trials:
- Rom 8:28-31 "God causes ALL things to WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to those who LOVE GOD, to those who are the CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE. For whom HE FOREKNEW (God chose His people in advance), HE also PREDESTINED to be CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that HE might be the Firstborn among many Brethren. Moreover whom HEPREDESTINED, these HE also CALLED (He called them to come to Him); whom HE CALLED, these HE also JUSTIFIED (gave them right standing with Himself); and whom HE JUSTIFIED , these HE also GLORIFIED (He Gave them His Glory). What then shall we say (in response) to these things? If GOD IS FOR US, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a Charge (Accuse) against GOD'S ELECT? It is God who JUSTIFIES."
- James 1:2-4 "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various TRIALS, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
- Rom 12:2 “Don’t be Conformed to this World, but let God transform you into a new and different person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how Good and Pleasing and Perfect His will really is.”
- Rom 5:3-5 "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and TRIALS, for we know that they help us develop endurance (perseverance). And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love."
- 2 Cor 3:16-18 "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away. Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, He gives freedom. And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like JESUS and reflect His glory even more."
- Philippians 4:15 "Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church."
- Heb 10:32-36 ”Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible SUFFERING. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were SUFFERING the same things. You SUFFERED along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
8 - Protect True Believers From Pride They Give Them a Need to Reach for God's Help
- Matt 14:24-33 "But when he Peter saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.”
Anytime we are walking in Faith in Jesus, the Lord is there for us when we are weak, and are sinking in our flood of unbelief. Jesus was right there for Peter when Peter called out "Save me, Lord!" Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed Peter, and He will do the same for us. All that He is asking is that we admit our dependence on Him first. This storm that Peter encountered revealed Peter's pride and unbelief. It also brought Peter to a low place of admitting that he cannot do this impossible task, without the Lord. God wants us to need Him 24/7.
- John 15:5 Jesus says, "Apart from Me, you can do NOTHING."
- Psalm 107:13 "Then they CRIED unto the LORD in their TROUBLE, and He Saved them out of their DISTRESSES."
Thorn In Paul’s Flesh -
- 2 Cor 12:7-10 Paul says, ”even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming Proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to Torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time Jesus said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I SUFFER for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- James 4:6-10 “God opposes the proud, but gives Grace to the Humble. So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, you double-minded (lukewarm). Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. When you bow down before the Lord and admit your dependence on him, he will lift you up and give you honor."
9 - Trials Reveal Your Character—What is Presently Inside You: Faith, Fear, Unbelief
- Matthew 8:23-26 “Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”(Fear) Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Little Faith & Unbelief in God’s Word) Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm.”
The Storm revealed the disciples lack of Faith in God’s Word to rebuke the winds themselves in Jesus Name. The Storm also revealed their Fear, which came from looking at the circumstances vs. standing on God’s Word.
10 - Are an Opportunity for God to Eternally Reward You
Not only do Trials Reveal your Character and more, but Trials are also a Source that God uses to Eternally Reward Obedience, or to Eternally Punish Disobedience.
- Philippians 3:20 "But we are Citizens of Heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior."
- 2 Tim 4:8 "And now the Prize awaits me—the Crown Of Righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Great Day of His Return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return."
- Heb 11:25-26 “He (Moses) chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to SUFFER for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his Great Reward that God would give him.”
Video: Gianna Jessen - Abortion Survivor
(Amazing & Inspirational Story)
Moses had to have Faith in God to leave the fleeting life of the worldly benefits he received while growing up in the Royal Egyptian Palace which had: Royalty, Wealth, Success, Prestige, and Popularity for the land that God told him to go to which was the wilderness. Egypt is a picture of the World. God has an Great Eternal Reward for Moses, and every person who will place their Faith in God. These are the people of faith who will not cling to the temporal alluring things of this World (Egypt) to a life that is pleasing to God. Read Great Examples of People who had Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40. Moses had to have Faith in God to endure his many: Storms of Life, Sufferings, and Persecutions that he received for doing God’s will, but in the end the Eternal Rewards would prove to be great, and so it is with all who will cling to Jesus, and not to this life.
