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Doctrine of Undeserved Suffering

July 21, 2010

DOCTRINE OF UNDESERVED  SUFFERING

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1.  At first glance, it appears Undeserved Suffering should not be included in the list of Super Grace Blessings. However, even in the secular world, there is a Latin saying, “Misfortune does not always come to injure.”
2.  The first thing we must realize is that both prosperity and undeserved suffering are blessings that come down to us through the Grace Pipeline from the Justice of God.  Blessings come from varying circumstances; some pleasant, some painful.
3.  Under pleasant circumstances, we naturally focus our attention on our blessings, whereas, painful circumstances forces us to look beyond the present towards tremendous riches and privileges in store for us in the next stage of God’s plan. He definitely did not design them to crack or destroy the believer, 1 Cor. 10:13.
4.  Undeserved Suffering is the ignition system that cranks up our confident anticipation in blessings and rewards in eternity. “The first fruits from the Spirit” mentioned in Rom. 8:23, refers to Blessings in Time given to mature believers, including Undeserved Suffering.
Romans 8:22-23  – For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers  [Undeserved Suffering]  the pains of childbirth together until now.  23 And not only this, but also we ourselves  [mature believers],  having the first fruits of the Spirit   [6 categories of Blessings in Time],  even we ourselves groan within ourselves  [due to Undeserved Suffering],  waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
5.  The words “first fruits” suggest that something more will follow. Blessings in Time, Phase 2, are just a preview and a down-payment on blessings we receive for all eternity, Phase 3,
6.     A principle is relevant here called a fortiori, a Latin phrase meaning “with greater reason”.
a.  If God could save us while we were His enemies, it stands to reason, a fortiori, that He can do an easier thing blessing us in time now that we are His children.
b.    If God can give us Blessings in Time now while we are in the devil’s world with our OSNs,  it stands to reason, a fortiori, that He can do the easier thing which is to bless us in the perfect environment of heaven when we have no OSNs.
c.    So SG blessings on earth guarantee the reality of blessings in eternity. SG blessings give mature believers their first taste of what is to come in eternity.
7.  Undeserved Suffering demonstrates that no circumstance in life is greater than God’s plan of grace and that the power of God is greater than the ruler of this world. How is that power manifested?  Through our application of Bible doctrine. That’s what sustains us while under pressure.
8.  Satan cannot accuse God of buying our love and devotion with blessings, prosperity, and pleasant circumstances. Nor can he allege that believers praise God because they have it so easy. God is glorified when believers utilize His gracious provisions and stand secure, loyal, and happy even while suffering undeservedly.
9.  Satan would love to see us fall apart and curse God under pressure, but God’s plan calls for just the opposite. Hardships, pain, and suffering force us to draw upon the inner resources of doctrine. This accelerates our spiritual growth. Satan gnashes his teeth when Jesus Christ wins yet another tactical victory in the Angelic Conflict.
10.  God graciously uses us to glorify Himself. God is glorified in blessing us right under the devil’s nose, and Satan can’t do a thing about it. Since Blessings in Time are parlayed into blessings in eternity, our use of grace now to grow to spiritual maturity will glorify God forever as the Angelic Conflict becomes a distant memory.
11.  Anticipation of blessings in eternity motivates the mature believer to be more persistent in His pursuit of full knowledge of the Word. This is what prepares him to face maximum suffering without flinching. This is the closest anyone on earth can possibly come to experiencing the mental dynamics of heaven where there will be no pain or suffering.
12.  Life has periods of highs and lows like a roller-coaster. Periods of affliction makes the periods of prosperity more wonderful by contrast. We would have a tendency to become bored or to lose our appreciation for prosperity if there were no hard times to compare them to.
13.  Surrounded with nothing but luxury and faced with no challenges to apply doctrine, we might grow fat, sloppy spiritually, accustomed to prosperity, and forgetful of where we are and where we are going.
14.  God uses Undeserved Suffering to:
1)    Prove His sufficiency            4)  Bless the believer through contrast
2)    Test the believer’s perspective    5)  Defeat Satan
3)    Accelerate spiritual growth         6)  Glorify Himself
15.  Undeserved Suffering plus recall of Bible doctrine converts the potential of eternal rewards into the hope / eager anticipation of those rewards.
Romans 8:18  –   For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
16.    Remember the 4 Ps during times of Undeserved Suffering:
1.    POWER –  Not your power but the power of the Holy Spirit.
2.    PERSPICACITY –  Perceptiveness and discernment of B.D.
3.    PATIENCE – Tranquility of soul while enduring adversity.
4.    PERSEVERANCE –  Mental attitude of never quitting or giving up on B.D.