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How God Uses Suffering & Turns It Into Good – Part 3 – Pursuing Intimacy With God

Kevin Bart

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How God Uses Suffering And Turns It Into Good – Part 3

How God Uses Suffering And Turns It Into Good To Accomplish His Goals

In Part 1 and Part 2 of How God Uses Suffering And Turns It Into Good we studied how God has desires and goals for His children. And we started looking into the tools that God uses to mold and shape and transform us to be more like Jesus. And to have the same heart, desires, interests, priorities, and passions that God has.

In Part 3 we will study the 3rd type of tool that God uses to accomplish His spiritual goals for His children. And we will look at some Biblical examples of how God prepared people using these tools so He could use them in His kingdom work and mission.

How God Uses Suffering And Uses It For Good

3. God’s Discipline – Purifying, Pruning, Molding, Shaping

There is another tool that God uses to accomplish His goals for His children. To become more like Christ, you and I have to be transformed in many ways. Naturally our hearts and desires are not the same as Jesus’. Our interests, priorities, and passions are naturally very different than Jesus’. And our will is typically not the same as God’s will.

This form of discipline that God uses at times in our lives is not punishment for sins. It is a refining and purifying of our hearts and character. It is under the pressure of difficulties and suffering that God brings about the necessary changes and transformations in us.

This form of God’s discipline can seem very unfair. It can even seem like God has abandoned you and left you alone to suffer. It can even feel cruel at times for God to allow this in your life. But feelings and emotions are very often misleading, especially during times of suffering and trials.

Examples Of God’s Molding & Shaping Type Of Discipline

There are some good examples for us to learn from in God’s word. All of these went through years of trials, difficulties, and waiting for God to accomplish His purposes. These were times of molding, shaping, and purifying that God allowed in order to prepare these people for the purpose that God had for their lives.

Joseph – 13 years – Joseph endured the pain and humiliation of being sold as a slave by his brothers. And he endured being falsely accused and thrown into prison for years. It all started when Joseph was 17, and he didn’t get out of it until he was 30. But he exited this long period of suffering and trials as a different person. One that God could use to sustain and preserve His people through a terrible famine.

David – 17 years – We all know David as a great king of Israel, and a prophet. David was ordained by God to take over being the king of Israel for Saul. From the time David was ordained by God until the time he became king was a period of many years. And David went through many trials and difficulties during this time. He was constantly fleeing from King Saul, who wanted to kill him. And he had other enemies who wanted to do the same. David exited this long period of difficulties as a “man after God’s own heart”.

How God Uses Suffering And Uses It For Good

More Examples Of How God Uses Suffering And Turns It Into Good

Abraham – 25 years – Abraham had the faith in God to leave his homeland and go wherever God lead him. At one point he and Sarah had to go to Egypt because of a famine. Abraham’s character and faith in God had not been fully developed yet. So when they went to Egypt he lied to Pharaoh about his beautiful wife Sarah and said she was his sister. He thought he had to do this in order to be safe.

Abraham had to wait 25 years until God’s promise of a child. He was 75 when God promised him a son, and that his heirs would be countless and would be a holy nation. A nation and people that would be where the promised Messiah would come out of and bless all other nations. But Abraham and Sarah got impatient, and they came up with a scheme to help God out. Abraham had a child, Ishmael, through Sarah’s servant Hagar. From then on the descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, have been a huge problem for Israel.

Abraham and Sarah finally had their promised child, Isaac, after 25 years of waiting. Over the years God molded and shaped Abraham, and developed a strong faith in him, and a godly character. You can see how God is so patient with us.

Moses – 40 years – another good example. Moses spent 40 years living in the wilderness as God molded him to be the person He could use to lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt. That is a long time to be in the wilderness. Moses turned out to be a faithful servant of God that God used mightily.

God Uses Suffering & Trials To Transform Our Character

Each of the above examples went through years of training and purifying and molding by God. Often times by trials and hardship, until they became the faithful servants of God that God had in mind. And had the godly character that God intended for them to have.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes (disciplines/ molds/ shapes) it so that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:1-2

” Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” – I Peter 4:1-2

“Bless our God, O peoples, and sound His praise abroad. Who keeps us in life. And does not allow our feet to slip. For You have tried us, O God. You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net, and laid an oppressive burden upon our loins. And You made men ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.” – Psalm 66:8-12

How God Uses Suffering And Uses It For Good

Do Not Lose Heart & Get Discouraged

If you are going through difficulties and suffering now, do not lose heart. And do not get discouraged. It is easier to say that than do it. I know. But God is at work in you during your times of difficulty and suffering. He is always working out what is best for you. And for you to be the best person you can be, which is to be like Jesus. And for you to be a faithful servant and friend of His.

“But who can endure the day of His coming ? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.” – Malachi 3:2-3

” Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete (like Christ), not lacking anything. – James 1:1-4

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. … while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful.” – John 15:1,2b

God always prepares the people that He has called to be used in His great kingdom work and mission. The best thing to do during times of difficulty and suffering is to humble yourself. And fully surrender all you are and all you have to God. And decide in your heart that you will remain fully committed to God, no matter what. This is difficult for many people to do. But I can assure you God will be able to accomplish all He has planned in and through you if you do.

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This article was originally published by Kevin Bart at Pursuing Intimacy With God.

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