Making Sense Out of Suffering (Part 1)
A sign on the wall of a junior high classroom contained these words: "Experience is the hardest teacher. It gives the test first and then the lesson." This truism was likely forgotten by most of the students who used that classroom. Likewise, many do not realize or forget that the experiences of the life, whether difficult or pleasant, tend to be followed by an understanding of the lessons they are intended to teach us. Let us examine the general principles you can apply to your specific circumstances to begin to understand the lessons of suffering.
The Lessons from Suffering
As a result of patience and unwavering trust during his long ordeal, Job gained a new understanding of his sovereign God and a greater reassurance of the joys of being dealt with as one of His children. It is this joy that I want to focus on first in our look at the lessons from suffering.
1. Suffering Produces Fresh Joy
True joy does not come cheaply or as a fleeting, superficial emotion. real joy is produced by much deeper factors than the circumstances that produce superficial happiness. 1 Peter 1:3-3; Eph. 1:11-13.
2. Suffering Enhances Future Glory
As long as we are in this world, we are called to bear suffering patiently and see it through to God's ultimate purpose. That's when we begin to see that suffering is beneficial- it is part of our final perfection and glorification. The lesson for us is that whenever we suffer and emerge patiently and faithfully from it, God is pleased because we increasing our eternal capacity to glorify Him. we too should take great pleasure and joy in the outcome of a time of suffering, trial, or persecution, realising that we are enhancing our heavenly reward and understanding more about the power of suffering (see Rev.2;10).
(Remaining to be Contd next week) (Part 2)
*************************Letter # 36 (22.9.2002)***************
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