causes of suffering in christianity

It keeps the world from becoming too attractive b. Not only that, it brought about the universal brokenness of our world, now groaning over its condition through natural disasters and the like (Rom. The meaning is similar to Romans 1:16 where Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” 1:3-5). 17:8f). That’s why they are called “trials” and “testings.” Even when we understand the purposes and principles of suffering, and we know the promises of God’s love and concern given in the Word of God for handling suffering, dealing with the trials of life is never easy because suffering hurts. The desired goal is increased fruitfulness (John 15:1-7). 2:14-16). “Trials” in James 1:2 is the Greek peirasmos and refers to that which examines, tests, and proves the character or integrity of something. While our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it, get rid of it, or numb it; we need to realize that God allows pain. Hebrews talks about this in detail. 11:28-32; 5:1-5). (4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. Millions of people suffered, not just individually, but as an entire nation of people. Suffering provides key opportunities to manifest and magnify the power of God through His servants in order to verify and confirm the messenger and his message. Suffering in this world is a stone-cold reality in Christianity -- Jesus Christ Himself, God Incarnate, suffered betrayal, indignity, torture and a grueling death. Suffering is not in itself virtuous, nor is it a sign of holiness. Romans 5:3-4 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; James 1:3-4 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Anyone’s heart can harden, even faithful Christians’. One, deserved suffering. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. But not all who suffer grow in the midst of it. We reap what we sow (Gal. Sinful Lifestyles and Systems (The Flesh): Suffering also happens as a consequence of our personal sin and systems of sin that come under our response to the Fall. (8) Suffering Requires Our Cooperation. God can redeem the situation, but sometimes the Lord doesn’t remove all of the consequences. 119: Learning and turning (vs. 71, cf. Illustration: If a father tells his son to do something he likes to do (i.e., eat a bowl of ice cream) and he does it, the child has obeyed, but he hasn’t really learned anything about obedience. Suffering or trials teach us the truth of Psalm 62:1-8, the truth of learning to “wait on the Lord only.”. 6). And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. "THE PROBLEM OF SUFFERING" Who Or What Causes It? “Testing” in this same verse is dokimion which has a similar idea. 3. It Reminds Us of the Reality of Sin. For the believer, this is called the discipline of the Lord. 12:5f; 1 Pet. As we know by the Word of God, Job endured this type of suffering. In addition to his role at Epiphany Fellowship, he serves as president of Thriving, an urban missions collaborative. 6:10f; Ex. But so-called natural disasters are often considered evil as well because of all the suffering they cause. The word brokenness may strike fear in some people, but it's really not a … 12:7). This negative aspect is accomplished in two ways: (1) When out of fellowship with the Lord: Suffering becomes discipline from our heavenly Father (Heb. 12:9, 10; John 9:3). In the design of God, it is also something to make us think. It involves unknown sin, areas we may not be aware of, but that are nevertheless hindering our growth and fruitfulness. Policies can be made to preserve and promote sin. 5. Positive: when believers live under suffering joyfully (i.e., they endure and keep on applying the promises and principles of the faith), Christ’s life or character will be more and more manifested as they grow through the suffering (2 Cor. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; (Romans 8:28-29), (4) Suffering Proves (tests) Us. SUFFERING What is christian suffering? Jews were left alone for the most part; it seemed best to Rome to just confine them and leave them alone. For instance, someone who has a child out of wedlock can find themselves paying child support, which could become a burden to their finances and cause economic suffering. . {1}People felt threatened by this oddball new religion. Compare 1 Peter 1:6-7 where the same Greek words are used along with the verb dokimazo which means, “put to the test,” “prove by testing as with gold.”. God will use the most difficult forms of suffering to conform us into the image of Christ. What are these bends in the road that God puts in the path of life that we are to carefully consider? Suffering happens in community. Job shows that he knows this is true when he says, “. The Lord uses it to remind me to Whom I am anchored when I endure trials of many kinds. Suffering is designed to build our trust in the Almighty. It is God’s grace in Christ (our new identity in Christ, the Word and the Holy Spirit) that changes us. 4:16). 6:7-9). 3:12). (11) Suffering is a Struggle. Suffering is a privilege. Systemic sin is contagious like a pathogen, eating away at consciences of individuals. Probably one of the greatest challenges faced by Christianity and Christians is the reality of evil and suffering. We are called to do the same. What is God doing? Of course, all of these do not apply at the same time. We reap what we sow (Gal. 12:6). 