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Monday, November 25, 2013

Worse Than Suffering (Study)

feeling abandoned by God, Job
One thing tests us more than suffering.

Job lost his children, his wealth, and his health, yet he responded in faith and trust. 

But as his suffering continued and his friends offered foolish explanations, he broke. He complained bitterly (Job 23:1-2) because he felt God had abandoned, forgotten and rejected him. 

He had enough faith to lose everything ... except God. 

"If only I could find him" (Job 23:3).

Most of us come to this point at some time in our lives and we need the same answer God gave Job:
"You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers? Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?" (Job 40:2,8 NLT

We can't and won't understand everything in this life. God doesn't promise we will. And the only way we "lose God" is to discredit His pure and holy nature and try to figure things out with our human understanding (Proverbs 3:5). 

Image: Stockvault
Resource: When God Doesn't Make Sense by James Dobson 

Bible Study 

"Pain and suffering do not cause the greatest damage. Confusion is the factor that shreds one's faith."  James Dobson

1. When you accepted Christ as your Savior did you understand that suffering would still be a part of your life or did you think Christ would make your path easy and smooth and free from hardship? Note the verses below that talk about various reasons we suffer: 

We suffer because the world is fallen: 
Romans 8: 21-23: "...the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us."

We suffer because our Loving Heavenly Father punishes our personal sins and uses hardship to train us in righteousness: 
Hebrews 11:7: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?" (See Punishment versus Discipline & Insights). 

We suffer persecution for Christ: 
2 Timothy 3:12: "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"

2. Why is it important to understand that suffering will be part of our lives?

copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, Bite Size Bible Study
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted 

After doing this study, you can check out my insights HERE.

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