FOR TO YOU IT HAS BEEN GRANTED
FOR CHRIST'S SAKE:
hoti humin echaristhe (3SAPI)
to huper Christou: (Acts 5:41; Ro 5:3; Jas 1:2; 1Pe 4:13)
For it has been granted to you on
behalf of Christ " (Lightfoot 1)
for it is his grace, his privilege
bestowed upon you, that for Christ (Lightfoot 2)
For to you has been given the
privilege of doing something for Christ (Barclay)
You are given, in this battle, the
And the reason why you should not be
terrified is because to you that very thing was given graciously as a
favor for the sake of Christ and in His behalf, not only to be believing
on Him but also to be suffering for His sake and in His behalf" (Wuest)
(hoti) explains the reason the saints at Philippi did not
need to be terrified by their opponents. Why? Because the opposition had
been bequeathed to them from God as a gift of grace as explained below!
Vincent writes that (hoti)
justifies the preceding statement,
but with special reference to
soteria [word study].
The evidence that your courage is a divine token of salvation
lies in the fact that God has graciously bestowed on you, along with
faith in Christ, the privilege of suffering with Him. For faith implies
oneness with Christ, and therefore fellowship with His sufferings (Ro
2Th 1:5; 2Ti 2:12-note;
That you suffer with Christ proves your union with Him, and your union
with Christ insures your salvation. (Philippians 1:29-30 Commentary
For unto you it was given
confirms the statement in Php 1:28, the last words of which (apo
theou = from God) led the Apostle to adopt the passive form
here. It is just you who are struggling and suffering together, to whom
this grace [or undeserved favor] has been granted (charizomai)
by God. Hence "you" (humin) has the emphatic position. (Philippians 1:27-30 Commentary
You (humin) is emphatic
by position and corresponds with the humon in Php 1:28.
[word study] from
charis [word study] = grace, unmerited
favor) signifies a gift of grace and is the same verb Paul used in Php
to describe the "bestowal" of the Name above every name upon
Jesus. Suffering for the sake of Christ is the gift of grace or as both
Barclay and Phillips put it "the privilege".
Charizomai is notes
especially a grant of free favor or of kindness and thus is often used
of free forgiveness (Lk 7:42, 2Co 2:7, 10, Ep 4:32-note,
sometimes of the work of free grace and salvation (Ro 8:32-note,
1Co 2:12), of an arbitrary, extra-legal, giving up of a prisoner to
others, either for their freedom or penalty (Ac 3:14, 25:11, 16).
H C G Moule says that
charizomai in this context speaks of "associations of sovereignty,
favor, boon, (and) forms a noble paradox."
‘it hath been granted’; freely
bestowed as a gracious gift. The word is significant as opening the
conception of suffering from the Christian point of view. God rewards
and indorses believers with the gift of suffering. In Paul’s bonds the
Philippians are partakers with him of grace (Php 1:7-note.
cp Acts 5.41). The aorist points to the original bestowment of the gift.
(See Mt 5:11-note;
Mk 10:38, 39.) (Philippians 1:29-30 Commentary
Eadie observes that...
The aorist is used, as the
apostle refers indefinitely to an early period of their past Christian
history; but that the suffering continued, also, to the moment of his
writing, is evident from the following echontes (experiencing
Faith in Christ is the means of
salvation; but suffering is the evident token of salvation. The one
secures it, the other foreshows it. The martyr is not saved, indeed,
because he suffers; but his undaunted suffering betokens a present
Saviour and a near salvation.
Note the two gifts: (1) The
gift of faith which enables us to believe in Christ in the first place.
Without this gift from the Lord, we would never be saved in the first
place. (2) Then there is the gift of suffering—but it is the gift no one
the new covenant and becoming one with Christ brings believers into a
fellowship, one that carries with it the privilege of sharing in His suffering (Php
or as some have referred to it as "The Fellowship of the Unashamed."
Although our flesh shrinks from this genre of teaching
(when was the last time you preached a sermon on God has granted you a
gift...to suffer!?), the clarion call
to suffer is not unique to the writings of Paul, for Jesus also warned
His disciples (and us) that
you will be hated by
all on account of My name" (Mt 10:22)
for "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me
before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would
love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out
of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word
that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they
persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. But all these things
they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know
the One who sent Me. (Jn 15:18,19, 20, 21)
Keep in mind the Scriptural principle that the cross always precedes the
crown -- temporal suffering now but eternal glory in the
hereafter. The meaning and value
of the suffering lay in the fact that it is for Christ's sake. A
lot of suffering is self-made, the result of sinful behavior or actions
and is not the "quality" of suffering Paul is referring to here.
Suffering for the Name of Christ
develops our spiritual muscles and gives us fresh courage to face
whatever foe we may encounter. And let us never forget that our side
ultimately wins! We need the attitude of the early Christians one of
whom was addressed by a scoffer
"What is your Carpenter doing now?"
And the answer of the unperturbed
Christian was bold
"Making a coffin for your Emperor!"
When you suffer, apply this
litmus test -- for whose sake am I suffering? for my name's sake or His?
And remember you are not alone...
Peter writes that when we are be
attacked by the devil we are to...
a command from our Commander in chief calling for immediate attention,
acquiescence and action!) him, firm in your faith,
knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by
your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a
little while (relative to eternity!), the God of all grace (How much
grace? cp 2Co 12:9-note), Who called
you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself (cp Php 1:6-note,
1Th 5:24-note) perfect, confirm,
strengthen and establish you. (1Pe 5:9-note, 1Pe
All suffering not for Christ's sake,
albeit very real, is but worthless wood, hay and stubble at the judgment
seat of Christ. Don't suffer for the wrong reason.
Paul describing the privilege
the Macedonia churches had to suffer for Christ wrote that in a
great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty
overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. (2Cor 8:2)
Lightfoot adds that
When God has granted one the High
privilege of suffering for His Name it is one of the surest signs that He looks
upon you with favor because to
suffer for Christ (in the interest of His cause) is a favor granted only
to those who believe in him. (Philippians 1:27-30 Commentary
Dr. Griffith John wrote that once when
he was surrounded by a hostile heathen crowd and was beaten, he put his
hand to his face and when he withdrew it, saw that it was bathed in blood.
He was possessed by an extraordinary
sense of exaltation, and he rejoiced that he had been counted worthy to
suffer for His Name.
Is it not remarkable that even
suffering is exalted by Christianity to such a lofty plane? As someone has
said even “an apparent trifle burns with the fire immortal when it is in
communion with the Infinite.” The cross dignifies and ennobles.
Spurgeon has an interesting
What an honor this is to be conferred
upon any follower of Christ,—”not only to believe on him, but also to
suffer for his sake”! It is not every Christian who receives this mark
of honor. There are some believers who have peculiarly tender places in
their hearts, and who are wounded and gashed by the unkind remarks of
those who love them not because they love the Lord Jesus Christ. To you,
my brother, my sister, it is given—and you may well rejoice in such a
gift,—”not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (Spurgeon
Gordon Fee has a pithy
commentary on the modern evangelical church writing that...
One of the
reasons most of us in the West do not know more about the content of
Philippians 1:29-30 is that we have so poorly heeded the threefold exhortation that
precedes (Phil 1:27)
(Fee, Gordon D. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. New International
Commentary on the New Testament series. Page 173. Grand Rapids: Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995)
NOT ONLY TO BELIEVE IN HIM BUT ALSO
TO SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE: ou monon to eis auton
alla kai to huper autou paschein
(Mt 16:17; Jn1:12, 13; 6:44; 6:45 Act
13:39; 14:27; Ep 2:8; Col 2:12; Jas1:17 18)
yea, that ye should not only believe on him, but also should suffer for
him (Lightfoot 2)
the privilege of not only believing
in him, but also of suffering for him, for you have the same struggle as
that in which you have seen me engaged, and which now you hear that I am
not merely of believing in Christ but
also of suffering for his sake. It is now your turn to take part in that
battle you once saw me engaged in, and which, in point of fact, I am
still fighting. (Phillips)
Believe in Him - Is literally
"continually believing into Him" which H C G Moule
the directness and holdfast of saving
faith. But this specialty of meaning must not be pressed too far, for
the phrase occurs here and there in connections not naturally adapted to
such thought (eg, Jn 2:23, 12:42 - The Greek verb is in the present
tense, and points to the continuousness of the action of faith. The
Christian, having once believed, lives by still believing. See Ro 11:20-note,
Gal 2:20-note, He 10:38-note (Ed: In other words we are saved by faith alone at
the inception, but day by day in our progress along the path of
sanctification or holiness, we are STILL saved by the same faith, now
being exercised continually and being manifest as our Spirit filled,
grace enabled obedience -- faith shows itself real and effective by
obeying without hesitation when the Spirit moves us one direction or
another! See related discussion on
Obedience of faith - Roman
1:5, 16:25 - What does it mean?)
