Posted by: SandreS | August 8, 2009

Present Benefits of Suffering

During our studies we haven spoken of the future benefit of suffering. The believer’s suffering also has current benefits. We will consider a few of them.

Sufferings Drive Us to Christ

When we have difficult trials, where else is there to turn, for He truly knows and understands. He is “acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3) and “… touched with the feelings of our infirmities” (Hebrews 4:15). He entered our darkness so that He could touch us there, and then led us to His bountiful “Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).

If we did not trust in Him, how else could we bear our difficulties? Whose love comforts the careworn and binds up the broken hearted like our Savior, and His Father?

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds by Christ (II Corinthians 1:3-5).

Sufferings Enable Us to Demonstrate the Grace of God

Earthly sorrows produce in us God-like virtue (i.e., godliness), enabling us to show forth Christ to the world. Many times the world will listen to the voice of affliction after it has turned a deaf ear to impersonal sermons. How many unconcerned hearts have been touched by the sight of Christ-like endurance?

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: forasmuch as you are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God (II Corinthians 3:2-5).

Sufferings Enable Us to Have Compassion

We can have real compassion toward those to whom we minister only when we are able to identify with them. This is real ministry!

Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (II Corinthians 1:4).

Sufferings Reveal to Us Our Weakness

There is nothing that will bring us “to ourselves” quite like suffering. They truly have immense value in this regard. We will soon find, in the midst of personal problems, how weak we really are. We are brought to the place where God can use us when we are humbled. The principle has always been clear: without being made humble, no one will ever be exalted.

… Every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 18:14).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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© 2009 Bible Student’s Notebook

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