That is the usual response from most sane people...no one looks forward to suffering. But can we learn something in it and gain something from it? The Book of Job certainly covers the issue and answers many questions regarding suffering.
Just the word “suffering” brings a creepy, crawly feeling to most. So much so, we prefer to do without it forever! But let’s look a bit closer at the reality of suffering. It is really a two-sided coin. On one side, suffering could be seen as coming from God to bring out the best in us (squeezing the grapes to make wine, so to speak). On the other, it could be seen as Satan trying to use the same circumstance to bring out the worst in us.
Your response to suffering can be to despise it, faint under it or receive instruction from it. If you realize the purposes of suffering, then maybe, just maybe, you can receive instruction from it.
“Purposes” to suffering—yes, I said purposes to suffering. They are to produce fruit (patience, knowledge and maturity), to silence Satan, to glorify God, to become more like Jesus, to teach us dependence on God, to refine our lives, to rebuke our sin and to enlarge our ability to minister to others who are suffering.
In Hebrews 12:11, we are told that discipline is sorrowful but if you are trained by it, it yields the fruit of righteousness.
The entire Book of Job is glorious, really, when you see what God does to Job in his sufferings and the changes that came about in his life…it explains so very much and shows God’s supreme wisdom. Of course, we all know the ending...Job not only changes but has his health and his wealth restored to him doubly.
Read Job 1-42, it’ll do a body good! Also, listen to the attached audio of the sermon and be blessed.
Audio: (Click forward button below to play audio of message and/or download mp3 file.)
Study Guide: (Download file to print Study Guide for message or view embedded file below.)
Quick Access to Previous Message on the Study of Job: If you missed the first part of this two-part study, here is a quick link: Job - How God Turns Suffering and Loss Into Joy and Gain.