-- Faith in Christ is here incidentally spoken of as a grant of Divine
See further on this, Eph 2:8, and
note in this series. (The
Epistle to the Philippians Online)
FIRST BELIEVE IN HIM
THEN SUFFER FOR HIM
[word study]) means to be persuaded of, to place confidence in,
to trust in, to place reliance upon. There is an active staking of one's
life on the claims of God. In other words Biblical, saving belief
denotes more than passive intellectual assent to the facts about Jesus.
The demons believe (pisteuo) that God is one and yet they are clearly
not saved (Jas 2:19-note;)!
The faith in and reliance upon Jesus involves not only the consent of
one's intellect or mind, but also involves a surrender of one's heart and will
to the truth about Jesus (cp Jn 14:6, Acts 4:12, Jn 8:24, Ro 10:9,
et al). Note that the
verb is in the
indicating that this belief is the saint's "lifestyle", so that not only
did faith alone bring about justification, faith alone "energizes" our
day by day sanctification. We begin this new life in Christ by faith and
we continue in faith (in contrast to trying to merit sanctification by
our "works", cf Ga 3:1, 2, 3, 4:8, 9, 10 [= "legalism"], Ga 5:1, 5, 7,
Repentance is God's gift
(cp Acts 5:31, 11:18, 2Ti 2:25-note,
as is faith (Eph 2:8, 9-note),
so that from the beginning to the end, our salvation is a gracious gift
from a loving God. As Jonah recorded "Salvation is from Jehovah" (Jonah
W E Vine has the following
definition of Biblical belief writing that it is...
(1) A firm conviction which produces
full acknowledgment of God's revelation of Truth (2Th 2:11,12 )
personal surrender to the Truth (Jn1:12) and
(3) a conduct inspired by and
consistent with that surrender (2Co 5:7). Prominence is given to one or
other of these elements according to the context.
All this stands in contrast to belief
in its purely natural exercise, which consists of an opinion held in
good "faith" without necessary reference to its proof. The object of
Abraham's "faith" was not God's promise (that was the occasion of its
exercise); his "faith" rested on God Himself, Ro 4:17-note,
Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words Online)
The Greek scholar Marvin
Vincent adds that pisteuo...
means to persuade, to cause belief,
to induce one to do something by persuading, and so runs into the
meaning of to obey, properly as the result of persuasion. (Vincent's
It is represented here as a privilege
to be permitted to believe on Christ. It is so.
(1.) It is an honour to a man to believe one who ought to be
believed, to trust one who ought to be trusted, to love one who ought to
(2.) It is a privilege to believe on Christ, because it is by
such faith that our sins are forgiven; that we become reconciled to God,
and have the hope of heaven.
(3.) It is a privilege, because it saves the mind from the
tortures and the deadly influence of unbelief—the agitation, and
restlessness, and darkness, and gloom of a skeptic.
(4.) It is a privilege, because we have then a Friend to whom we
may go in trial, and on whom me may roll all our burdens. If there is
anything for which a Christian ought to give unfeigned thanks, it is
that he has been permitted to believe on the Redeemer. Let a sincere
Christian compare his peace, and joy, and hope of heaven, and support in
trials, with the restlessness, uneasiness, and dread of death, in the
mind of an unbeliever, and he will see abundant occasion for gratitude.
(Philippians 1 Commentary)
Hendriksen writes that we
to believe in him, that is, to rest
on Christ, surrendering oneself to his loving heart, depending on his
accomplished mediatorial work. The form of the expression as used in the
original shows that here genuine, personal trust in the Anointed One is
meant. Whether or not one regards Eph. 2:8 as proof for the
proposition that such faith is God’s gift, the conclusion is at any rate
inescapable that here in Phil. 1:29 faith — not only its inception but
also its continued activity — is so regarded. It is at one and the same
time God’s gift and man’s responsibility. (Hendriksen,
W., & Kistemaker, S. J. NT Commentary Set. Baker Book
A PRESENT NOT
means essentially what happens to a person experience. It means to
undergo something; to experience a sensation, to experience an
impression from an outside source, to undergo an experience (usually
difficult) and normally with the implication of physical or
Pascho can refer to experiencing something pleasant,
but in the
present context (and most NT contexts) it refers to experiencing something
trying, distressing or painful.
In context, our present suffering
for Christ is viewed paradoxically as a gift of grace or unmerited
divine favor (charizomai
[word study]), for
we as sinful men no more deserve to suffer for Christ than we deserve to
be saved by His precious blood!
But now, dearly beloved, chosen
saint of God, have you ever considered your suffering for the Savior in
the light of this holy truth?
Remember truth renews our mind and transforms our thinking, and in this
case the truth about suffering should serve to prepare us to persevere
with praise when persecution comes in its variegated forms! Contrast the
"before and after" attitude of Peter in Acts 5:41 with his response
resulting from his failure to understand the high calling and privilege
of suffering with and for the Savior - Mt 26:71, 72, 73, 74, 75!
Truth received and assimilated
transforms a man from cowardice to courage!
Webster (1828) says that to
To feel or
bear what is painful, disagree able or distressing, either to the body
or mind. We suffer pain of body; we suffer grief of mind. The
criminal suffers punishment; the sinner suffers the pangs of conscience
in this life, and is condemned to suffer the wrath of an offended God.
We often suffer wrong; we suffer abuse; we suffer injustice...To feel or
undergo pain of body or mind; to bear what is inconvenient. We suffer
with pain, sickness or sorrow. We suffer with anxiety. We suffer by
evils past and by anticipating others to come. We suffer from fear and
from disappointed, hopes.
Of mental suffering (Pilate's wife
Mt 27:19), of one suffering from epilepsy (Mt 17:15), of the events in
Jesus' life leading up to and including the Cross (Mt 16:21, 17:12, Mk
8:31, 9:12, 22, Lk 17:25, 22:15, 24:26, 46, Acts 1:3, 3:18, 17:3, He
13:12, 1Pe 2:21, 23, 4:1), of physical harm as from poison (Acts 28:5),
of suffering for what is right (Php 1:29, 1Th 2:14, 1Pe 2:19, 20, 3:14,
17), of suffering according to the will of God (1Pe 4:9). Pascho in the
NT describes suffering that has a termination (1Pe 5:10) and is not to
be feared by believers (Re 2:10).
Paul understood this divine gift
(cp 2Ti 1:12-note
- notice why he suffered [2Ti 1:11] and how he was enabled to suffer -
it was not just what he knew but Who he knew!). Jesus understands your
suffering for He has walked this road as no other man (see passages
above on events leading to the Cross, cp He 2:18-note,
Gromacki rightly observes
Christians (Ed: Especially those in the ease and comfort and
relative prosperity of American Christianity) are like Peter in his
earlier discipleship. They want the glory of the kingdom without the
sufferings of the cross. They do not consider any suffering to be a
gift. They want faith without conflict. These reactions show a great
lack in their understanding of God’s dealings with His children.
(Gromacki, R., Dr. Stand United in Joy: An Exposition of Philippians.
The Woodlands, TX: Kress Christian Publications)
Thayer on pascho...
from Homer down; to be affected or
have been affected, to feel, have a sensible experience, to undergo --
used in either a good or a bad sense; of perils and deliverance from
them (Esther 9:26); o stiffer sadly, be in bad plight, of a sick person,
(majority of the NT uses) In a bad sense, of misfortunes,
to suffer, to undergo evils, to be afflicted (so everywhere in Homer and Hesiod; also in the other Greek writings where it is used absolutely):
a good sense, of pleasant experiences with only one possible such use in
NT (Gal 3:4)
basic meaning of pascho is “to experience something that comes from
outside,” At first the “something” is usually bad, and while a neutral
use develops, the idea of suffering evil remains so strong that an
addition is needed to show that good is meant unless the context is very
2. The forensic use “to suffer punishment” is fairly old, and occurs
especially for corporal of capital punishment.
3. Evils suffered are misfortune and disfavor (human of divine). In the
case of sickness the idea is that of suffering from it rather than under
it. The stress is always on the experience of evil rather than painful
feelings. When pascho denotes emotions, the reference is more to moods
than to sufferings. The group raises the question of suffering, and to
this many answers are attempted. Tragedy suggests learning through
suffering, Stoicism aims at freedom in its negation (apatheia), the
Hermetic writings promise redemption from it, at first by initiation and
definitively, after death, by deification.
