Learning from suffering

By Beverley Russell

 Belgische Christadelphians  

 

 

Articles in English

 

 

 

Suffering - Through the Apparent Silence of God 


< 3 Suffering leading to joy 

> 5 When there Seems no future in suffering 

 

Words from God about suffering 

About suffering 

Choices to make in suffering 

Content with the “no” answer 

Crucifixion for suffering 

Gods instruction about joy and suffering 

God’s measure not our measure 

God's Promises 

God’s promises to us in our suffering 

Miracles in our time of suffering 

Offer in our suffering 


Suffering - Through the Apparent Silence of God 

Suffering continues 

Suffering leading to joy 

Surprised by joy 

Surprised by time in joys &amp; sufferings 


Temptation and its conquest 


Concerning Faith and the Gospel 


Free Will And Predestination 

Hope 

 

 

Lijden
Moeilijkheden

Redding door Volharding 

Goddelijke redenen hoger dan de onze 

God komt ons ten goede 

Jezus moest sterven 

Neerslachtigheid 

Verandering door de Bijbel 

Volharding &amp; Bijbelstudenten 


Menselijke Natuur
Relatie tot medemens

 Woord van God 

 

Wat te vinden in de Bijbel 

Reden voor het lezen van de Heilige Schrift


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4. What do we learn from our suffering?

There are times we don't do so well in our trials, but we know that we can still learn from our mistakes, and troubles, and keep heading towards our goal of perfectness with Him. This hopefulness underlines our disappointment in ourselves. We know we can be where Jacob was after his long life, often tainted with deceit and suffering, but perfected in his death. There are hundreds of questions for discussion in Genesis, for which we have no answers. But it is the understanding we bring to those questions (not the answers), which we can value most.

Suffering is so that faith can grow, not only our own faith but other people’s faith, as well. For in our own death even in a holocaust, there can still be reasons and lessons to be learned. It is interesting that with children in hospital, even in their dying, so carers say, it is imperative to keep encouraging them in good behaviour for their own sake. It is so they can rise above the trauma and think about the love that they have and react accordingly with obedience. Of course, a child does not know that he can be “made perfect through suffering”, but a child does know (or should know) obedience. In obedience even in childlike faith and hope, there is a goodness learned. We know that Christ “learned obedience by the things he suffered”. It was the faith he had in his Father, and the hope of things to come that made him perfect in his suffering.

I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, Mat 16:18. No darkness is too great for God, for no trial, no suffering, is beyond the transforming power of God. The pattern of bad transforming into good, finds the afflicted victim blessed, and ready to understand. Its fullest expression is in Jesus and his suffering. Christ needed to suffer, and Peter, not understanding, tried to spare him suffering, and was reproved by Christ, Matthew 26:51. So even if we try to stem some suffering, storms, microbes, tragedy, natural disasters, medical calamities and the evil of men, suffering will not pass us by. “By his wounds we are healed”, Isaiah 53:5 and we think of holocaust victims who turned the evil of men into a service for good, or the promise of good.

We are not promised prosperity and comfort as God promised the old faithful men, but we are promised a fourth man in the fire. The body of Christ is the means by which we learn from the suffering, because those in the body grow together and learn about suffering. He is the body in the fire for us. It would be easy to avoid those in need. The widowed, unemployed, aged, invalids, divorced, persecuted, those lonely and those lied about are all in need, as well as the culturally deprived and the national outcasts, but our presence with the loving concern of comforters, is God beside those sufferers. That causes us to act, for we would be like Him.

What sounds bitter to us can be transformed into a sweetness in the soul. The troubled intensity of the question in our minds is answered with the sweetness of understanding and love. And our salvation is assured. It is not the learning of the doctrines, or the understanding of the terms and conditions of the future kingdom which prepare us for the end. It is the understanding of Him now, and His offer of completeness in Him, which is the basis on which all the other may be placed for consideration.

Some do suffer more than others, and we constantly hear of people far worse off than we are. “I complained, with no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” However some are more able for tragedy than others, and God does take that into account as well. So our reasoning needs to fall back to the individual’s relationship with God.

When we are beset by tragedy of any sort, the degree of it is not the point. It is how we relate to God in His decisions about us. He loves us very much, if we build good relationships with others, making good responses. That will please Him. That is the lesson He wants us to learn.

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