The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience:
The Song Giving Power of Suffering in Paul and Silas’ Life
- Acts 16 and the Philippian Jail
- Psalm 142
The Sight giving Power of Suffering in Job’s Life
TO SEE GOD CLEARLY God takes Job on a divinely guided tour of pain. Along the way He teaches him and at the end He never blames Satan, apologizes to Job for all the pain he had to endure, nor praises his friends for their counsel. Job 1-2, 42 Thus, through Job we learn some powerful truths in affliction:
The Illuminating Power of Suffering in David’s Life
· The Purifying Power of Suffering in Joseph’s Life
· Joseph in the Bedroom =Moral Life Purity Cover Gen 37-50 Pit to, Palace, to Prison and finally to the Pinnacle.
· Joseph in the Family Room = Past Life Purity: He dealt with his past hurts in a godly way
· Joseph in the Detention Room = Emotional Life Purity: He took the ups and downs with the Word. Psalm 105:17-19 He sent a man before them — Joseph — who was sold as a slave. 18 They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. 19 Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him. (NKJV)
· Joseph in the Board Room = Career Life Purity: He took success and fame in God’s Way.
· Joseph in the Hospital Room = End of Life Purity: He was faithful to the end.
The Self-sacrificing Power of Suffering in Peter’s Life
The Faith Building Power of Suffering in Abraham’s Life
The Comforting Power of God in Hannah’s Life
The Humbling Power of God in David’s Life
The Resisting Power of God in Moses’ Life
The Enduring Power of God in James’ Life
IT IS EASY IN OUR CULTURE TO TRY TO AVOID PAIN AND SUFFERING
Dr. Paul Brand spent 70 years of life living around pain and suffering wrote a magnificent book we all would do well to read, Pain the Gift no one wants. His theme is we try to get rid of pain when in reality it is a blessing from God. Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey Pain – The Gift Nobody Wants, Harper Collins, 1993 (352)
In the USA pain is big business. The Ads say bluntly, “I don’t have time for pain!” In 1993 Americans were spending 63B$/year on pain relievers. The quicker and more powerful the better.
p. 187 “On my travels I have observed an ironic law of reversal at work: as a society gains the ability to limit its suffering, it loses the ability to cope wit what suffer remains. (It is the philosophers, theologians and writers of the affluent West, not the Third World, who worry obsessively about “the problem of pain,” and point an accusing finger at God.)”
p. 189 “Frantic attempts to silence pain signals may actually have a paradoxical affect. The US consumes thirty thousand tons of aspirin a year, averaging out to 250 pills per person. Newer and better pain relievers are constantly introduced, and consumers gulp them down: one-third of all drugs sold are agents that work on the central nervous system. Americans who represent 5% of the world’s population, consume 50% of its manufactured drugs. yet what does this obsession gain? I see little evidence that Americans feel better equipped to cope with pain and suffering. Addiction to drugs and alcohol, a primary means of escaping grim reality, has mushroomed. In the years I have lived here, more than one thousand pain centers have opened to help people battle the enemy that will not surrender. The emergence of “chronic pain syndrome,” a phenomenon rarely seen in-Western countries or in medical literature from the past, should set off alarms for a culture committed to painlessness.
p. 227 “I write as a physician, not a moralist, but any physician working in modern civilization cannot help noticing our cultural deafness to the wisdom of the body. The path to health, for an individual or a society, must begin by taking pain into account. Instead, we silence pain when we should be straining our ears to hear it; we eat too fast and too much and take a seltzer; we work too long and too hard and take a tranquilizer. The three best-selling drugs in the United States are a hypertension drug, a medication for ulcers, and a tranquilizer. These pain-mufflers are readily available because even the medical profession seems to look upon pain as the illness rather than the symptom.
p. 298 “In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed — but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they have brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. “ Graham Greene, The Third Man
p. 300 “Later I read the following passage in Saint Augustine’s Confessions:
“What is it, therefore, that goes on within the soul, since it takes greater delight if things that it loves are found or restored to it than if it had always possessed them? Other things bear witness to this, and all are filled with proofs that cry aloud, “Thus it is!” The victorious general holds his triumph: yet unless he had fought, he would never have won the victory, and the greater was the danger in battle, the greater is the joy in the triumph. The storm tosses seafarers about, and threatens them with shipwreck: they all grow pale at their coming death. Then the sky and the sea become calm and they exult exceedingly, just as they had feared exceedingly. A dear friend is ill, and his pulse tells us of his bad case. All those who long to see him in good health are in mind sick along with him. He gets well again, and although he does not yet walk with his former vigor, there is joy such as did not obtain before when he walked well and strong.”
