The Lord’s Purpose for Pain is that Suffering for God Enables Us to Experience:
The Sight Giving Power of God in Job and David
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 Song Giving Power of Suffering in Paul and Silas’s Life
- Acts 16 and the Philippian Jail
- Psalm 142
The Sight giving Power of Suffering in Job’s Life
The Scripture Opening Power of Suffering in David’s Life
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)
- I will bring you back with my Word Psalm 119:25-32,
- I will 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)
The Purifying Power of Suffering in Joseph’s Life
Joseph in the Family Room = [30-37] Past Life Purity: He dealt with his past hurts in a godly way
Joseph in the Bedroom - Moral Life Purity Cover Gen 37-50 Pit to, Palace, to Prison and finally to the Pinnacle.
Joseph in the Detention Room = [37-40] 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 = [41 on] Career Life Purity: He took sucess and fame in God’s Way.
Joseph in the Hospital Room = End of Life Purity: He was faithful to the end.
Joseph: has a life in Scripture about which no sin is recorded. He is atype of Christ in that he was dearly loved by his father, hated by his brothers, sold by his own brother, suffered and was dead
, rose to the greatest heights, became the supplier of life giving bread and saved his brethren.
- Scripture Portrait:
Although the Bible is uncomfortably accurate it is God given record of peoples lives, and although more space is devoted to the life of Joseph than any other subject in the Book of genesis — there is not one reproof against him or sin noted in his life!
Joseph is the Final One of the Seven Great Men of Genesis. They Are:
- Abel: A life of Spiritual Desire
- Enoch: A life of Spiritual Choice
- Noah: A life of Spiritual Obedience
- Abraham: A life of Faith
- Isaac: A Life of Sonship
- Jacob: A Life of Service
- Joseph: A Life of Suffering and Glory!
- Born in Genesis 30:23
- Dreamer 37
- Tempted 39
- Prison 40
- Prime Minister 41
- Dealing with his brothers 42-44
- Reveals his identity 45
- Brings his family to Egypt 46-47
- Jacob’s Testimony 49
- Joseph’s testimony 50
- Key Psalm 105
v Lesson One: Lusts of the Flesh
The key is not to yield to temptation. Psalm 19, how? Take heed to these words from the WORD:
Remember God sees [39:9], and has warned that each time we say yes to sin we make it harder to say no the next time. One author wrote, “Lust is the craving for salt of a man who is dying of thirst.”
Resist Temptations advance
- 1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (KJV)
- James 1:13-14 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. (KJV)
Respond God’s way
- FLEE: 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (KJV)
- OBEY: 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]. (KJV)
v Lesson Two: Bitterness
The key is not to let it root and spread. Remember God’s plan:
- HE HAS ORDERING LIFE’S EVENTS Psalm 105:16-20 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. 17 He sent a man before them, [even] Joseph, [who] was sold for a servant: 18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: 19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. 20 The king sent and loosed him; [even] the ruler of the people, and let him go free. (KJV)
- HE IS WORKING EACH EVENT OUT FOR HIS GOOD [Resist self pity] Genesis 50:19-20 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for [am] I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive. (KJV)
- HE HAS WARNED OF THE DEADLY EFFECTS OF BITTERNESSHebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled; (KJV)
- HE HAS PROVIDED THE WEED KILLER TO GET RID OF BITTERNESS Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (KJV) Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (KJV)
- Joseph by the Spirit of God had learned the truth of forgiveness. Thomas Watson the great Puritan once said, “A man can as well go to Hell for not forgiving as for not believing”. CHS said “Unless you have forgiven others, you read your own death warrant when you repeat the Lord’s Prayer.” And again C.S. Lewis said: “No part of His teaching is clearer: and there are no exceptions to it. He does not say we are to forgive other peoples sins provided they are not to frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.” We demonstrate whether or not we have been forgiven by whether or not we forgive. So if I refuse to forgive, there can be only one reason, and that is I have never understood the grace of Christ. I am outside of grace, I am unforgiven. Of course this is not for those who struggle to forgive, it is for those who have no desire to forgive.
- BE FORGETFUL Genesis 41:51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, [said he], hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house. (KJV)
- BE FRUITFUL Genesis 41:52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction. (KJV)
And if not, what then? Look at Matthew 18
PETER: The Self-sacrificing Power of God
- Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (NKJV)
- Revelation 2:4 “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (NKJV)
ABRAHAM: The Faith Building Power of God Gen 22
- Romans 4:13-25
PAUL: The Hoping Power of God
- Romans 8:18-24 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected
in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only [that,] but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? (NKJV) 2 Corinthians 4:16-18Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward [man] is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen [are] temporary, but the things which are not seen [are] eternal. (NKJV) 2 Corinthians 5:1-5For we know that if our earthly house, [this] tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in [this] tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing [is] God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. (NKJV)
HANNAH: The Comforting Power of God
- 2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (NKJV)
- Hebrews 2:18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (NKJV)
- Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.(NKJV)
JOHN: The Humbling Power of God
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NKJV)
MOSES: The Resisting Power of God
- Moses Resisted the Passing Pleasures of Sin Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. (NKJV)
- Moses Resisted the Intoxicating Pride of Power
JAMES: The Enduring Power of God
- James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (NKJV)
 Baxter, Explore the Book, p.69.
 Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking, NY: Harper, 1973, p. 54.
 Hughes, Abba, p. 79.