Weekly  Sabbath Survey
Suffering  —   6-1-13
The topic of suffering is a really tough thing  to address.  People are sensitive about it in their own lives; some are  judgmental about it in the lives of others. We live in a fallen world with its  various opportunities to acquire suffering of many different kinds. I believe in  creative suffering. If it has to be, I try to make it somehow useful to  myself or others. Try to learn something in the midst of it. I believe this  guest author is on to something about suffering.  Read it carefully.   ~charlene
by Kathy Pelton:
I recently read a quote from Joni Eareckson Tada on  suffering:  “Why doesn’t God just eradicate suffering all together?   If he were to eradicate suffering, He’d have to eradicate sin in which  suffering has its roots.  And if He were to eradicate sin, He’d have to  eradicate sinners.”  I had never really thought of it that way before,  but that makes a lot of sense.  Suffering was not a part of our world until  sin entered it through Adam and Eve.  Because suffering is a result of sin,  it will always be a part of our world. 
So if suffering is a part of our world, what does God want us  to do with it?  I believe that God wants us to use our suffering to help  others.  When we suffer, God comforts us: 
Praise be to the …God of all comfort, who  comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble  with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  2 Corinthians  1:2-3
Notice that He comforts us, not to make us  comfortable, but to make us comforters. Each of us can  minister to others in a unique way because of the trials and struggles and  suffering we have been through.
Finally, I believe that God wants to use our suffering to  glorify Him.  I’m reminded of the story of the man born blind:  
[Jesus] saw a man blind from birth. His  disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was  born blind?’  Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but  this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in his life.’   John 9:1-3
The purpose of mankind on earth is to glorify God.  Period. God can use circumstances that to us seem painful and maybe even  unnecessary to glorify Himself. We may not see the glorification in our  very limited perspective, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you  face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith  develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be  mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James  1:2-4
Another way suffering helps is to focus our  minds on what is to come.  Weeping endures for the night, but joy comes in  the morning.  One morning, Jesus will split the eastern sky before the sun  does, and we will know as we have been known all this time. ~  charlene 
Charlene Reams  Manning Believer in the  Lord Jesus Messiah 


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