by Eddie Snipes

This content is part of a series.

The Joy of Suffering (1 of 3)
Eddie Snipes
Joel 2:25-26; Matthew 13:20-21; Romans 8:16-18; 1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Hebrews 12:1-2; James 5:10-11; 1 Peter 2:18-23, 4:12-19

I preceded this series by examining the false view that God guarantees us health, wealth and a carefree lifestyle. This was absolutely necessary for a number of obvious reasons. We are to uphold truth. The belief that our inheritance is in this life distorts the scriptures, therefore, it is impossible to understand the higher purposes of God without first correcting the misunderstandings many are taught to believe. If we are taught that we are guaranteed a healthy, prosperous life in tranquility, then suffering can only mean failure of our own spiritual lives or frustration against God for failing to meet our expectations. Many teach that suffering is the result of sin, a lack of faith, or the anger of God. If this were true, each time we suffer we would have to ask, "Why me?" or, "What have I done?" What Christian can thrive and spiritually mature under the constant fear of falling out of favor with God? The faith of many Christians are overthrown because they view trouble as the disfavor of God. If this were true, all the apostles were under God's judgment. Consider this passage from 1 Corinthians 4:

9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

If these men did not understand suffering, then they w ...

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