“Everywhere a greater joy is preceded by a greater suffering,” Augustine concludes. This insight into pleasure is one that we in the affluent West need to remember. We dare not allow our daily lives to become so comfortable that we are not longer challenged.”
THE ILLUMINATING POWER OF SUFFERING IN DAVID’S LIFE
Robinson in ISBE writes:
It is generally allowed that he is the most gifted and versatile personage in Israelite history; that he is surpassed in ethical greatness and general historical importance only by Moses…Dean Stanley writes, there is no OT character to be compared to the complexity of David in the elements of passion, tenderness, generosity, and fierceness; David was a soldier, shepherd, poet, statesman, priest, prophet, king, the romantic friend, chivalrous leader, and the devoted father, all in one; only Jacob’s life comes near in the variety.
- Humble in his origins
- Devout to his God
- Chosen as God’s man
- Resolute to follow him
- Human to the point of great sin
- Repentant to the point of great forgiveness
- Incomparable in worship.
DAVID, AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART… WHY?
- I Samuel 17 – Because of an UNCHANGEABLE CONCERN that God’s Name be honored. (So he stands for Him.) Remember -he was the only one…
- Psalm 59 – Because of an UNSHAKABLE TRUST that God was protecting him. ( So he depends on Him). Remember – his Saul, his father-in-law tried to kill him.
- Psalm 34 – Because of an UNWAVERING HOPE that God was watching – so HE MAGNIFIED Him. (22 x David notes it!)
- Finally in Psalm 142: David – a man after God’s own heart Because of his UNMISTAKABLE AWARENESS that God was hearing him… so He calls on him. (7 x David expresses it. Look at Ps. 142.)
DAVID AND FACING PERSONAL DISASTERS GOD’S WAY
II SAMUEL 15-17
David portrays a life entrusted to God’s care. He gives each care to the Lord. Watch him as he:
1. Entrusts his personal support group to the Lord. Second Samuel 15:21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, [As] the LORD liveth, and [as] my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be. (KJV)
2. Entrusts his personal safety to the Lord. Second Samuel 15:25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me [both] it, and his habitation: (KJV)
3. Entrusts his personal circumstances to the Lord. Second Samuel 15:31And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. (KJV)
4. Entrusts his personal adversaries to the Lord. Second Samuel 16:9-10Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? (KJV)
5. Entrusts his personal sufferings to the Lord. Second Samuel 16:12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day. (KJV)
6. Entrusts his personal vengeance to the Lord. Second Samuel 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom. (KJV)
7. Entrusts his personal needs to the Lord. Second Samuel 17:27-29 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched [corn], and beans, and lentiles, and parched [pulse], 29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that [were] with him, to eat: for they said, The people [is] hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness. (KJV)
So many are longing to know God’s will and plan for their lives. David gives us an insight into the ILLUMINATING POWER OF SUFFERING!
TO SEE GOD’S WAY CLEARLY
Psalm 119 says God uses Affliction purposefully:
1. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PERFECT WORD MORE CLEARLYPsalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. (NKJV) it is perfect because it is His!
2. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PATH OF HOLINESS MORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word. (NKJV)
3. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PLAN FOR OUR LIVES MORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. (NKJV)
4. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PRUNING OF OUR LIVES MORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me. (NKJV)
5. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PROGRAM FOR HOPE MORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction. (NKJV) Note, just because the technology exists [as in Prozac, psycho-therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.] doesn’t mean it is right! What did David, and the holy prophets of old do in times of deepest depression? Prior to medication and therapists there was the God who said:
- I will bring you back with my Word Psalm 119:25-32,
- I will restore your soul Psalm 23:3,
- I will make you whole Psalm 19:7-14.
6. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S OFFER OF PERSONAL REVIVALMORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:107 I am afflicted very much; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. (NKJV)
7. AFFLICTION MAKES US SEE GOD’S PROGRAM FOR RESCUING US MORE CLEARLY Psalm 119:153 Consider my affliction and deliver me, For I do not forget Your law. (NKJV)
 ISBE, David, paragragh #11 An estimate of David.