Doctrine of Suffering for Blessing

June 18, 2014

Doctrine of Suffering for Blessing

The Spiritual Life can be categorized by 2 phases:
a. Spiritual Childhood which includes two stages: Infancy and Adolescence
b. Spiritual Adulthood which includes three stages: Spiritual Self-Esteem (SSE), Spiritual Autonomy (SA), Spiritual Maturity (SM).

God’s pruning process of Suffering for Blessing really kicks in when the believer reaches the first stage of spiritual adulthood, SSE.

1. SSE is the assertion of metabolized Bible doctrine in the heart (right lobe) of your soul and the application of that doctrine on a consistent basis. You cannot reach the point of consistent pruning (Suffering for Blessing) until you reach the point where you live by the doctrine that is metabolized in your soul. Otherwise you are constantly under God’s Punitive Suffering; the law of volitional responsibility and Divine discipline which can be resolve by utilizing the Rebound technique, 1 John 1:9.

2. With the exception of suffering left over after rebound, there is no Suffering for Blessing until the believer attains SSE through residence, function, and momentum inside God’s Power System. There is a limited Suffering for Blessing in whatever is left over for you to bear after Rebound. But this is of short duration and has no great significance.

3. Therefore, SSE is the dividing line between Punitive Suffering and Suffering for Blessing.

4. Suffering for Blessing does not occur on a regular basis until the believer has attained SSE. At SSE you are making consistent application of God’s Word and His pruning process begins in your spiritual life.

5. There are three categories of God’s pruning that match up with the three stages of Spiritual Adulthood:
a) Providential Preventative Suffering (PPS), when you reach SSE,
b) Momentum Testing (MT), when you reach SA, and
c) Evidence Testing (ET), when you reach SM.

6. These also match up with our Lord’s discussion of the Father’s pruning process in John 15:2-8. Notice that there are three stages of fruit production.
a) John 15:2b, “bears fruit”.
b) John 15:2b, “bears more fruit”.
c) John 15:5, “bears much fruit”.

7. Notice also verse 8, “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.” This is classified as Evidence Testing as a result of Spiritual Maturity; the third stages. At SM and ET we will “bear much fruit” and “prove to be disciples” as witnesses for the prosecution (God) in the rebuttal phase of Satan’s appeal trial of the Angelic Conflict, just like Job. This should be the goal of every believer.

8. Nevertheless, all three stages are an extension of the Angelic Conflict in history and every category of Suffering for Blessing means an advance in your spiritual life. It means you are one step nearer to fulfilling the Plan of God for the Church Age.

9. Each category of Suffering for Blessing is provided by the sovereignty of God under His grace policy so that the Church Age believer, as Royal Family, can fulfill the Plan of God.

2 Cor 12:9, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Phil 4:11‑13, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

10. Principle: You should never pray for the removal of any Suffering for Blessing which is the means of fulfilling the Plan of God. Instead pray for God’s guidance and provision as you endure the suffering to the glory of God.

G. Providential Preventative Suffering.

SSE is the prerequisite to handling PPS, just as SA is the prerequisite to handling MT and SM for handling ET. God will never give you more than you can bear. So let’s begin with PPS.

1. PPS is the first category of Suffering for Blessing. From the context of John 15:2-8 it can be called “pruning for fruit bearing” or from the context of 2 Cor 12:7‑8, it can be called “thorn testing for humility.”

