Saturday, March 31, 2012

When God Weeps

Paul Tautges has an excellent site for counseling. As the author or co-author of six books and a number of booklets, he has written about topics ranging from grief recovery to personal discipleship. Recently, he posted a list of God’s purposes in our suffering as found in When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty, by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes. It is a list worth considering.
  • Suffering is used to increase our awareness of the sustaining power of God to whom we owe our sustenance (Ps 68:19).
  • God uses suffering to refine, perfect, strengthen, and keep us from falling (Ps 66:8-9Heb 2:10)
  • Suffering allows the life of Christ to be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Cor 4:7-11)
  • Suffering bankrupts us, making us dependent upon God (2 Cor 12:9)
  • Suffering teaches us humility (2 Cor 12:7).Suffering imparts the mind of Christ (Phil 2:1-11)
  • Suffering teaches us that God is more concerned about character than comfort (Rom 5:3-4Heb 12:10-11)
  • Suffering teaches us that the greatest good of the Christian life is not absence of pain, but Christlikeness (2 Cor 4:8-10Rom 8:28-29)
  • Suffering can be a chastisement from God for sin and rebellion (Ps 107:17)
  • Obedience and self-control are from suffering (Heb 5:8Ps 119:67Rom 5:1-5James 1:2-8Phil 3:10)
  • Voluntary suffering is one way to demonstrate the love of God (2 Cor 8:1-29)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle against sin (Heb 12:4-13)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle against evil men (Ps 27:1237:14-15)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle for the kingdom of God (2 Thess 1:5)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle for the gospel (2 Tim 2:8-9)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle against injustice (1 Pet 2:19)
  • Suffering is part of the struggle for the name of Christ (Acts 5:411 Pet 4:14)
  • Suffering indicates how the righteous become sharers in Christ’s suffering (2 Cor 1:51 Pet 4:12-13).
  • Endurance of suffering is given as a cause for reward (2 Cor 4:172 Tim 2:12)
  • Suffering forces community and the administration of the gifts for the common good (Phil 4:12-15)
  • Suffering binds Christians together into a common or joint purpose (Rev 1:9)
  • Suffering produces discernment, knowledge, and teaches us God’s statutes (Ps 119:66-6771)
  • Through suffering God is able to obtain our broken and contrite spirit which He desires (Ps 51:16-17)
  • Suffering causes us to discipline our minds by making us focus our hope on the grace to be revealed at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:613)
  • God uses suffering to humble us so He can exalt us at the proper time (1 Pet 5:6-7)
  • Suffering teaches us to number our days so we can present to God a heart of wisdom (Ps 90:7-12)
  • Suffering is sometimes necessary to win the lost (2 Tim 2:8-104:5-6)
  • Suffering strengthens and allows us to comfort others who are weak (2 Cor 1:3-11)
  • Suffering is small compared to the surpassing value of knowing Christ (Phil 3:8)
  • God desires truth in our innermost being and one way He does it is through suffering (Ps 51:6119:17)
  • The equity for suffering will be found in the next life (Ps 58:10-11)
  • Suffering is always coupled with a greater source of grace (2 Tim 1:7-84:16-18)
  • Suffering teaches us to give thanks in times of sorrow (1 Thess 5:172 Cor 1:11)
  • Suffering increases faith (Jer 29:11).Suffering allows God to manifest His care (Ps 56:8)
  • Suffering stretches our hope (Job 13:14-15).

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