09 February 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Perseverance in suffering

In our study of Revelation, we have seen much suffering – whether it is believer suffering for following Christ or unbelievers suffering for rejecting Christ. Suffering entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), and suffering will be abolished when Jesus returns to reign over His kingdom (Revelation 21).

God calls His people to persevere in their suffering. The only way we can persevere in our suffering is if we are prepared and ready by knowing what God’s Word says about suffering. And that’s what this lesson is all about.

Why do all people suffer? We suffer because of sin. Sin comes to all people through Adam. Jesus was not born into sin because He was not a sinner. He was born through the Holy Spirit and is God Himself.

All people suffer, but not all people suffer equally. Jesus suffered not because of His sin but because of our sin.

Sin is the reason for all suffering, but not all suffering is the result of specific sin. We suffer as a consequence of our own sin. We suffer as a consequence of the sins of others. Suffering can come directly from Satan. We suffer because we live in a broken world. Suffering can come from living a life that is obedient to Christ.

The suffering will come; we must be prepared for it.

Suffering causes us to reach out to someone or something beyond themselves. Believers should respond by pressing deeper into God. Suffering is the place to find intimacy with God.

Our only response to God in the midst of suffering should be accepting the suffering and surrendering to God’s will. Ask God how you can glorify Him in the suffering. And believe that He can bring good from even our deepest suffering.

Things to Think About
  • There is no suffering outside of God’s sovereign rule.
  • Everything is doable because God is with me.
  • How are you shaping your biblical view so when you are prepared to face suffering when it comes?
  • God loves us and walks with us in our suffering. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. Christ suffered to save us from eternal suffering.
  • God’s desire is to have intimacy with us. Intimacy is lost through sin but is regained through suffering.
  • Is your suffering drawing you nearer to God, or is it pushing you away from God?

This Week’s Memory Verse
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV