A Summary of Reasons for Suffering

Elisabeth Elliot

from A Path through Suffering

We suffer for our own sake

That we may learn who God is

Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Dan 4:24-37

Job

That we may learn to trust

2 Cor 1:8-9 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

That we may learn to obey

 Ps 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

 Ps 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Discipline is proof of the Father's love and of the validity of our sonship

Heb 12:5-11

It is the condition of discipleship

Acts 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Luke 14:26  If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

It is required of soldiers

2 Tim 2:4  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

We are being ¡§pruned¡¨ that we may bear fruit

Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

That we may be shaped to the image of Christ

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

To qualify us to be fellow-heirs with Christ

Ro 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

To qualify us for the kingdom of God

2 Thess 1:4-5  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

To qualify us to reign with Christ

2 Tim 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

That our faith may be strengthened

James 1:3  Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

2 Thess 1:4-5  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

Acts 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

That faith may be tested and refined

Isa 43:2 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Dan 11:35  And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Mal 3:2  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

1 Cor 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 Pet 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

That we may reach spiritual maturity

Jas 1:4  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

2 Cor 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

To produce in us enduarnce, character, hope

Rom 5:3-4  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

To produce in us joy and generosity

2 Cor 8:2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Second, we suffer for the sake of God's people

That they may obtain salvation

2 Tim 2:10  Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

To give them courage

Php 1:14  And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

That because of death working in us, life may work in them

2 Cor 4:12  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

Gal 4:13  Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

1 John 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

That grace may extend to more

2 Cor 4:15  For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

That our generosity may bless others

2 Cor 8:2  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.

Third, we suffer for the world's sake

Job

Joh 14:31  But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

Mt 27:40-43it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.  Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

That the life of Jesus may be visible in ordinary human flesh

2 Cor 4:10  Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

Fourth, we suffer for Christ's sake

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Suffering is the corollary of faith

Ps 44:22  Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

2 Tim 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Joh 15:18-21 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

1 Thess 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

1 Thess 3:4  For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.

That we may share His suffering

1 Pet 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1 Pet 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Php 1:29  For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Php 2:17  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

Php 3:8  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Col 1:24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:

2 Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Heb 13:13  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

That we may share His glory

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Heb 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

2 Cor 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;