2. PPS performs numerous functions.
a) It insulates against the arrogance complex. This means you begin to eliminate jealous, self‑pity, bitterness, vindictiveness, hatred, inordinate ambition, inordinate competition, and all the other mental attitude sins in the arrogance complex.
b) It is preliminary testing or warm‑up testing before entering Momentum Testing under SA. 2 Cor 12:10 lists four tests which match the four Momentum Tests. So there is a warm up for people testing, for thought testing, for system testing, and for disaster testing.
c) In 2 Cor 12:10, Paul is content with his own inability to handle these testing from his flesh, which he relates to as “his weaknesses”. So it breeds contentment in your soul as you apply the faith rest technique. Weaknesses is the Greek noun ASTHENEIA (as-then’-i-ah) and means “weakness, or frailty.” It is also sometimes used for “sicknesses, illnesses or aliments.” But the context here is simply the inability of the human flesh to solve the problems of Suffering for Blessing, see verse 9.
1) People Testing is seen in the Greek noun for “insults” which is HUBRIS that means “insolence, mental injury, injury inflicted by the violence of a tempest, shame, insult or mistreatment.” In Attic Greek law HUBRIS comprehended “all the more serious injuries done to the person”, that is grievous assaults. Compare with Acts 27:10 (damage).
2) Thought Testing is seen in the Greek noun for “distresses” which is ANAGKE (an-ang-kay) that means “compulsion, constraint, distress, force, or necessity imposed either by the circum-stances or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, or argument. BDAG defines it as “a state of distress or trouble, distress, calamity or pressure.” It was used to mean of necessity as a result of calamity, distress or persecutions. So it is speaking about the mental anguish that is brought on by outward troubles. Compare with 2 Cor 6:4-5 (hardships); 1 Thes 3:7 (distresses); Philemon 1:14 (compulsion)
3) System Testing is seen in the Greek noun DIOGMOS that simply means “persecutions”. It comes from the verb DIOKO that means “to put to flight, pursue, and by implication to persecute.” BDAG defines DIOGMOS as “a program or process designed to harass and oppress someone, persecution.” Our English definition of persecution means, “the subject-ing of a race or group of people to cruel or unfair treatment, e.g. because of their ethnic origin or religious beliefs.” So we see that it takes a “system” or group of people to bring about this type of suffering. Compare with 2 Thes 1:4; 2 Tim 3:10-11.
4) Disaster Testing is seen in the Greek noun for “difficulties” which is STENOCHORIA (sten-okh-o-ree’-ah). Literally it means “narrowness of space” and figuratively it means “difficulties or distresses, dire calamity or extreme affliction.” BDAG defines it as “a set of stressful circumstances, anguish or trouble.” Compare with Rom 6:35-39; 2 Cor 6:4-5.

Rom 6:35, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… 37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

So PPS not only insulates you against arrogance, but it prepares you for Momentum Testing. For Momentum Testing is the major hurdle in reaching SM.

3. PPS is the provision of the sovereignty of God in compatibility with His grace policy to provide the power for Spiritual Self-Esteem in order to advance you to Spiritual Maturity; i.e., the power to advance through the valley of Momentum Testing.

4. SSE combines with PPS to propel you to SA which is SSE with muscle minus arrogance. SSE cannot function apart from humility. Therefore, PPS provides both muscle and humility.

5. SSE can only function on humility and orientation to authority. To the extent that you reject any authority in life, to that extent your SSE is parlayed into a system of arrogance. SSE is vulnerable to arrogance without PPS which God graciously provides. The most vulnerable point in the believer’s advance is when he reaches SSE, because he is extremely vulnerable to the temptations related to the arrogance complex.

6. PPS prevents, restrains, intercepts, and insulates against sin and evil in life while challenging your SSE to suffer for blessing and profit.

7. When SSE combines with PPS it forms SA. There are five results or signs of SA.
a) Impersonal love for all mankind.
b) Authority orientation or enforced humility.
c) Genuine humility that insulates against arrogance.
d) Self‑discipline.
e) Obedience to the Word of God.

Prov 19:8, “He who gets wisdom (metabolized doctrine) loves his own soul (SSE). He who cherishes understanding (SA) prospers.”

1 Peter 1:6‑8, “In this (your eternal inheritance) you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials (PPS), 7so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire (PPS), may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

“Tested by fire” is analogous to the pruning process of John 15. It is used because when you put gold in fire, it changes the gold. The gold melts and the impurities are burned off. Fire purifies the gold; makes it better and of more value. So also, PPS changes the nature of the believer, refining you in the spiritual life so that you are of more value in regard to Divine good production in the future. So the little bit of PPS you have today may result in praise, honor and glory at the judgment seat of Christ.

Phil 1:29, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.”

This is important. You don’t suffer for His sake when you make your own problems, reaping what you have sown from your own bad decisions and bad judgment. Suffering for His sake is when you finally reach SSE.

James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (PPS), 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (advance from SSE to SA). 4And let endurance (SA) have its perfect result (SA + MT = SM), so that you may be perfect (TELEIOS – mature = SM) and complete (HOLOKLEROS – SM + ET), lacking in nothing (no eternal rewards lost).

Once again, “complete” in this passage is HOLOKLEROS an Adjective that is a compound word from HOLOS that means “whole or complete”, and KLEROS that means “allotted to your charge or inheritance.” So it is referencing your eternal rewards and blessing allotted to you at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 3:10-15.

This passage describes PPS as the category that prevents sin and challenges SSE to suffer for blessing in the midst of trials.

8. PPS is then the means of establishing right priorities in the spiritual life of the believer.