Time goes so fast! When I wrote about Job, I intended to get right back with the subject of suffering. It’s difficult. There are so many questions about God and suffering. Who causes suffering? Why does God allow it? There are a lot of great books on the subject. I won’t go there into much depth. But I want to point out some scriptures which show the “benefits” of suffering.
Kids generally do not grow strong characters by having a lolly-pop and all the things that go with the happy life. Adults don’t either.
Some of the character building traits that come via suffering:
Patience 2 Cor. 1: 6 …which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. James 5:10, 11 (refers to Job)
Faith 2 Cor. 1:9 …But this happens that we might not rely on ourselves but on God… 1 Peter 1:6,7 …while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith…may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Reliance on God’s Word Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Repentance 2 Cor. 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. (reference Job’s experience)
Humility 2 Cor. 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh…
Perseverance, character, hope Romans 3:5 …we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope James 5:11
Endurance 2 Tim. 1:8-12 & 2:3 (excerpts) That is why I am suffering as I am. … Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Obedience Heb. 5:8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered…
Righteousness, peace Heb. 12:11 …(discipline) produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.