- Matthew 10:38-39 “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me, you are not worthy of being Mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.”
- Heb 4:14 …”Let us cling to Him (Jesus) and never stop trusting Him.”
Judgment Seat Of Christ Someday True Believers will all stand before Christ to have their “works” and what they did for Jesus Judged. (1 Cor 3:7-15) Unbelievers will be Judged at the Great White Throne Judgment and sentenced to the Lake of Fire forever (Rev 20:11-15; 21:8). Many times the Lord sends storms our way to purify us, and cause us to keep reaching for Him, so we will continually be doing works unto the Lord that will not Burn Up, but will last for Eternity! He wants to present His True Children, and the Bride of Christ as Holy, and without spot or wrinkle on that day.
- Eph 5:27 “He did this to present her to Himself as a Glorious Church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be Holy and without fault.”
- Heb 10:34-36 “You SUFFERED along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
- 1 Pet 5:10 “In his Kindness God called you to Share in His Eternal Glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have SUFFERED a little while, He will Restore, Support, and Strengthen You, and He will place you on a Firm Foundation.”
- 2 Cor 5:10 "For we must ALL appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ (this is the Believers Judgment), that each one may receive the things DONE IN THE BODY, according to what he has DONE, whether GOOD or BAD."
11 - Will Prove to the World that Our Faith in God was Indeed Genuine
- 1 Pet 1:5-7 Peter writes to Godly Christians, “And through your Faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the Last Day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful Joy ahead, even though you have to Endure MANY TRIALS for a little while. These TRIALS will show that your FAITH IS GENUINE. It is being Tested as Fire Tests and PURIFIES GOLD —though your Faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your Faith remains strong through MANY TRIALS, it will bring you much Praise and Glory and Honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a Glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."
Jesus never told us that by being faithful to Him we will avoid the: Storms of Life, Sufferings, Trials, and Persecutions. Rather, we must be Faithful to Him in our Sufferings. Only then will our Faith prove to be Genuine.
Jesus was Crucified, Peter, & Paul, and others were Thrown into Prison for the True Gospel, Tortured, Murdered for their Faith in God & His Word, etc.
One thing a True Believer is Promised by Jesus is Many Trials, Tribulations, Persecutions for His Name sake, RIGHT NOW.
- John 16:33 "In the World you will have TRIBULATION (Trials and Sorrows); but be of Good Cheer, I have overcome the World."
- 2 Tim 3:12 "Everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will SUFFER PERSECUTION"
Here is the Apostle Paul's Life.
- 2 Cor 11:23-30 "Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in PRISON more often, been WHIPPED times without number, and faced DEATH again and again. FIVE DIFFERENT TIMES the Jewish leaders gave me THIRTY-NINE LASHES. THREE TIMES I was BEATEN WITH RODS. Once I was STONED. THREE TIMES I was SHIPWRECKED. Once I spent a WHOLE NIGHT AND A DAY ADRIFT AT SEA. I have traveled on many LONG JOURNEYS. I have FACED DANGER FROM RIVERS AND FROM ROBBERS. I have FACED DANGER FROM MY OWN PEOPLE, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have FACED DANGER IN THE CITIES, IN THE DESERTS, AND ON THE SEAS. And I have FACED DANGER from men who CLAIM to be BELIEVERS BUT ARE NOT.I have worked HARD AND LONG, enduring MANY SLEEPLESS NIGHTS. I have been HUNGRY and THIRSTY and have OFTEN GONE WITHOUT FOOD. I have SHIVERED IN THE COLD, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the DAILY BURDEN OF MY CONCERN FOR ALL THE CHURCHES. Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger? If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am."