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
meaning of the verb (pascho), in use from Homer onwards, is that of
experiencing something which stems from outside of myself but which
affects me, either for good or ill. The opposite idea is expressed by
vbs. denoting freedom of action....pascho originally meant
nothing more than “to be affected by”, but how one was affected had to
be expressed by additional words, e.g. kakos paschein, to be in a bad
situation (Homer, Od. 16, 275); eu paschein, to be in a good situation
(Sophocles, OC 1489). However, since such additions tended to be
negative, the verb itself came to have a negative meaning, unless there
were clear indications to the contrary. Thus the idea of being affected
is replaced by that of suffering.... In most cases it is a matter of
being delivered up to an adverse fate or to malevolent gods and men
(Diogenes Laertius, 5, 61; Diodorus Siculus, 13, 98, 2), and only rarely
refers to enduring a punishment.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
something, be treated’ (pascho expresses the passive idea
corresponding to the active idea in poieo [to do]) of everything that
befalls a person, whether good or ill. Yet its usage developed in such a
way that pascho came to be used less and less frequently in a good
sense, and never thus without some clear indication, at least from the
context, that the good sense is meant.... In all other places, as always
in LXX, in an unfavorable sense suffer, endure.
W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New
Testament and Other Early Christian Literature)
Pascho - 42x in 41v - Mt
16:21; 17:12, 15; 27:19; Mark 5:26; 8:31; 9:12; Luke 9:22; 13:2; 17:25;
22:15; 24:26, 46; Acts 1:3; 3:18; 9:16; 17:3; 28:5; 1 Cor 12:26; 2 Cor
1:6; Gal 3:4; Phil 1:29; 1 Thess 2:14; 2 Thess 1:5; 2 Tim 1:12; Heb
2:18; 5:8; 9:26; 13:12; 1 Pet 2:19, 20, 21, 23; 3:14, 17, 18; 4:1, 15, 19; 5:10;
Rev 2:10. NAS = endured(1), endured...sufferings(1), suffer(22),
suffered(10), suffering(4), suffers(2). Notice that First Peter
is clearly a major "treatise" on suffering!
Matthew 16:21 From that time
Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and
suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be
killed, and be raised up on the third day.
Matthew 17:12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they
did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the
Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."
Matthew 17:15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic
(literally = "he is moonstruck," possibly meaning "lunatic" although now
the term is generally regarded as referring to some sort of seizure
disorder such as epilepsy - NET Bible Note) and is very ill
("suffers terribly"); for
he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
Matthew 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife
sent him a message, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man;
for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him."
Mark 5:26 and had endured ("suffered") much at the hands of many physicians, and
had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had
Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must
suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests
and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 9:12 And He said to them, "Elijah does first come and restore
all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will
suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
Luke 9:22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be
rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and
be raised up on the third day."
Luke 13:2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these
Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they
suffered this fate?
Luke 17:25 "But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by
Luke 22:15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer;
Luke 24:26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these
things and to enter into His glory?"
Luke 24:46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ would
suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
Acts 1:3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His
suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of
forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Acts 3:18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the
mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus
Acts 9:16 (context Acts 9:15 Jesus speaking of Paul's "race" of faith) for I will show him how much he must
suffer for My name's
Acts 17:3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to
suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am
proclaiming to you is the Christ."
Acts 28:5 However he shook the creature off into the fire and
suffered no harm.
1 Corinthians 12:26 And if one member suffers, all the members
suffer with (sumpascho = speaks of an intimate sharing with another,
feeling their pain - see the prefix used in this verb =
sun/syn) it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with
2 Corinthians 1:6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort
and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is
effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also
Galatians 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain-- if indeed it
was in vain?
Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake,
not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
1 Thessalonians 2:14-note For you, brethren, became imitators of the
churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured
the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they
did from the Jews,
2 Thessalonians 1:5 This is a plain indication of God's righteous
judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God,
for which indeed you are suffering.
2 Timothy 1:12-note For this reason I also
suffer these things, but I am
not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He
is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
Hebrews 2:18-note For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has
suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Hebrews 5:8-note Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the
things which He suffered.
Hebrews 9:26-note Otherwise, He would have needed to
suffer often since
the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the
ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 13:12-note Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the
people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.
1 Peter 2:19-note For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience
toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
1 Peter 2:20-note For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated,
you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer
for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
1 Peter 2:21-note For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also
for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,
1 Peter 2:23-note and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while
suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who
1 Peter 3:14-note But even if you should
suffer for the sake of
righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND
DO NOT BE TROUBLED,
1 Peter 3:17-note For it is better, if God should will it so, that you
suffer for doing
what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.
1 Peter 3:18-note For Christ also
died (apothnesko - see note below) for sins once for all, the just for the unjust,
so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh,
but made alive in the spirit;
Note that some manuscripts have apothnesko (to die) in place of pascho.
The NET note says that "Although the external evidence slightly favors
apothnesko, such may be a secondary reading. Intrinsically,
pascho both fits the context better...."
= 1Peter 3:18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the
just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the
flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.
1 Peter 4:1-note Therefore, since Christ has
suffered in the flesh, arm
yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in
the flesh has ceased from sin,
1 Peter 4:15-note Make sure that none of you
suffers as a murderer, or thief, or
evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1 Peter 4:19-note Therefore, those also who
suffer according to the will of God shall
entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
1 Peter 5:10-note After you have
suffered for a little while, the God of
all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself
perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
Revelation 2:10-note 'Do not fear what you are about to
the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be
tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until
death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The suffering of a saint
for the sake of Christ can take many forms: physical pain, isolation,
loneliness, grief, anxiety, etc. Because so many saints do not
understand the benefits of suffering, few of them view suffering for
their testimony as a blessing, even though Scripture clearly teaches
that is what it is. Suffering is one of the tools God uses
to mold his children into vessels that bring glory to His Son (cf. Jas
1Pe 1:6, 7-note).
Suffering even perfected the Lord Jesus (Heb 2:10-note).
The Philippians didn’t need to fear
that their present trial (and Paul’s present trial) meant that God
abandoned them. Their present difficulty was granted to them, not as a
punishment, but as a tool in God’s hand. (Philippians 1 Commentary)
In his last words to Timothy Paul
alerted him to the same truth...
Indeed, all who desire to live godly
in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2Ti 3:12-note)
The very fact that a man
identifies himself with Jesus Christ will result in his suffering for
his Lord. Jesus said: "If they have persecuted Me, they will also
persecute you" (John 15:20)....To believe in Christ in our day means the
very opposite of hardship and suffering. It has come to mean that the
believer now has a place in a church pew where he can sit snugly and
smugly. But when the child of God takes his place in the battle against
evil, the devil will see to it that he has plenty of opposition. Paul
speaks of such suffering as a favor granted of God. Actually it is a
part of the grace of God bestowed on Christians when we are called to
share the sufferings of Christ. The apostle realized this when called
upon to suffer. "And they departed from the presence of the council,
rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name"
(Acts 5:41). Suffering may differ today in meaning from its meaning in
the earlier days of the Church. By that I mean that it may not mean
bodily torment, imprisonment, starvation, and even a torturous death,
but it will always be the price one pays when he sincerely and
uncompromisingly identifies himself with Jesus Christ.
All believers have received a
gracious gift from God. It is the privilege of suffering for Jesus
Christ. Few Christians view suffering for their testimony as a blessing,
but that is really what it is. Suffering is one of the tools God uses to
mold his children into vessels that bring glory to His Son (cf. James
1:3–4; 1 Pet. 1:6–7). Suffering even perfected the Lord Jesus (Heb.
2:10). (Philippians Commentary Notes)
To you it is graciously given; it is
no small privilege that God has so far honored you as to permit you to
suffer on Christ's account. It is only his most faithful servants that
he thus honors. Be not therefore terrified by your enemies; they can do
nothing to you which God will not turn to your eternal advantage. We
learn from this that it is as great a privilege to suffer for Christ as
to believe on him; and the former in certain cases (as far as the latter
in all cases) becomes the means of salvation to them who are thus
exercised. (Philippians 1 Commentary)
The faith which works such steadfast
endurance of suffering clearly proves that both are from God. (Philippians 1:27-30 Commentary
It is a privilege thus to suffer in
the cause of Christ, because
(1.) we then resemble the Lord Jesus, and are united with Him in trials;
(2.) because we have evidence that we are His, if trials come upon us in
(3.) because we are engaged in a good cause, and the privilege of
maintaining such a cause is worth much of suffering; and
(4.) because it will be connected with a brighter crown and more exalted
honour in heaven. (Philippians 1 Commentary)
Hendriksen adds that...
