In the next parts on this doctrine of suffering, we will use many illustrations from the book “Broken Things and Why We Suffer,” written by the late Dr. M. R. DeHaan, the founder of the Radio Bible Class and its speaker for twenty-seven years. He was a practicing physician before receiving his call to ministry, and subsequently he pastored several churches prior to founding the Radio Bible Class. This book is a mere 95 pages, and by far the best book I have ever read on suffering beside the Bible itself. You and I suffer because of God’s great love for us, as he chisels us into His image. Trust Him. In Christ, Pastor Steve
People often do not care to discuss it, but it is suffering – A Natural Progression Of Christian Maturity
So many people do not like to even consider this topic because it is something the world does not like. We like to look out for number one, satisfy the senses, and look and feel good. Let us see what the Bible says about the Christian and suffering-
2 Timothy 3:12 King James Version (KJV)
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
The scripture tells us that NOT some or a few will suffer, but ALL, so we should expect and be ready for it. If I do not suffer and experience persecution, the scripture tells me that I am not living godly in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 King James Version (KJV) Paul’s Thorn In The Flesh
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
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.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
1 Peter 4:12-13 King James Version (KJV)
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
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.
On farmland, there can be no blessing without effort, and no harvest without plowing. The ground must be broken up before anything can be planted. Before a thing can be made, something must be broken. Before a house is built, earth, rocks and trees must be removed. Before there can be life, there must be death. Before there can be joy, there must be weeping. The pain of the birth precedes the joy of the newborn child. THERE IS NO MAKING WITHOUT BREAKING. Life is full of broken promises and broken hopes, shattered dreams, and unfulfilled ideals. No one can escape them.
As followers of God though, we know that broken things are the assurance that God is making something. Romans 8:28 says it all: 28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Our heartache, weakness, sickness, pain, tragedy and bereavement are for the glory of God.
Only broken things are useful to God. In Judges, chapter 7 we have the familiar story of Gideon. When Gideon’s men attacked the enemy, they had to break the pitchers to let the light within, shine forth in the darkness. The visual effect scared the enemy and they fled in disorder throughout the night. Instead of 300 men, they thought there were 300 companies.
Let us examine the broken pitchers. The pitchers were earthen vessels, and hidden in them were flaming torches of light. We who are saved are the earthen vessels to whom the Lord has trusted the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Within us is our burning torch, the Holy Spirit, by whom we can do all things. We need to be broken before our light can shine. It is only then that we experience a life of victory and power.
I Corinthians 11:24 Paul quotes Jesus “…this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” Without the broken body of the Lord Jesus Christ, we could not be made whole. God knows how everything must be broken before it can be used fruitfully. A wild horse must be broken and tamed before we can use it.
…to be continued in Part 3.