- 2 Cor 6:4-10 "In everything we do, we show that we are True Ministers of God. We Patiently ENDURE TROUBLES AND HARDSHIPS AND CALAMITIES OF EVERY KIND. We have been BEATEN, been put in PRISON, faced ANGRY MOBS, WORKED TO EXHAUSTION,ENDURED SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, and GONE WITHOUT FOOD. We prove ourselves by our Purity, our Understanding, our Patience, our Kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We Faithfully Preach the Truth. God’s power is Working in us. We use the Weapons of Righteousness in the Right hand for Attack and the left hand for Defense. We serve God whether people HONOR US OR DESPISE US, whether they SLANDER US OR PRAISE US. We are HONEST,but they call us IMPOSTERS. We are IGNORED, even though we are WELL KNOWN. We live CLOSE TO DEATH, but we are still alive. We have been BEATEN, but we have NOT BEEN KILLED. Our HEARTS ACHE, but we always have JOY. We are POOR, but we give SPIRITUAL RICHES TO OTHERS. We OWN NOTHER, and yet we have EVERYTHING (Eternal Life..)."
This life we live is merely a Choosing and Proving Ground for every single person who has ever lived. What we Did, Thought, or Said on this Earth will result in where we will spend Eternity. (Matt. 12:36-37) We will be either Rewarded Eternally for persevering by: Believing, and Standing on God's Written Word, as well as Overcoming Sin & Temptations or we will be Punished Eternally for Rebellion against a Holy God & Rejecting God's Word & God’s Free Gift to the World to us, Jesus Christ. God's ways and His purposes appear to be totally backward on this Earth. Yet it is actually a sinful mankind who is completely backward, dysfunctional, and in confusion. The People of God who died and are with the Lord right now are in a place where Humble People reside. Heaven is a place for the: Humble, the Holy & Pure, and the Righteous. God's ways are clear to us in His Word, and His ways are unchanging.
12 - Makes Us Partners With Christ;Sharing His Sufferings—When we Stop Sinning too
If you are a True Believer in Jesus Christ we are to share in the Sufferings of Jesus. The Storms of Life give us opportunities to become Partners with Christ in the sharing of the Sufferings of Christ.
- 1 Pet 4:13 “Instead, be very glad—because these Trials will make you PARTNERS WITH CHRIST in His SUFFERING, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.”
We also share in the Sufferings of Christ when we decide to STOP SINNING.
- 1 Pet 4:1 "So then, since Christ SUFFERED physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to SUFFER, too. For if you are willing to SUFFER FOR CHRIST, you have DECIDED TO STOP SINNING."
- Rev 1:9 "I am John, your Brother. In Jesus we are partners in SUFFERING and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for Preaching the Word of God and speaking about Jesus."
- Philippians 1:29-30 “For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of SUFFERING for Him. We are in this fight together. You have seen me suffer for him in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of this great struggle. As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with Him, sharing in His death."
- Philippians 3:10 “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death.”
- Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
- Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
- John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many TRIALS and SORROWS. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
13 - Keeps Us from Chasing Our Fleshly Desires & Makes Us Anxious to Do God's Will
Sin loses it’s power over us when we endure through the Sufferings and the Storms of Life. These Storms of Life help to strip a True Believer from their selfish and worldly desires, and help get our focus off ourselves and onto Jesus. We tend to be more anxious to do God’s will for our lives, and remember what really matters in life vs. merely living for the sinful pleasures of this temporal life which will burn up someday. (2 Peter 3:3-15)
- 1 Pet 4:1-2“For if you have SUFFERED PHYSICALLY for Christ, you have FINISHED WITH SIN. You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.”
- 1 Timothy 1:19-20 "having Faith and a Good Conscience, which some having Rejected, concerning the Faith have Suffered Shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom IDELIVERED TO SATAN that they may LEARN NOT TO BLASPHEME."
14 - Helps Us to Learn Obedience, Like Christ, From the Things We Suffer
- Heb 5:7-9 “While Jesus was here on earth, He offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he SUFFERED. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him.”
Jesus endured great Sufferings on this earth as He prepared to go through incredible Sufferings of: persecutions, hardships, beatings, etc. and then actually enduring through the Sufferings of the Cross. Through the things that Jesus SUFFERED He learned obedience to God. True Believers in Jesus Christ need to be prepared to lay aside all sin, and suffer and sacrifice as Jesus did for us.
