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24 April 2014

The Benefit and Purpose of Suffering

Sometimes suffering and adversity appear senseless to us, and we ask questions like, "How can anyone possibly benefit from this calamity?" Or, "Can someone tell me what purpose this is serving?" Or, simply, "Why, Lord?"

While there may be many answers to these questions, Daniel L. Segraves offers an answer from 1 Peter 5:10 in his book "If God Loves Me, Why Am I Hurting?"

"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).

1. Perfect = "the idea of mending or repairing something that has been broken....It may be the will of God for believers to suffer temporarily, but the suffering will be followed by restoration and mending of whatever may have been broken during the suffering." 

2. Establish = "making something firm....a promise that God will firmly establish those who have suffered to any degree that they have experienced loss by their suffering." 

3. Strengthen = "making something strong, with specific application to the soul. God will remove any weakness that may have resulted from suffering." 

4. Settle = "laying a foundation or making something stable. Thus, if any believer's stability has been damaged by suffering, God will correct it."

The believer will suffer, but the blessing -- Yes, the blessing -- of suffering is God's promise to perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle each believer before they reach God's eternal glory.


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