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The Strengthening Work of Suffering (4 of 5)
Series: Why Does God Allow His People To Suffer?
I Peter 5:10
March 5, 2006
1. UNSHAKEN BY OUR FOES
a) The Adversary That Battles Us
b) The Adversity That Builds Us
2. UNWAVERING IN OUR FAITH
a) Faith That Was Firm
b) Faith That Was Formed
3. UNERRING IN OUR FIDELITY
a) The Unfaithfulness That Was Present
b) The Unfaithfulness That Is Prevented
A little boy walked into a grocery store and asked for a box of Tide detergent. He explained to the grocer that he was going to wash his cat. The grocer said, "Young man, you shouldn't wash your cat with this kind of soap." However, the little boy insisted that it would be okay.
A few days later the little boy returned and the grocer asked about his cat. "Oh, he died," said the little boy. The grocer said, "Well, son, I warned you about washing your cat with Tide." The little boy replied, "The soap didn't hurt him a bit! It was the spin cycle that got him."
It is the spin-cycle's of life that get us. It is those times when the happenings of life send our world into a frantic spin, leaving us staggering and stumbling. Yet, as we have been seeing, these times often have a divine purpose. As Peter said, it is after we have suffered that we are perfected, established, strengthened and settled.
We have considered the first two of the four reasons Peter gave for God allowing His people to suffer. Today, I want us to look at the third reason and that is the purpose of strengthening us. This is the only time in the Bible that we find the word that is translated "strengthen." It is a word that was used to describe physical strength. It speaks of being made strong. Peter is telling us that God uses suffering to make us spiritually strong.
I think of the words of Douglas Malloch:
The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
That stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a fores ...
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