- Heb 12:1-4 “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us (trips us up), and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”
- Philippians 2:5-11 "Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
15 - Helps Us to Empathize with Others, God wants us to Share Each Other's Burdens
God wants us to show empathy, especially for fellow True Believers (as well as those who are not), who suffer Persecution in Prison.
- Heb 13:3 “Don't forget about those in prison. Suffer with them as though you were there yourself. Share the sorrow of those being mistreated, as though you feel their pain in your own bodies.”
- 2 Cor 1:3-11 “All Praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our Merciful Father and the Source of All COMFORT. He COMFORTS us in All our Troubles so that we can COMFORT Others. When they are Troubled, We will be able to give them the Same COMFORT God has given us. For the More we Suffer for Christ, the More God will shower us with His COMFORT through Christ. Even when we are Weighed Down with Troubles, it is for your COMFORT & Salvation! For when we ourselves are COMFORTED, we will certainly COMFORT you. Then you can Patiently Endure the same things we Suffer. We are Confident that as you Share in our Sufferings, you will also Share in the COMFORT God gives us. We think you ought to know, Dear Brothers and Sisters, about the Trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were Crushed and Overwhelmed beyond our Ability to Endure, and we thought we would Never live through it. In fact, we Expected to Die. But as a result, we Stopped Relying on Ourselves and Learned to Rely only on God, who Raises the Dead. And He did Rescue us from Mortal Danger, and He will Rescue us again. We have placed our Confidence in Him, and He will Continue to Rescue us. And you are Helping us by Praying for us. Then Many People will give Thanks because God has Graciously Answered so Many Prayers for our safety.”
Jesus told us that True Believers would act like Christ by visiting and Ministering to those True Believers who are Suffering Persecution in Prison for His Name sake. Millions of Christians suffer each year at the hands of angry and evil men, but it goes mostly unreported. These True Believers are thrown into Prisons and are Tortured because they stand for Jesus Christ. The numbers of those being Persecuted for Jesus are staggering, and on the rise. What are we going to do about those Suffering Persecuted Believers? We must reach out to those Suffering, and do all we can do.
- Matthew 25:36 Jesus says, “I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.”
- Matthew 25:44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in Prison, and not help you?’ “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my Brothers and Sisters (True Christians), you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into Eternal Punishment, but the Righteous will go into Eternal Life.”
16 - Brings Believers Together for Prayer & to Build Up God's Eternal Kingdom
- 2 Cor 4:16-18 (NKJV) “Therefore we DO NOT LOSE HEART. Even though our OUTWARD MAN is PERISHING, yet the INWARD MAN is being RENEWED DAY by DAY. For our LIGHT AFFLICTION, which is but for a MOMENT, is working for us a FAR more EXCEEDING & ETERNAL WEIGHT of GLORY, while we do NOT LOOK at the things which are SEEN, but at the things which are NOT SEEN. For the things which are SEEN are TEMPORARY, but the things which are NOT SEEN are ETERNAL.”
- 2 Cor 1:11 "And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety."
- Acts 16:25-26 "Around midnight, Paul and Silas (who were in prison together) were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!"
- Acts 1:14 "They all met together continually for prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus."
- Acts 4:24 "Then all the believers were united as they lifted their voices in prayer."
- Acts 4:31 "After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God's message with boldness."
- Acts 12:5 "But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him."
- Acts 13:3 "So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way."
- Rev 1:9 “I, John, am your Brother and your Partner in SUFFERING and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for Preaching the Word of God and for my Testimony about Jesus.”
- 1 Pet 5:8-10 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian Brothers and Sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of.”
17 - Can be Sent from God to Keep Far Worse Problems & Things from Happening to Us
Your finger getting burnt from touching the oven can clue you in that the oven is Hot, and because of that it can keep you from getting into far worse problems, like more physical harm to your body. There have been people who have been so upset for missing their airplane connections—only to find out that the plane they were supposed to take was in a plane crash. There have been people pulled over for minor traffic problems (tail light out)—only to find out later there was a huge car accident involving many cars up the road. Trust the Lord completely with your life. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and let Jesus, and God's Word fill your thoughts.
- Prov 3:5-8 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Don't be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones."
- Col 3:1-4 "Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory."