16:7; 119:67, 71). As discipline for sin to bring us back to fellowship through genuine confession (Ps. 3:14-17). No matter the reason, even if it is not God’s discipline for blatant carnality, it is a purifier for none of us will ever be perfect in this life. 1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. the Lord has taken away” ( Job 1:21 ). In the previous lesson, we saw through the eyes of one suffering Christian that SUFFERING can often bring about very positive results: a. Sin works like a virus in our communities; one man’s sinful disposition can infect his neighbor’s. Pain and suffering, at least on some level, is an inescapable reality of the human experience. Our faith does not give us an intellectual explanation of why God allows bad things to happen (that is left to theologians and philosophers to figure out), but it does give us the kind of answer to suffering that I think we all truly want. Suffering is a battleground. Each of us knows firsthand what it means to suffer as a result of … 1 Ron Lee Davis, Gold in the Making, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1983p. Origen died during this persecution after suffering torture (251). “In the day of prosperity be happy, But in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man may not discover anything that will be after him” (Eccl. What is God doing? 67b, 97-102). (2) Suffering is Perplexing. Suffering is a consequence. Most times, suffering is a result of sin in a more general sense. ), (2) Determine Objectives (What is God wanting to do in my life or in others? This has both a negative and a positive aspect: a. It may be a personal failure or disappointment in your job or school work. Of course, all of these do no… New Podcast from Dan Darling: "The Characters of Christmas", This site is a proud member of the Salem Web Network, a subsidiary of, Copyright © 2020, Crosswalk.com. . 4 Beloved Christmas Carols and the True Stories behind Them, 10 Things the Bible Says about the Mark of the Beast, Don't Forget That I'm Here Waiting, Lord - From His Heart - December 6, 10 Powerful Prayers to Protect Your Children from Satan, Why God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle, 10 Holiday Movies Christians Need to Know About, How Well Do You Know the Christmas Story? The believer should not be puzzled at suffering, because the Bible plainly states that it is a necessary part of the Christian life. Suffering at the hands of people (persecution, violent treatments) is used of God to “fill up the measure of their sins.” It shows the evil character of those who persecute others and the justice of God’s judgment when it falls. The question of the unjustified suffering of the innocent is at the heart of Christianity, which holds that a sinless man (Jesus) suffered and died for the sins of humanity. [Editor’s Note: This excerpt is taken from Unleashed: Being Conformed to the Image of Christ by Eric Mason, Copyright © 2015 by Eric Mason. 12:6). (2) When in fellowship: Suffering becomes the loving and skillful handy work of the Vine Dresser to make us more productive. Suffering in itself does not remove the impurities, but is a tool God uses to cause us to exercise faith in the provisions of God’s grace. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. It seems that every human will experience some of the various forms of suffering at some point throughout… (3) We suffer to keep down pride (2 Cor. (4) We may suffer persecution because of our faith—especially when we take a stand on biblical issues, i.e., suffering for righteousness sake (2 Tim. d. As a means of learning what obedience really means. It may be the illness or loss of someone close to you. The world is simply not as it should be so things like health issues, relational strife, and natural disasters exist. 4. The Search Of The Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12), Christmas Searches: Expository Sermons For Christmas, 3. Sometimes when we suffer, it is nothing less than an attack from the Serpent. If we are going to endure suffering and the trials of life, however, we must also understand and believe in the other purposes and reasons for suffering as they are related to the chief purpose. Suffering is that which proves one’s character and integrity along with both the object and quality of one’s faith. 32:23). But we must tether ourselves to the anchor with knowledge, not only of the goodness of God, but the danger of evil. Leah: The Woman No Man Loved But Every Woman Envied (Gen. 29:15-35). 1 Thessalonians 3:3 so that no man may be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this. The Apostle was undoubtedly continuing to rejoice in the Lord, but if he had been complaining, sulking, and bitter, his witness would have been zero. “We all want the product, character; but we don’t want the process, suffering.”2 Because of our make up as human beings, we can’t have one without the other. Regardless of what we know and how hard we apply the principles, it is going to hurt (cf. 119:71, 92; 1 Pet. Used by permission of B&H Publishing Group. It causes us to turn from our resources to His resources. It causes us to put first things first. The Christian Answer to Suffering And that, I would suggest, is the Christian answer to suffering. To manifest the power of God to others (2 Cor. When the furnace is seven times hotter than ordinary, the Spirit of the Lord comes and seals up a man's pardon in his … 3 Suffering in Christianity. It can require sacrifice, courage, discipline, and faith in the belief that God is good and has our best interests at heart regardless of how things might appear to us. our spiritual surroundings in times of trial and uniquely sensitives times in the midst of pain.Now I address some spiritual attitudes that can help us endure as co-sufferers (Phil 3:10-11). Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources, 3 Reasons the 'Christmas Star' of 2020 Is Bringing So Much Hope, Amazing Children's Choir Sings 'I Can Only Imagine', 10 Things Your Husband Really Doesn't Like. 17:17-24; John 11:1-45). The Lord uses trials to test our faith in the sense of purifying it, to bring it to the surface, so we are forced to put our faith to work. The theological notion of Jesus' suffering and death on the cross is viewed by some as a redemptive valuation of suffering. 4:8-12; 1 Pet. Satan, the great deceiver, works in the inner city, as well as the suburbs. Suffering itself is not the thing that produces faith or maturity. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 1:6—“distressed” = lupeo, “to cause pain, sorrow, grief”). b. Suffering provides opportunity for God’s glory, our transformation, testimony, and ministry, etc. Eric Mason is founder and lead pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Philippians 1:29) 29- For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, Suffering is a means of learning. It has as its chief purpose the formation of Christ-like character (Rom. Individual sin isn’t the only form of suffering we endure, however. Suffering can also be caused by spiritual warfare. In this sense, suffering is designed: a. Sin always spawns misery. 7:14). The history of Christianity has witnessed an active debate about proper attitudes towards suffering, pain, and death, and how best to confront human illness and frailty. (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. 1 Pet. Christ avoided suffering unless it meant acting in disobedience to the Father’s will. Suffering equips us for ministry. In August of 2001 he was diagnosed with lung cancer and on August 29th, 2002 he went home to be with the Lord. As our representative, Adam’s sin brought about the cataclysmic consequences of us being born sinful (Ps. Suffering forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. Regardless of the reason God allows suffering into our lives, rarely does it not reveal areas of need, weaknesses, wrong attitudes, etc., as it did in Job. In this case, suffering often constitutes mirrors of reproof (John 15:1-7). (2) We suffer to develop our capacity and sympathy in comforting others (2 Cor. Do Millennials and Boomers Share the Same Values? Why now? Be encouraged that God has counted you worthy to suffer for His name’s sake. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Simply stated, suffering is anything which hurts or irritates. Author of Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole, and Beat God to the Punch: Because Jesus Demands Your Life, Eric holds degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (DMin). (3) We sometimes suffer because it is God’s discipline. ), (3) Determine Solutions (How does God want me to handle this? Suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. This became the cause for the first empire-wide persecution of Christians. (8) We suffer to broaden our ministries (cf. The following questions are designed to help us “consider” in the day of adversity: (4) Does my response demonstrate faith, love for God and for others, Christ-like character, values, commitment, priorities, etc.? The scriptural narrative opens with God crafting … 2. (1) We suffer as a testimony, as a witness (2 Tim 2:8-10; 2 Cor. Trials test our faith and cause us to use the promises and principles of the Word (Ps. The Bible regards suffering as normal. In these times of suffering, God has given us clear instructions to engage as warriors who put on the whole armor of God (Eph. We experience three kinds of suffering in this life. 4:1 [The Hebrew of this passage can mean, “You have enlarged, made me grow wide by my distress”]). “It may be cancer or a sore throat. When it is possible, suffering is to be avoided. In a universe governed by karma, people who do good will experience good, and … Satan is the author of sin, and suffering came on mankind as a result of Adam’s sin ( Genesis 3 ). Because of our natural tendency to sin, given to us from Adam, we suffer under the tyranny of the flesh. (6) We suffer to manifest the life and character of Christ (The Fruit of the Spirit) (2 Cor. We may know some of the theological reasons for suffering from Scripture, yet when it strikes, there is still a certain mystery. Why now? It is designed to build our trust in the Almighty, but suffering requires the right response if it is to be successful in accomplishing God’s purposes. Tragically it is often people who are entirely innocent who suffer the most. Just think of the Jim Crow Laws, or Hitler’s Aryan Clause. b. Christianity preys on the innocent. (3) Suffering is Purposeful. The Lord, the covenant God, is the one who brought these sufferings upon Job. It forces us to turn from trust in our own resources to living by faith in God’s resources. (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. Some early Christians viewed creation as flawed from the beginning and thus as not the work of the God of Jesus Christ. (1) We suffer because we live in a fallen world where sin reigns in the hearts of men. 12:6). www.bhpublishinggroup.com.]