There are adversaries who cause
believers to suffer. Now suffering is not a privilege in itself. One
should not court suffering. But suffering in behalf of Christ, in the
interest of him and his gospel is different. Such suffering is indeed a
blessing, a gracious privilege (Acts 5:41), because:
a. It brings Christ nearer to the
soul of the Christian. In his suffering for Christ’s sake the believer
begins to understand the One who suffered redemptively for him and
receives the sweetness of his enduring fellowship. It is “without the
gate” that God’s child, reproached by the enemy, meets his Lord (Heb
13:13-note). See also such other wonderful passages as Job 42:5, 6; Ps
2Cor. 4:10; Gal. 617; Heb. 12:6-note.
b. Accordingly, it brings assurance
of salvation, the conviction that the Spirit of glory and the Spirit of
God rests upon the sufferer (1Pe 4:14-note; cf. Jn 15:19,
c. It will be rewarded in the
hereafter (Ro 8:18-note; 2Cor 4:17,
18; 2Ti 2:12-note;
2Ti 4:7, 8-noter;
d. It is often a means of winning
unbelievers for Christ and of encouraging fellow-believers (that thought
is stressed in the very context; Php 1:12, 13,1 4-note).
e. By means of all these avenues it
leads to the frustration of Satan (book of Job) and the glorification of
God (Acts 9:16). (Hendriksen,
W., & Kistemaker, S. J. NT Commentary Set. Baker Book
John Phillips encourages all suffering saints reminding us that...
Christians should feel honored when
they are chosen to suffer with Christ (cp Mt 5:10, 11, 12-note),
for their reward in Heaven will be commensurate with their sacrifice. If
believers share in Christ's cross, they will share in His crown.
Someone...might justly ask, "Well, what about you? What have you
suffered for Christ?" I would have to confess, "Very little." The reader
might then ask me, "Would you be able to stand torture and a painful
martyrdom?" I don't know. I trust I would be faithful unto death; I
would certainly want to be. Doubtless God would give the necessary grace
if the time of testing should ever come. Dying grace is for dying, not
living. Grace to suffer persecution is for those who are suffering
persecution, not for those who are at ease in Zion. (Phillips,
John: Exploring Philippians: An Expository Commentary)
Suffering on behalf of Christ is one of God's gifts to us
So they (Peter, et al) went on their
way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been
considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. (Acts 5:41)
The saints at Thessalonica
understood what Paul was saying...
For you, brethren, became imitators of the
churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured
the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as
they did from the Jews (1Th 2:14-note)
You also became imitators of us and
of the Lord (including His suffering!), having received the word
in much tribulation (see
thlipsis) with the joy of the Holy
Spirit (explaining how a believer is empowered to suffer = the
indwelling Spirit Who dispenses sufficient grace - cp 2Co 12:9-note,
note especially Paul's heart in 2Co 12:10-note),
so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in
Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in
Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has
gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything (Why?
Or How? Surely one aspect
is that the lost saw these transformed saints suffering victoriously
thus giving irrefutable evidence of the life changing power of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. Are others seeing the Gospel lived out in and
through you beloved? cp 2Co 4:11). (1Th 1:6, 7-note,
Mark it down as a certainty that...
You are writing a Gospel,
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do
And the words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithful or true:
Just what is the Gospel
According to you?
Walvoord on suffering...
The particular problem to which Paul
addresses himself is not that of suffering in general, but suffering in
the life of a child of God. It is not too difficult to understand why
those who are ungodly, who have rejected Christ and Biblical standards,
should suffer. The more pointed question is why a child of God who has
received divine grace and forgiveness of sins should nevertheless
suffer. Here again we are shut up to Scripture for a sure answer. In
this portion of Paul’s letter to the Philippians he is dealing with this
It should be clear to all that Paul is not suffering because he is a
sinner. Nor has he transgressed the law of God in such a way as to have
brought the suffering upon himself. It is rather that his suffering
springs from his dedication to Christ and because he had been faithful
in preaching the gospel. In the performance of the will of God he had
run into conflict with the desires of evil men, and this explains his
imprisonment. Because the principles of human suffering affect the lives
of so many, Paul wants the Philippian church to understand that his
suffering has a proper cause and is being used by God to His glory. The
discussion of Paul should be seen in the light of the general answer
that the Word of God gives to the reasons for suffering in the lives of
There are a number of differing causes for suffering in the life of a
child of God. Paul himself bears witness to this fact, and some of the
other reasons can be observed elsewhere in Scripture. In some instances
God allows suffering in the lives of His children to encourage in them a
life of close fellowship with Himself and as a means of reminding them
of their place of dependence upon the power and grace of God. The
practical effect of this type of suffering is that it keeps the
Christian from sinning and prevents departure from God that otherwise
might have eventuated. This is illustrated in Paul’s own experience of
having a thorn in the flesh. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 the apostle reveals
that he had a “thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me.”
He also explains that though he had besought the Lord three times in a
formal way that this thorn in the flesh might be removed, God had
replied to him: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness.” The necessity of the thorn in the flesh was
to keep him from being “exalted above measure” because of the great
revelations given him when he was caught up into the third heaven.
Paul’s experience, therefore, is an illustration of preventive
Another type of suffering is in the form of chastening or discipline of
a child of God by his Heavenly Father. In this case the child of God has
wandered from the will of God and the discipline in the form of
suffering is designed to bring him back into a state of righteous
living. This type of suffering illustrated in the life of David is
corrective in principle and designed to restore a sinning saint to a
life of fellowship.
Still another kind of suffering revealed in Scripture is that which is
permitted to instruct the saint. The Book of Job is an outstanding
illustration of this. Though described as a perfect man and a righteous
man by God, suffering is permitted in the life of Job, not only to
demonstrate his faithfulness to God, but also to teach Job many lessons
that otherwise he would not have learned. The fruits of such suffering
are declared in Romans 5:3-4; “And not only so, but we glory in
tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and
patience, experience; and experience, hope.” The lessons learned in
suffering often can be achieved in no other way.
Suffering is sometimes allowed in the life of a child of God as a means
for increasing his testimony. The Apostle Paul himself, when he first
trusted in the Lord, was informed that he was called to a life of
suffering and that through this suffering he would be a testimony for
Jesus Christ. Often the presence of suffering in the life of a believer
is an occasion for demonstrating his own trust in the Lord and
encouragement of others who are in need. The sustaining grace of God
manifested in Paul is a testimony to the grace and faithfulness of God
in upholding him in his hour of need.
It is in the light of this Scriptural revelation concerning the reasons
for permission of suffering in the life of a child of God that Paul
presents his own testimony of God’s dealings with him. He writes the
Philippian church beginning in verse twelve: “But I would ye should
understand, brethren, that the things which have happened unto me have
fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel.” In other words,
instead of hindering his preaching of the gospel God had used his
imprisonment as a means of bringing the gospel where otherwise it would
not have been heard. (Philippians 1 Christ Shall Be Magnified)
John Wesley was riding on his horse when it dawned on him he had
not been persecuted for three days. "Maybe I've sinned or been
disobedient." He got off his horse, got on knees. A redneck on other
side of road recognized the evangelist and heaved a rock at him. It
bounced off the road, just missing Wesley. He leaped to his feet and
shouted, "Thanks be to God! Everything's all right. I still have God's
presence with me." May his tribe increase to the glory of God. Amen.
Donald English rightly said that...
There is no authentic Christian service that does not have suffering
written into it.
How did the
Apostles respond to this illegal treatment from their nation’s religious
leaders? They rejoiced! William Temple said that Christians are
called to the hardest of all tasks:
to fight without hatred, to resist without bitterness, and in the end,
if God grant it so, to triumph without vindictiveness.
When Jesus called Saul to
be His apostle, He declared
I will show him how much he must
suffer for My Name’s sake (Acts 9:16)
Paul and Barnabas on their
first missionary journey returned back through the cities (where
they had spoken the gospel and made disciples)
(Literally, they were placing firmly upon)
the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith
(Continuance is a proof of true faith in Jesus Christ and was an
exhortation especially important in light of the next statement), and
saying, ”Through many tribulations (troubles, afflictions, situations
that crush, press and squeeze us) we must enter the kingdom of God (its
future aspect, when believers will share Christ’s glory) (Acts 14:22)
Paul made it very clear that living
the Christian life was not an easy thing and that they would all have to
expect trials and sufferings before they would see the Lord in glory.
Christians therefore need to be reminded to expect hardships and
persecution and not be dismayed by them.
Paul teaches that believers
children, heirs also, heirs of God
and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that
we may also be glorified with Him (Ro 8:17-note)
Proof of the believer’s
ultimate glory is that he suffers because of His Lord, whether
this suffering comes as mockery, ridicule, or physical
persecution. The sufferings in this life create reactions in us
that reflect the genuine condition of our soul. God allows
suffering to drive believers to dependence on Him-an evidence of
their true salvation. Suffering because of our faith not only
gives evidence that we belong to God and are destined for heaven
but also is a type of preparation for heaven. That is why Paul was
so eager to experience “the fellowship of [Christ’s]
sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Php
As McGee asks
My friend, what are you enduring for
Him today? Whatever it is, Paul makes it clear that it is just a light
thing we are going through now. But there is a weighty thing, an
“eternal weight of glory” that is coming someday. In eternity we will
wish that we had suffered a little more for Him, because that is the way
He schools and trains us. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson
SYNOPSIS ON SUFFERING
FROM SIMON PETER
Summary of Peter's perspective on suffering - Note first that Peter
is describing the suffering believer's experience and emphasizes that we
must suffer grief in all kinds of trials in this present life (1Pe 1:6-note)
but that these trials demonstrate the genuineness of our faith and also
result in praise and glory when Jesus comes (1Pe 1:7-note).
As we live godly in this present evil age (1Pe 2:13-25-note),
suffering may come and thus Peter exhorts us to bear up under unjust
suffering because we are conscious of God (1Pe 2:19-note)
remembering that Jesus suffered and left us His example to follow in His
steps (1Pe 2:21-note).
And so our attitude is to be one of trust in these truths and in the
ultimate justice of God (1Pe 2:22, 23-note).
When the believer does good and yet still suffers for it, he or she is
not to fear (1Pe 3:14-note),
but must remember it is God's will to do right regardless of the
consequences (1Pe 3:17-note),
and that Jesus is Lord and is in charge of all events, and despite
the suffering, must display so much hope that others will ask about it
all the while keeping a good conscience in the suffering (1Pe 3:16-note).
To encourage his readers,
Peter points to the fact that although Jesus did only good, he, not the
unrighteous men who were his opponents, suffered (1Pe 3:18-note)
and that God used Jesus' suffering to bring us to himself (1Pe 3:18-note).
Peter's point is that when we suffer despite doing good, we too can be
sure that God has some good purpose in view. Peter goes on to remind us
of Christ's suffering and triumph so that we might have the same
attitude He had to suffering and that such an attitude would not only
make us ready to suffer but influence us to stop sinning (1Pe 4:1-note)
We are not to be surprised when we begin to experience suffering (1Pe
and that when we suffer it is not the consequences of evil behavior (1Pe
When we live by the will of God, we "suffer as a Christian" (1Pe 4:16-note),
and this is a cause for praise rather than shame. And so when we
suffer in God's will, we are to keep on trusting in the sovereign God,
the Creator (for if He can create everything, surely I can trust Him
with my momentary suffering). (1Pe 4:19-note).
Finally, we need to keep firmly fixed in our mind the truth that
suffering is only for "a little while" and after the "cross" comes the
"crown" and the entering into our eternal destiny of share "his eternal
glory" (1Pe 5:10-note).
Col 1:23 (note)
Paul says that he fills
up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ" in his flesh "for
His body's sake.
Our Lord's sufferings for righteousness'
sake which He endured as a result of human antagonism against Himself,
ended with His death on the Cross. He has left with the Church the
message of God's righteousness demand and gracious provision of salvation,
the preaching and teaching of which draws the antagonism of the world.
Thus, as the saints suffer for righteousness'' sake, they substitute for
their absent Lord not only in the task of preaching the message He has
given them but also in suffering for His sake and in His stead. Don't
misunderstand...our suffering for Christ's sake has no atoning value for
the full price for complete atonement of sins and redemption of men from
bondage thereof has been paid at Calvary by our Lord (Jn 19:30)
In sum, the presence of suffering in
the believer's life is
a divine gift! (And recall the truth of Jas 1:17-note) If we were suffering for ourselves, it would be no privilege,
but because we are suffering for and with Christ, it is a high and holy
honor. After all, He suffered for us, and a willingness to suffer for
Him is the very least we can do to show our love and gratitude.
An anonymous poet once penned
the following words which speak to the issue of suffering in a
Not till each loom is silent,
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why
The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which He planned
A Few Blessed
"Dividends" of the Gift of Suffering
"We do not by
nature consider suffering a privilege. Yet when we suffer for
Christ’s sake, if we faithfully represent Christ, our message and
example will affect us and others for good. Suffering has these
takes our eyes off of earthly comforts;
(2) it weeds out superficial believers;
(3) it strengthens the faith of those who endure; and
(4) it serves as an example to others who may follow us.
suffer for our faith, it doesn’t mean that we have done something
wrong. In fact, it may achieve the opposite effect by verifying
that we have been faithful. Use suffering to build your character.
Don’t resent it or let it tear you down."
Life Application Commentary)
F B Meyer (Our Daily Homily)
The child of God is often called to
suffer, because nothing will convince onlookers of the reality and power
of true religion as suffering will do, when it is borne with Christian
resignation and fortitude. And how great the compensations are!
He can keep in such perfect peace. He
can make lonely times, when no one is near the couch, to be so full of
sweet fellowship and communion. He can put such strong, soft hands under
the tired limbs, resting them. He can give refreshment to the spirit
when the body is deprived of sleep.
Every one cannot be trusted with
suffering. All could not stand the fiery ordeal. They would speak rashly
and complainingly, So the Master has to select with careful scrutiny the
branches which can stand the knife; the jewels which can bear the wheel.
It is given to some to preach, to others to work, but to others to
suffer. Accept it as a gift from his hand. Look up and take each throb
of pain, each hour of agony, as his gift. Dare to thank Him for it. Look
inside the envelope of pain for the message it enfolds. It is a rough
packing-case, but there is treasure in it.
And can you not minister to other
sufferers? Can you not dictate letters of comfort, or pray for them, or
devise little alleviations and surprises for those who have not what you
have? Suffering is on Christ’s behalf; it must, then, be intended as
part of that great ministry for the world in which He, with his saints,
is engaged. There is a sense in which all suffering, borne in the spirit
of Calvary, helps men, not in the way of atonement or propitiation, of
course, but by the exhibition of the power of God’s grace in the
><> ><> ><>
G Campbell Morgan writes
This is Paul's great singing letter.
It was at Philippi that he had sung in prison at midnight, in the
company of Silas. Now he was again in prison, this time in Rome, and
writing to "the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi." This
letter thrills to the tireless music of a psalm. It is a glorious
revelation of how life in fellowship with Christ triumphs over all
adverse circumstances. The triumph, moreover, is not that of stoical
indifference. It is rather that of a recognition of the fact that all
apparently adverse conditions are made allies of the soul and ministers
of victory, under the dominion of the Lord. "The things which happened
unto me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the Gospel"
exclaimed the Apostle. His very bonds opened the door of opportunity
throughout the Praetorian guard. It was this sense of the power of life
in Christ which inspired the particular words which arrest us. In them,
suffering on the behalf of Christ is referred to as an honour conferred,
rather than a burden to be endured. It is something granted to the
saint, as a privilege, the very granting of which is a favour, a gift of
grace. To this conception all will agree who have ever really known what
it is actually to suffer on behalf of Christ. They are not callous; the
suffering is very real, very acute; but it brings a sense of joy and
gladness which finds no equal in human experience. (Morgan, G. C. Life
Applications from Every Chapter of the Bible).
><> ><> ><>
The late Ethel Waters, a performer who often sang at Billy Graham
crusades was best known before she became a Christian for her rendition
of the popular song, “Stormy Weather.” Later as a Christian she was once
asked to sing this song, but replied,
“No Sir, I’ll never sing ‘Stormy Weather again, since Jesus came into my
heart I’ve never had stormy weather like I had before I knew him.”
><> ><> ><>
Or as someone has well said we can
sometimes see more through a tear than through a telescope.
Or ponder the perspective on
suffering by the Puritan saint Richard Baxter who said...
Weakness and pain helped me to study
how to die; that set me on studying how to live. (and) Suffering so
unbolts the door of the heart that the Word hath easier entrance.
Suffering times are teaching times. -
><> ><> ><>
D A Carson on suffering...
The sovereign and utterly good God
created a good universe. We human beings rebelled; rebellion is now so
much a part of our make-up that we are all enmeshed in it. Every scrap
of suffering we face turns on this fact....There is a certain kind of
maturity that can be attained only through the discipline of
suffering....The staying power of our faith is neither demonstrated nor
developed until it is tested by suffering.
><> ><> ><>
A W Tozer...
Willingness to suffer for Jesus'
sake—this is what we have lost from the Christian church. We want our
Easter to come without the necessity of a Good Friday. We forget that
before the Redeemer could rise and sing among His brethren He must first
bow His head and suffer among His brethren!
We forget so easily that in the spiritual life there must be the
darkness of the night before there can be the radiance of the dawn.
Before the life of resurrection can be known, there must be the death
that ends the dominion of self. It is a serious but a blessed decision,
this willingness to say, "I will follow Him no matter what the cost. I
will take the cross no matter how it comes!"
><> ><> ><>
From Southern Baptist Journal of
Theology (SBJT 4:2 - Summer 2000) in an article on suffering in
which several theologians were asked specific questions on this
SBJT: From what perspective should
Christians view suffering?
C. Ben Mitchell responds...
On my bookshelf is a favorite
two-frame cartoon strip. In the first frame a little man is shown
standing in a torrential downpour, eyes lifted toward heaven, wailing,
“Why me?” In the last frame, the voice of God calls down from the dark
sky, “Why not?” I saved that cartoon strip because it reminds me of a
profound biblical principle about suffering. The classical theodicy
problem begins with the question, “Why is there suffering in the world?”
Yet, this little cartoon evokes what I take to be an even more profound
question, “Why shouldn’t there be suffering in the world?” Given that we
live in a universe that has been compromised by the effects of human
sinfulness, is this not a more appropriate question? The question may be
focused even more pointedly, “Why shouldn’t Christians suffer?”
Doubtless many Christians have and will suffer intensely. Whether from
the ravages of disease, persecution, or disaster, Christians are not
exempt from the pangs of living in a fallen world. A Christian wife of
unflagging devotion to her husband learns that he is cheating on her and
plans to move in with his adulterous partner. Faithful Christians are
laid off in corporate downsizing, despite their hard work and loyalty. A
godly nurse who has given her life in service to the weak and ill finds
herself the victim of Lou Gehrig’s disease. A spiritually mature couple
pray to have a baby for 10 years and invest more than one hundred
thousand dollars in infertility treatments, all with no results.
Christians in other countries find themselves tortured, raped, and
murdered for their faith. When tragedy strikes, the almost knee-jerk
reaction seems to be, “Why me?” Instead, it seems to me, Christians
ought always to ask when they learn of the suffering of others, “Why not
me?” Why shouldn’t Christians suffer?
Christians are better prepared than anyone else to endure suffering.
First, Christians alone understand the cause of suffering. We know that,
in a deep sense, this is not the way it is supposed to be. That is,
prior to the entrance of sin into the world there was no pain,
suffering, or trouble. God’s refrain over his creation was “it was
good.” Everything conformed to his purpose. After the disobedience of
our first parents, Adam and Eve, the refrain changed to “curse,” “pain,”
and “toil” (Genesis 3:17, 18, 19). Thorns and thistles grew where once
the gracious fruit had grown. Where once abundant life thrived, the
report now is, “in Adam all die . . .” (1Cor 15:22). Where once the
creation rejoiced in God’s goodness, it now “waits in eager anticipation
for the sons of God to be revealed” when “the creation itself will be
liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious
freedom of the children of God” (Ro 8:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23). Much of
the suffering and many of the trials we experience are endemic to life
in a fallen world. Christians acknowledge God’s justice in responding to
sin in this way. We understand that God’s own holy character demands
that the rebellion of Adam and Eve be rewarded with punishment.
Christians, of all people, should understand why we suffer.
Second, Christians alone know the Father’s love and purpose in
suffering. We know that our gracious heavenly Father never does anything
to harm us. Just as it is his character to punish sin, it is his nature
to love his children. Since he is the sovereign God, nothing can happen
to us that he does not superintend or control for his good purpose. What
is that purpose? It is at least twofold: to glorify himself and to make
his children more like Jesus. Through Christ, the Father’s heart is
turned toward us in love, not anger. When we ask for bread he does not
give us a stone. When we ask for fish he does not give us a serpent. Or
as the hymn-writer put it: “the flames shall not harm you, I only
design, thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.” Since the Father
is animated by love toward his children, Christians should endure
suffering knowing that God’s purpose is good and that he will not place
more upon us than he will equip us to handle.
Third, Christians alone have been granted faith to trust God and
believe his loving purposes will prevail. Suffering evokes either doubt
of God’s goodness or trust in God’s goodness. Some respond to suffering
by rejecting God himself or by repudiating his goodness. Not Christians!
With eyes of faith we can see (dimly sometimes, more clearly at other
times) that while we may not understand the suffering now, we will see
God’s goodness in it in the future.
The apostle Peter reminds believers who were suffering intensely that
the events which resulted in their suffering “have come so that your
faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by
fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor
when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1Pet 1:7). By faith we see through the
suffering to the shining face of our gracious Father. Perseverance in
the face of suffering is made possible through faith (cf. Heb 11:32, 33,
34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39).
Finally, Christians have hope; hope that enables them to see
through the suffering to the goal of suffering. Why shouldn’t they
suffer, seeing that they have an inheritance that far surpasses what
this world has to offer? Twice in a passage filled with pathos, the
apostle Paul remarks that “we do not lose heart” during these “light and
momentary troubles” (2Cor 4:16, 17, 18, 2Co 5:15:21). Note the images of
suffering in this passage. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not
crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the
death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our
body” (2Co 4:8, 9, 10). “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet
inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2Co 4:16). “Meanwhile we
groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling” (2Co 5:2). “For
while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened . . .” (2Co 5:4).
These are powerful exclamations of the suffering Paul and his brother
and sisters were experiencing. At the same time, he (and they) can be
“always confident” (2Co 5:6), living by faith, not by sight (2Co 5:7),
longing to be at home with the Lord (2Co 5:8).
Or consider the apostle Peter’s encouragement to suffering Christians
when he sets before them the hope of their inheritance “that can never
perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are
shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready
to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet 1:4–5). Even though “now for a
little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1
Pet 1:6). Their palpable experience of suffering was to be kept in
perspective by viewing it in light of the hope of eternal life yet to
The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of
man?” The answer is, of course, “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Most contemporary Christians emphasize the assertion that precedes the
conjunction—viz., to glorify God. The hope held out for us in the gospel
of Christ is that those who have embraced Jesus by faith will benefit
through the assertion following the conjunction— viz., enjoying him
forever. Why shouldn’t Christians suffer, since they have laid up for
them such a blessed hope?
One of the most mysterious passages of the Bible for contemporary
Western Christians is the book of Philippians. The fellowship of sharing
Christ’s sufferings (Phil 3:10) is a fellowship no one wants.
Nevertheless, Paul’s exhortation to the church in Philippi was that “it
has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him,
but also to suffer for him . . .” (Phil 1:29).
SBJT: In what way is our suffering
an opportunity to display the goodness of God?
Mark Dever responds...
In the fall of 1984, I was preaching
through the book of Job in the evening services of a Congregational
Church in New England. I was in seminary, and my wife and I were
committed to minister in the town we lived in. After having been
involved in the church a couple of years, what I and others thought was
particularly needed was expositional preaching. So we began an evening
service, and every Sunday night for months I preached from Jude, 1
Peter, Genesis, and Job.
It was in that series on Job that God taught me something new about
suffering. In some ways, I feel a bit ashamed to say I know about
suffering, when I consider what eyes may read these words, but I know
that the Great Sufferer not only reads but knows my heart.
As I was preaching through the book of Job, I began to notice something
new about Job’s sufferings, namely, God’s marvelous sovereignty in his
sufferings, and even God’s pleasure in choosing Job to suffer. For Job
to suffer as he did was an honor. That was an amazing thought to me. Job
had many reasons to trust God— God had been good to him by giving him
life and caring for him all those years. But Job did not have what he
probably desperately wanted. He did not know the reason for his
suffering. What you and I know from reading the beginning of the book
remained hidden from Job.
Satan wrongly accused Job, charging that Job was only serving God for
his own selfish ends. Satan said that Job was only serving God because
God had made him wealthy. But when all the material trappings were taken
away, Job still worshipped God.
Satan will try to find fault with us even in our obedience to God! So
Satan then accused Job of only serving God because his health remained.
Satan switched his tactics, suggesting that health was Job’s only
concern. God disagreed with Satan, but He allowed him to take away Job’s
health, yet preserving his life. But Satan was still wrong. Even in the
midst of his ever-present physical suffering, with his own body decaying
and his skin erupting into boils, Job still worshipped God.
Job’s changing circumstances revealed that as wealthy as he was, he was
not worshipping God because of his wealth. And Job’s changing
circumstances revealed that as healthy as he was, he was not worshipping
God because of his health. A life of true devotion to God is not
dependent on our circumstances; it is not a life devoted to God’s
Job’s friends suggested that he suffered because of some sin he refused
to confess. But far from being right, we the readers know that Job’s
friends got it all wrong. Job’s trials were not because of his vices at
all, but because of his virtue! God had bragged on Job! The amazing
divine boast comes in Job 1:8, and again in Job 2:3: “Have you
considered my servant Job?”
Not so many months ago, I sat securely on a plane as we taxied for
take-off from the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport. With terminals,
parking garages, runways and support roads, DFW covers roughly the same
area as Manhattan Island. Hundreds and thousands of planes take off from
there every day. As I sat securely on the plane, we taxied for take-off.