18 - God Can Demonstrate His Power to Do a Miracle in Our Life & Teach Us Faith
Jesus showed His power to the world to the many people who were Suffering and going through the Storms of Life with their many afflictions and sicknesses. Jesus displayed His power of being God by doing many miracles and even raising Lazarus from the dead! Even with all the Miracles, Signs, and Wonders that Jesus did, most people had hardened hearts, and would not believe in Jesus.
- John 12:37 “But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in Him.”
Jesus demonstrated His power through a Blind Man who was going through Storms Of Life of not being able to see.
- John 9:2-3 The Disciples asked Jesus, “Why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the Power of God could be seen Displayed in him". (Jesus then Healed the man).
It was not because of this man’s sin that he was born blind, but he was born blind so that the Power of God would someday be demonstrated to the world through Jesus to reveal God’s kindness and sovereignty.
God also revealed his power to Israel. He taught the Israelites about Faith & To Glorify God. The Israelites had been slaves to Egypt for hundreds of years. God later displayed His Power & Kindness to Israel by sending much Suffering upon Egypt, through the 10 plagues of Suffering and Tribulation He poured out upon them.
- Exod 9:33-35 “So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the Lord, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the Lord had predicted through Moses. Exodus 10:1-2 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the Lord.”
19 - They Motivate Us to Leave One Situation for Another, Fulfilling God's Will for Our Life
Sometimes God uses hardships and setbacks in our life to make us uncomfortable so that we’ll finally move. Nobody of course likes pain, but having things in our life that are not comfortable might be one of the best things for us because they motivate us to move out of our comfort zones to do greater works for the Lord. If you are experiencing Storms in your Life, you might want to take notice and see if the Lord is preparing you to move out of your comfort zone to do some greater works for the Jesus.
- Acts 8:1-4 ”A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the Apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went.”
20 - Leads Us to Spread the Gospel Greatly & Go Places We Wouldn't Have Gone
As we can see in the above scripture God allowed the early Church in the Book of Acts to go through much Persecution. He used this terrible Persecution to force the early church out of the comfort zones of their houses, which were in Jerusalem, and to get them to flee into Judea & Samaria. By allow persecution to happen to the early church it helped to fulfill the command of Jesus to:
- Acts 1:8 Jesus says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This great wave of Persecution that the early church endured led to many Christians being imprisoned, which resulted in the Spreading of the Good News to the World.
- Philippians 1:12-14 Paul says, “I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. And because of my IMPRISONMENT, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear."
Paul & Silas were Beaten & Thrown into Prison, Yet they Faithfully Preached the Gospel!
In this below story about Paul & Silas, God used what seemed like a Bad situation of Jail Time, and He Turned the situation around for His Eternal Glory— as the Jailer & his whole family got Saved. They Put their Faith in Jesus. Had Paul not Suffered in Prison, the Jailer & his Family most likely wouldn't never have been Saved.
- Acts 16:22-26 "A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them STRIPPED and BEATEN with WOODEN RODS. They were SEVERELY BEATEN, and then they were THROWN INTO PRISON. The Jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t Escape. So the Jailer put them into the Inner Dungeon and Clamped their Feet in the Stocks. Around Midnight Paul & Silas were Praying & Singing Hymns to God, and the other Prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive Earthquake, and the Prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!" The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the Prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they SHARED THE WORD OF THE LORD WITH HIM and with ALL WHO LIVED IN HIS HOUSEHOLD. Even at that Hour of the night, the Jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household Rejoiced because they all Believed in God."
21 - Opportunity for You to Shine for Jesus in Front of People You Wouldn't Have
The Story of Esther – Esther 1 thru 10
God’s Sovereign Power is seen in the Life of Queen Esther. Esther started her life out by being an Orphan, losing both parents as a child. These humble beginnings in the Story of Esther helped develop inside her incredible character qualities. These character qualities of Inner and Outer Beauty would later be needed to win the Kings’ heart in a Beauty Contest. King Xerxes’ would later choose Esther in this contest to be his Queen. He picked her over all other women that were in the 127 Provinces that he ruled. As a result of her now being Chosen and Favored by the King, Esther would now be Queen over a huge territory of land and people! Winning the Kings heart later resulted in Esther being used by God to deliver her many people, the Jews, from the hands of an angry, jealous, evil, and Satanic man named Haman. Haman had a ploy and wanted to extinguish all the Jews. God used Esther to thwart that plan. Had Esther not have had these Humble beginnings and the Storms of Life allowed by God (of being an orphan), it most likely would be that she would not have had the right character qualities of a Queen that was needed to win the King’s heart. Thus Esther might not have been: prepared, have partaken, and been given the opportunity to reveal to the world these hidden Character qualities necessary to come into the presence of the King; to save her people, the Jews. Through these humble beginnings, Esther was given the role of being able to shine her heroic Character qualities of: Faith, Beauty, and “Grace under fire” in front of billions of people, and her Jewish people throughout the many years of Bible History.
22 - Can be God Getting Us into Positions of Authority (On This Earth, or God's Eternal Kingdom)
The Story of Joseph – Read Whole Story of Joseph's Life here: Genesis 30 thru 50
In Gen 39:1-20 - talks about a Jewish young man named Joseph, the Son of Jacob and Rachel. He was a man of incredible integrity, and character. He however went through many Storms of Life by first of all being betrayed by his evil and jealous half-brothers who conspired against him by throwing Joseph into a well, and then later selling him as a slave for 20 pieces of silver.
Through the Turmoil's and Trials that Joseph experienced he however lived a life of: excellence, faithful service, and honor to God. God began to Bless him Greatly & Promote him because of that, and as a slave Joseph was favored and promoted by those in leadership positions in Egypt. His faith however was Tested again by being unfairly lied about while he was serving Potiphar, who was the Captain of the Palace Guard.
Potiphar’s wife had been pressuring Joseph day after day to sleep with her, and when he had refused her these many times, she told a vicious lie that Joseph tried to rape her. Joseph was once again unjustly treated, and thrown into Prison, but God was with Joseph there too.
To make a long story short, he later was freed from prison after being deserted and forgotten by the people that he had helped interpret their dreams in prison. He endured such incredible hardships. God blessed Joseph so much that He used Joseph to interpret Pharaoh's dream, which then resulted in the Pharaoh making Joseph second in command next to the Pharaoh himself. The dream that Joseph interpreted of Pharaoh's was a vision of 7 years of Good Crops in the land, to prepare for the 7 years of drought and famine that would sweep Egypt. God had been merciful to prepare the Nation of Egypt to survive a severe famine through Joseph’s interpretation of the dream. Later Joseph’s evil brothers had the tables turned on them as they came to Egypt in dire search of food. God humbled the brothers as they then learned that Joseph had come to inherit such Royalty and Honor in the land of Egypt, being Second in Command, next to Pharaoh himself. God in his mercy spared their lives, as well as the future of Israel through the incredible life of Joseph.
23 - Satan tries to Choke God's Word out - Remain Faithful - You Will Receive the Crown of Life
In the Book of Revelation we see Jesus shining the spotlight on what is truly happening to the Suffering and Poor “Church of Smyrna”. Jesus warns and encourages this Church that if they remain faithful to Him they will receive the Crown of Life.
- Rev 2:9-11 Jesus says to the Church of Smyrna , “I know about your SUFFERING and your Poverty—but you are rich! I know the blasphemy of those opposing you. They say they are Jews, but they are not, because their synagogue belongs to Satan. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to Test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the Crown of Life.“
Jesus, in His mercy, warned the True Believers that they were going to suffer at the hands of an angry devil, and have their Faith Tested. Why would God allow their (our) faith to be Tested? Jesus tells us that it is for God’s Eternal Purposes, in that He wants to Reward those Suffering Believers with the Crown of Life. We can’t receive the Crown of Life until we resist and overcome Satan through trusting in God's Word over what we see, think, or feel. We must prove that our Faith was indeed Truly Genuine; we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling and Persevere until the end.
- Philippians 2:12 "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
If you are going through Stormy times, don’t turn away from the Lord. Instead let these times draw you to trust Jesus. Keep remembering your Eternal Reward! (see also Rev 22:12-14).