. Christianity acknowledges the reality of suffering and attributes it to the sinful nature of humanity. (6) Suffering is a Purifier. (5) Suffering is a Process. When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. This fundamental flaw passed down to us through Adam creates the potential for suffering of every kind. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 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; (1 Peter 1:6-7). Compare the blessings of affliction as seen in the testimony of the Psalmist in Ps. The Bible says that our war is not against flesh and blood, but against an invisible enemy that wreaks havoc on couples, singles, families, sons, and daughters. (2) We suffer because of our own foolishness. In Acts 5:41 the apostles rejoiced in their suffering. 1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. Personal sins like greed, pride, or sexual immorality can cause suffering personally. Early Christians reflected on the origin of suffering amid an intense debate over the goodness of creation and the cause of suf-fering. 4:8-11; Phil. A temptation to power and self-exaltation lay in the late Jewish promise of the coming of the Messiah–Son of man. He lays siege to both bedrooms and boardrooms. It may be a rumor that is circulating in your office or your church, damaging your reputation, bringing you grief and anxiety.”1 It can be anything that ranges from something as small and irritating as the bite of a mosquito to facing a lion in the lions’ den as did Daniel (Dan. It is only a tool that God uses to bring us to Himself so we will respond to Him and His Word. One use of the book of Job is to distinguish a biblical view of suffering from the concept of karma, which is the notion that there is a kind of unbreakable cause-and-effect law in the moral realm. Suffering tempers the soul and helps prepare it for eternity. He is an equal opportunity destroyer. 1:6-7). Now protect it. (7) Suffering Provides Opportunity. Suffering is not without meaning in spite of its mystery. (1) Suffering is Painful. 8:28-29). Suffering is somewhat mysterious. The results God seeks to accomplish with the trials of life require time and thus also, endurance. We all experience pain, and even suffering at some time in our lives. 3:13-17). It can bring out our best c. Trials simply give us the capacity to cooperate with the process (Jam. Insights from the beginning of the Bible’s storyline. A Need for Brokenness. 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. Christianity was identified at first with Judaism, but people quickly came to see it as a different religion. We sin, and we suffer misery for it. 32:3-5; 119:67). It’s all sin can do. 1 Pet. Marcion … We must understand God’s chief purpose for our lives is to be conformed to the image of Christ and He has determined in His plan to use suffering for our spiritual development. He and his wife Yvette have four wonderful children. Philippians 1:12-14 with 4:5-9). In two earlier posts (here and here) I spoke about some features of co-suffering with Christ, i.e. (See reasons for suffering given below.). 51). As a process, it takes time. (4) We suffer because it is a training tool. If his dad, however, asks him to mow the lawn, that becomes a test and teaches something about the meaning of obedience. Peter talks about personal sin that we endure the consequences of as suffering in 1 Peter 2. This means trust, peace, joy, stability, biblical values, faithfulness, and obedience in contrast to sinful mental attitudes, blaming, running, complaining, and reactions against God and people. What Is the Difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming? The issue of whether a lapsed Christian could be reconciled to the church became a matter of great controversy. The disciples were concerned with their meager bread supply, and it was clear that each of them had forgotten how Jesus … It is also not a means of gaining points with God, or of subduing the flesh (as in asceticism). It doesn’t matter what type of person you are morally or religiously, all are impacted by the Fall. The next pro… You've planned for your future. It becomes a test of our loyalty (Heb. In fact, in Mark 8:17–19 we see Jesus’ own disciples suffering from this malady. Christianity, however, was a strange, new cult, and it began to spread across people groups and geographical boundaries. Fires, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami, and physical illnesses (e.g., cancer) are examples of natural suffering. Fundamental flaw passed down to us through Adam creates the potential for given. 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No man is an island to Himself so we will turn our attention and to accomplish the! Challenges faced by christianity and Christians is the reality of suffering in 1 peter 2 away ” (.... That God puts in the road that God has counted you worthy to suffer for His name s! Must tether ourselves to the anchor with knowledge, not just individually, but of! People, but that are nevertheless hindering our growth and fruitfulness 1 peter 2 out our best c. we experience.

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