Knowing the great mass of air traffic around that airport, I could have
become nervous and untrusting. As we taxied away from the gate and began
to prepare for departure, I suppose I could have simply stood up and
said, “Stop the plane!” I could have gone to the cockpit and demanded
from the captain copies of the taxiing route, the runway we would be
using, and the timetable for other flights, in order to satisfy myself
that we would, in fact, be safe. As I say, I could have done that.
Regardless of the response I would likely have received, I could have
tried to satisfy myself. Or, I could do what I did—more habit than
virtue—and trust the controllers. I recognized the care and order with
which this whole apparently chaotic, potentially disastrous operation
was run. And I sat back as we accelerated and lifted off the ground.
How many times do we want to stop the plane in order to understand all
the variables before we go? How much do we trust the True Controller,
who makes no errors, who never sleeps nor slumbers, nor in whom is the
slightest touch of evil.
I wonder if Job, in this life, ever learned that God had bragged on him.
I wonder if, in this life, he ever understood his sufferings to be an
opportunity from God, a strange compliment. As far as we know, Job
simply had to trust the character of God, His very goodness.
When I think about the preaching I did through Job those years ago, I am
reminded of how dangerous it can be for us to try to think casually
about how God may use this or that tragedy in others’ or even our own
lives. To a point, seeking to understand how God may be using a tragedy
in our lives is a good and natural practice. It comes out of our human
desire for coherence and meaning. It is cognitive breathing. But at a
still deeper level, there is no doubt that in all of our lives, times
will come in which we are certainly called to trust God when we cannot
understand the reason for our suffering. We must all finally rely on His
character and purposes, rather than thinking that we have figured out
the specifics of His plans. We know His ultimate purposes are good, even
if His immediate goodness is sometimes hidden to us in the darkness of
His plans: “Behind a frowning providence there hides a smiling face.”
Remember the story of Jesus and his disciples meeting the blind man,
recorded in John 9? The disciples asked Jesus, “Who sinned, this man, or
his parents that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents
sinned,” replied Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might
be displayed in his life” (John 9:3).
I realize that Job is someone that we would rather meet than emulate.
But we may consider Job’s experience and be encouraged! I remember
reading some years ago about an actress, who already having a hard year,
found out, on the same day, that she had lost her television show and
that her husband had left her. She said, “I know the Lord won’t send me
more trouble than I have the strength to bear, but I do wish He didn’t
have quite such a good opinion of me.” We may feel like that lady some
If I am going to be a follower of the Crucified One, I must know that
when I suffer, I am being called on to display— perhaps even
exquisitely—the glory of God as I continue to serve Him in the midst of
Do you think that God is speaking
to Satan about you today,
“Have you considered my servant?”
If so, like Job, you can be confident
of God’s goodness, even if you do not know His immediate plans. As
Christians, we may often suffer. We only sometimes understand, but we
can always trust.
><> ><> ><>
If you are God’s child, suffering has
or will come your way. That is a certainty and so it behooves every
saint to understand the following truths regarding suffering...
Reasons for suffering
1. A Gift of Sharing in Christ’s Affliction
You are going to suffer with Him so that you might be glorified with Him.
In one sense the affliction of the Lord is still going on in His
children. (cp Ro 8:15-note,
Ro 8:16, 17-note,
The gospel is a gospel of affliction or of suffering and because we are
in covenant with Christ we join in and share His affliction, which
Paul amplifies in
I now rejoice in my sufferings for
you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of
Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church
Why Christ’s afflictions lacking?
the kingdom of God is still a spiritual kingdom. His kingdom now is not of
this world and neither is our citizenship (Php 3:20-note).
Thus now believers are aliens and strangers, living in a world that
has another prince (Satan) rather than the Prince or Jesus. And so we
are in a spiritual war (Ep 2:2-note,
against a Satanic hierarchy bent on destroying the children of God and
determined to impede the going forth of the gospel. And in this
spiritual warfare believers suffer and as they do so we are filling up in
our body the afflictions of Jesus
Christ. We see this even from the inception of the church (Acts 5:34,
35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41). We can know that anytime that we suffer for righteousness
holiness and the kingdom of Christ,
that those who fight against us are in reality fighting against God. Of
course they cannot see God, but they can see us and Christ in us if we
are walking worthy of the gospel, and consequently they persecute us.
And as they attack us we are filling up the afflictions of Christ.
2. Suffering Purifies Believers - to make you more like Jesus (cp
1Pe 1:6, 7-note).
When suffering comes and it does not destroy your faith, but
causes you to stand firm, it shows the reality of your faith. (Php
When silver is refined it is purified in the fire seven times (Psalm
time the temperature is made hotter by the silversmith who knows when
the sliver is purified. How? When he
looks in the silver he sees a perfect image of himself. (cp Jas 1:2-note,
Jas 1:3, 4-note).
When you begin to experience suffering don’t run, but remain under the
suffering remembering that
suffering purifies and proves to us that we belong to Jesus
Christ (Ro 5:3-note,
Ro 5:4, 5-note),
The corollary is that
you will doubt your salvation when you are walking "your way" and not
Illustration - Looking on the
Wrong Side - Dr. G. F. Pentecost was once trying to comfort a woman who
had passed through sore trials. Failing in his efforts to cheer her and
dispel her doubts, he took up some embroidery upon which she had been
working and said, "What a confusion of threads! Why waste time on a
thing like that?" Turning the embroidery over, she said, "Now look at
it. You were seeing it from the wrong side." "That's it, exactly," said
Dr. Pentecost. "You are looking at your trials from the wrong side. Turn
them over and look at them from the right side—that is, from God's side.
The Lord is working out a design of His own for your life, and you must
look at things from His point of view, and trust His workmanship."—Edwin
In sum, God uses suffering in our
lives to expose our sin because (a) Suffering deters from going astray
and leads to obedience. (Psalm 119:67-note);
(b) Suffering produces repentance that leads us to salvation from
sin.(2Co 7:10); (c) Suffering makes us more inclined to reject sin and
to resist fulfilling our selfish desires. Suffering can lead to our
living for the will of God. (1Pe 4:1, 2-note)
Illustration - The Ministry of
Storm - We were going through a great furniture factory, when our guide,
the superintendent, pointed out to us a superbly grained and figured
sideboard in the natural wood. "I want you to observe the beauty of this
oak," he said. "It is the finest selected timber of its kind, and the
secret of the intricate and beautiful graining is just this: that the
trees from which it was taken grew in a spot where they were exposed to
almost constant conflict with storms." What a suggestive fact! The
storm-beaten tree develops the closest and finest and most intricately
woven fibers. When it is cut down and the saws lay bare its exquisitely
figured grain, the cabinetmaker selects it as the material for his
finest work. So with the human life beset by sorrows, tests and trials.
If it stands the storm, how the wind of God strengthens and beautifies
it! We need life's stress. Character cannot be developed into its
strongest and most beautiful forms without it.—B. J., in Elim Evangel
3. Suffering Testifies to the Reality of Your Faith - Believers
have received the ministry of the new covenant and are responsible to
walk worthy of this high privilege. We have turned from a life that is
opposed to Jesus Christ. (cp 2Cor 4:1, 2, 3). Now our very lifestyle speaks of the reality of Jesus Christ.
Death works in you – but life and salvation come to others because
suffering testifies to the reality of your faith to those that are
watching. (cp 2Co 4:7-12)
Realities of suffering
1. That Suffering Will Never Be More Than You Can Bear - There is
always the way of escape so that in the midst of every trial His grace
is sufficient (1Co 10:13-note,
Illustration - Sometimes we
are helped by. being hurt. A skilled physician about to perform a
delicate operation upon the ear said reassuringly, "I may hurt you, but
I will not injure you." How often the great Physician speaks to us the
same message if we would only listen! Richer life, more abundant health
for every child of his, is his only purpose. Why defeat that purpose?
2. The Lord Will Never Abandon You in the Midst of That Suffering
Greek = 4 negatives “I will never never never leave you nor never forsake you”),
2Ti 4:16, 17-note,
Acts 9:15, 16. You may (you will) suffer, but the Lord will never abandon you
Spurgeon - "I Will Not Leave
Thee!" - God is with us in sorrows. There is no pang that rends the
heart, I might almost say, not one which disturbs the body, but what
Jesus Christ has been with you in it all (cp He 2:18-note).
Feel you the sorrows of poverty? He "had not where to lay His head." Do
you endure the griefs of bereavement? Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.
