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Overview of The Bible

What Are Demons?

What is God's Spirit?

Who Wrote the Bible?

The Names of God

The Atonement

What is Heaven?

What the Bible Teaches About Faith

A Beginner's Guide to Bible Prophecy

The Tree of Life

In this video we examine God's purpose in suffering, and how He uses it to shape our character.


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The Promises to David

How should suffering be viewed? That's a question seemingly easier to ask when we're not the ones going through it. But is there a different lens with which we can view suffering? Perhaps there's a lens that helps us to appreciate how God views suffering and the purpose behind it, how God has intended it to be viewed by each of us.

Why don't we consider a man who understood deeply what it meant to go through suffering? I'd like to introduce you to a man named Job. Job was a man who experienced tragedy and loss both within his family and his livelihood, even affecting his own personal health. This man had a big family: seven sons and three daughters. He also had possessions: 7,000 sheep and 3,000 camels, and yet in one day, he lost everyone and everything. All that this man had in one day, gone. How did Job view the suffering that God put him through? What was the lens with which Job looked through that we could look through as well?

His words seem almost unbelievable, given the circumstances. But Job said, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this, Job did not sin with his lips. Job understood the principle of what suffering can do for us, and Job also understood that God was right in leading his life in the way that God saw fit. It's not an easy thing for someone to say! But there's much we can learn from someone like Job, who experienced suffering in such a drastic way. Even during the events of his suffering, Job still found an opportunity to give praise to his heavenly Father.

So what is it that Job understood suffering could do for him, and is there any way we could apply this to our own lives as well? Job learned that God's view is higher than ours and that God's view is greater in scope than ours. Sometimes, we can't begin to understand it initially, that God's mind is higher than ours and able to think and do things that we might not be able to comprehend. But Job spent the time to learn to work to understand it so that he might come to grasp why he was suffering. That's what God wants to make clear in his book, the Bible; first, he has a plan, and second, he has Tools with which to bring about that plan. One of those tools, as Job experienced, is suffering.

We may be worked on in ways that we find challenging or uncomfortable, just as Job was. But it's one of the ways that God works on those who love him, who fear Him, and who want to learn more about his plan and purpose for this Earth. That's what's found clearly laid out for us in first Thessalonians chapter 5: we're told there that "God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep, we might live with him." God wants us to live forever! God wants us to obtain salvation! That's part of his plan and his purpose for us and for this Earth, and that's why God works with us in challenging and difficult ways, just as Job experienced.

We've all heard the story of the child who's told not to put their hand on the stove. And yet, as the story goes, sooner or later, they come back and put their hand on the stove. Now, the question could be asked, "Well, why didn't they just get rid of the stove?" If it was a problem, get rid of the problem! But that's not the point. See, God wants to work with us. He doesn't just want to eliminate what might improve and develop our character. And one of the tools he uses to help shape us is suffering. Removing it won't bring about the desired result that God has in store for each of us. That's what we're told to remember when we come to the letter to the Hebrews. God uses suffering towards those that he loves to shape our character so that we might manifest his own. That's a high calling, but it's what God wants for those who read the Bible. Thankfully, we have the example of Job to think about, to read about, and to work to emulate. God doesn't want anyone to perish but that all might come to know him, to know his plan and purpose, and to obtain salvation by walking after his commandments that we read about in the Bible.

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Study Notes

God's Purpose in Suffering | Part 2

In this video we examine God's purpose in suffering, and how He uses it to shape our character.

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