- James 4:8 “Draw Near to God, and He will Draw Near to You!”
Cares of This Life Can Choke God’s Word Out - This World we live in is a Dysfunctional, Sinful, and a Cursed Planet that has much unseen Demonic Activity going on. We need to Stand Firm in God’s Word, and Put on All of God's Armour! (Eph 6:10-20) Satan tries to Choke God’s Word Out, and we see how that happens in the Parable of The Sower (Thorny Ground Hearers - Matt 13:22, Mark 4:19, Luke 8:14).
- Matthew 13:22 Jesus says, “The Seed (God’s Word) that fell among the Thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries and cares of this life and the lure of wealth, (desire for nice things, etc.) so no fruit is produced.”
24 - An Opportunity To Be Overcomers Through Jesus, Leading us to Eternal Life
The only people that will be allowed to enter into God’s Kingdom are those who are OVERCOMERS. Those who overcame: Sin, Death, Trials, & Temptations through Faith in God’s Word, and in God's Word only. We are to be like Jesus and overcome Sin & Temptations by trusting in God’s Word as Jesus did, and putting our flesh under. If we do not “endure until the end” by being overcomers, as Jesus says we must do (Matt.10:22), we will not inherit eternal life (Rev 21:7-8)...but we will Perish in Hell.
Jesus Overcame The Storms of Life Of Temptations & Trials Through Faith in God’s Word
- Matthew 4:1-11 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights He fasted and became very hungry…(Jesus passed 4 out of 4 of Satan’s Temptations – here is the fourth) Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the Kingdoms of the world and all their Glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “ For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’”
The Temptations Of Jesus by the Devil - (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13)
We Are To Be Overcomers Through Christ Who Give Us The Victory!
- 1 John 5:4-5 “For every Child of God DEFEATS THIS EVIL WORLD BY TRUSTING CHRIST TO GIVE THE VICTORY. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”
- John 16:33 Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many TRIALS and SORROWS. But take heart, because I have OVERCOME the world."
- Rev 2:7 Jesus says, “To him who OVERCOMES I will give to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”
- Rev 2:11 Jesus says, “He who OVERCOMES shall not be hurt by the second death."
- Rev 2:17 Jesus says, “To him who OVERCOMES I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."
- Rev 2:26 Jesus says, “He who OVERCOMES, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.”
- Rev 3:5 Jesus says, “He who OVERCOMES shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.”
- Rev 3:12 Jesus says, “He who OVERCOMES, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the City of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”
- Rev 3:21 Jesus says, “To him who OVERCOMES I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
- Rev 21:7 “He who OVERCOMES shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”
25 - Can be the Lord Teaching us Not to Rely on Ourselves, But to Rely 100% on God
- 2 Cor 1:8-11 "We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And He did rescue us from mortal danger, and He will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in Him, and He will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety."
- Philippians 3:3 "We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort"
AUDIOS ON WHY & HOW GOD USES SUFFERING - BY JOHN MACARTHUR:
SEARCH for these AUDIOS on John MacArthur's "Grace To You" Website: GTY.org
- AUDIO - HOW GOD USES SUFFERING - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 2 Cor 12:7-8
- AUDIO - HOW GOD USES SUFFERING - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 2 Cor 12:9-10
- AUDIO - SUFFICIENT GRACE FOR HUMBLING CIRCUMSTANCES - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR
- AUDIO - SUFFICIENT GRACE FOR HUMBLING CIRCUMSTANCES - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR
- AUDIO: DELIVERED TO SATAN - PART 1 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 1 Tim 1:19-20
- AUDIO: DELIVERED TO SATAN - PART 2 - JOHN MACARTHUR - 1 Tim 1:19-20
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING, TRIALS, TESTS?—
25 KEYS TO WHAT THE STORMS OF LIFE CAN DO FOR A BELIEVER"
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WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING, TRIALS, TESTS? - 25 KEYS TO WHAT THE STORMS OF LIFE CAN DO FOR A BELIEVER"
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