Have you been slandered for righteousness' sake and has it vexed your
spirit? He said, "Reproach hath broken Mine heart." Have you been
betrayed? Do not forget that He, too, had His familiar friend who sold
Him for the price of a slave. On what stormy seas have you been tossed
which have not roared about His boat? Never glen of adversity so dark,
so deep, apparently so pathless, but what, in stooping down, you may
discover the footprints of the crucified One! In the fires and in the
rivers, in the cold of night and under the burning sun, He cries, "I am
with you; be not dismayed; for I am both thy Companion and thy God!"
3. Your Life Cannot Be Taken Without God’s Permission
The greatest fear that man has is the fear of death, but believers do
not need to be afraid because no man can take our life from you without
God's permission (cp
He 2:14, 15-note, Mt
10:16,26,28,31, cp Rev 2:10-note).
Jesus has in His hands the keys to hell and to death (Revelation 1:18-note).
Moses affirms that God is sovereign over life and death...
Dt 32:39 - 'Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God
besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; nor is there
any who can deliver from My hand.' (cp 1Sa 2:6, 7, 8)
Believers belong to God. We are His possession
and the enemy cannot take our life without His
permission, so don't fear (cp Rev 2:10-note).
In fact for believers death only marks the end of temporal life and the
beginning of eternal life, the beginning of all
that life is meant to be.
Response in suffering
1. Response toward God - In a
word, rejoice! (cp 1Pe 4:12, 13-note,
always = Php 4:4-note,
all circumstances = 1Th 5:18-note,
with thanks = Eph 5:20-note
- which is in context of being filled with the Spirit explaining how
this supernatural response is even possible). "God often digs wells of
joy with the spade of sorrow!" (Anonymous)
Illustration - Learning in the
Dark - We have read that during World War 1, when it was no longer
possible to import those beautiful singing canaries from the Harz
Mountains, Germany, a dealer in New York decided to start a system of
training canaries to sing. He had bird songs put on records, and these
proved of value. But one day he made a real discovery which meant
success. He found that if he covered the cages with thick cloths,
completely shutting out the light, the birds learned their song. The
song of the Christian originates in the heart, and many a Christian has
learned that God sometimes teaches His children to sing in darkness.
Verily, "He giveth songs in the night."—Moody Monthly
2. Response toward the person causing the suffering
- When God's enemies are persecuting you, you are not to be terrified
but instead should respond to them with gentleness and reverence (Php
1:28, 1Pe 3:14, 15, 16-note).
We are to respond to our (God's) enemies the way He responds -- in love
(Mt 5:44, 45-note).
We are to bless them and do good to them (Ro 12:14-note,
Ro 12:18, 19, 20, 21-note)
3. Response toward believers - Believers are to be of one
mind and one heart, united in spirit knowing that the enemy wants to separate
believers from the fold (cp Php 2:1-note)
Results of suffering
1. God is glorified
2. Believers are purified
3. Lost may be justified
because they see that you are not terrified by your suffering and to them it is an evidence of the fact that they are lost
A FEW MORE TRUTHS
ABOUT CHRISTIAN SUFFERING
Suffering develops contentment even
when we are in need. (Php 4:12-note)
Suffering produces steadfastness, which in turn makes us emotionally
mature and morally complete. (Jas 1:2, 3, 4-note)
Suffering produces endurance, which is a catalyst to refine our
character and renew our hope. (Ro 5:3-note,
Suffering, will be used by God for our good. (Ro 8:28-note,
cp Ge 50:20) Suffering gives Christians the opportunity to show care
toward other Christians who suffer. (1Cor 12:25, 26) Suffering endured,
produces compassion that equips us to comfort others. (2Co 1:3, 4)
Suffering is used by God to change our perspective, for it can reveal
Jesus, who is living within us.(2Co 4:8, 9, 10) Suffering prepares great
eternal glory for us. (2Co 4:16, 17) Suffering creates a hunger in us
for heaven, where there will be no more suffering. (Rev 21:4-note)
Suffering for living right in God's sight promises great future Divine
blessing (Mt 5:10-note)
Suffering proves our faith is genuine. (1Pe 1:6, 7-note)
Suffering with perseverance will be repaid with the crown of life. (Jas
A W Tozer...
History reveals that times of
suffering for the Church have also been times of looking upward.
Tribulation has always sobered God's people and encouraged them to look
for and yearn after the return of their Lord. Our present preoccupation
with this world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean
us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if
necessary. It is up to us.
Bridges Of Grace (Read: Acts
5:33-42) - They departed . . . , rejoicing that they were counted worthy
to suffer shame for His name. —Acts 5:41
Imagine for a moment that you are driving through the desert in Southern
California and you see the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge spanning the
dried-up bed of "Three Frogs Creek" on the outskirts of "Turtle Soup
Junction." What a ridiculous sight that would be!
So too, the Lord never displays His power and grace at an inappropriate
time or place, but He always provides according to the difficulty of the
hour. He does not impart strength until it is needed.
We shudder when we think of what some of God's children are enduring
because of their faithfulness to the Savior. Many have chosen the path
of intense suffering rather than following the line of least resistance.
I wonder, would we do the same?
Of course, the Lord does not ask us to make such a commitment before it
is necessary. And we can be sure that when we "suffer for His sake"
(Philippians 1:29), He will provide whatever we need to endure the pain.
As servants of Christ, we can take one step at a time and be confident
that whether we come to a dried-up gulch or a surging river, the Lord's
bridges of grace will be just right to allow us safe passage to the
other side. —Mart De Haan (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Each day God sends His loving aid
To strengthen you and me;
We need to use today's supply
And let tomorrow be. —Anon.
God gives enough grace
For each trial we face
Dr. Lambie, medical missionary, formerly of Abyssinia, has forded many
swift and bridgeless streams in Africa. The danger in crossing such a
stream lies in being swept off one's feet and carried down the stream to
greater depths or hurled to death against the hidden rocks. Dr. Lambie
learned from the natives the best way to make such a hazardous crossing.
The man about to cross finds a large stone, the heavier the better,
lifts it to his shoulder, and carries it across the stream as "ballast."
The extra weight of the stone keeps his feet solid on the bed of the
stream and he can cross safely without being swept away. Dr. Lambie drew
this application: While crossing the dangerous stream of life, enemies
constantly seek to overthrow us and rush us down to ruin. We need the
ballast of burden-bearing, a load of affliction, to keep us from being
swept off our feet.—Christian Victory
A Bumpy Road (READ:
To you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in
Him, but also to suffer for His sake. —PHILIPPIANS 1:29
When people tell me life is hard, I always reply, "Of course it is." I
find that answer more satisfying than anything else I can say. Writer
Charles Williams said, "The world is painful in any case; but it is
quite unbearable if anybody gives us the idea that we are meant to be
The path by which God takes us often seems to lead away from what we
perceive as our good, causing us to believe we've missed a turn and
taken the wrong road. That's because most of us have been taught to
believe that if we're on the right track God's goodness will always
translate into a life free of trouble.
But that's a pipe dream far removed from the biblical perspective. God's
love often leads us down roads where earthly comforts fail us. Paul
said, "To you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to
believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake" (Philippians 1:29).
When we come to the end of all our dark valleys, we'll understand that
every circumstance has been allowed for our ultimate good.
"No other route would have been as safe and as certain as the one by
which we came," Bible teacher F. B. Meyer said. "If only we could see
the path as God has always seen it, we would have selected it as
well."—David H. Roper (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
If some darker lot
Lord, teach us to endure
The sorrow, pain, or solitude
That makes the spirit pure. —Irons
No trial would cause us to despair
if we knew God's reason for allowing it.
After the sorrow, after the
After the gruelling cares of life,
After the strain, after the stress,
"The peaceable fruit of righteousness."
After the chastening, after the rod,
After the pruning, the yielding to God,
After the darkness, the grief and distress,
"The peaceable fruit of righteousness."
After the storm, the peace of His power;
After the drought the lifegiving shower;
After surrender, the life made selfless;
In "Peaceable fruit of righteousness."
After the roaming, the refuge and Tower;
After the weakness, the sense of new power;
After the waiting, His presence to bless,
In "Peaceable fruit of righteousness."
Fruit of the Spirit, produced by His Hand,
In watching, in waiting, His word of command,
In loving, in serving, in patience and power
Till full is the fruitage and perfect the flower.
—Annie E. Hitt
The Saint's Divine Gift
quotes on suffering and trials - 1Peter 1:6-note;
of suffering as a Divine Gift!
Exposition related to suffering
- Romans 8:18
Exposition related to
Exposition on how the Savior Succors Suffering Saints
Discussion of what the
of All Grace Promises when we suffer-
how God uses suffering in the life of a saint - 2Cor 12:9-note; 2Co
Exposition on Trials
- James 1:2
present pain versus future joy - Matthew 5:10, 11, 12-
to do a Site Search - Enter the
word SUFFERING in Pico Search