Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The secret of the mystery. Part 158. The portfolio of invisible assets: the importance of understanding providential preventative suffering.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The secondary assets which bring blessings in the believer’s portfolio and result in the believer reaching the different stages of spiritual adulthood from his perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine.
1. Tranquility of soul.
2. Stability of mental attitude.
3. Composure marked by self-assurance.
4. Grace-orientation to life.
5. Doctrinal-orientation to reality.
6. Good decisions from a position of strength.
7. Personal control of your life.
8. A personal sense of destiny.
9. Self-confidence from wisdom.
Spiritual self-esteem is when we begin to have momentum in the spiritual life.
A major part of each spiritual advance is overcoming obstacles under suffering and disaster.
The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.
Spiritual self-esteem plus providential preventative suffering equals spiritual autonomy.
Providential preventative suffering is defined as short-termed suffering from the sovereignty of God for the benefit of the believer.
Providential preventative suffering is that suffering which prevents, restrains, or insulates sin and evil, while challenging spiritual self-esteem to suffer for blessing and profit. Providential preventative suffering is the first category of suffering for blessing related to spiritual adulthood.
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
From the context of 2CO 12:7-8, it can be called thorn testing.
There is a warm-up for people testing, for system testing, for thought testing, and for disaster testing.
When spiritual self-esteem combines with providential preventative suffering, it forms spiritual autonomy, which is spiritual self-esteem with muscle minus arrogance.
Spiritual self-esteem can only function on humility and orientation to authority. ISA 5:21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And clever in their own sight!
Spiritual self-esteem is vulnerable to arrogance without providential preventative suffering, which God graciously provides.
Providential preventative suffering prevents, restrains, intercepts, insulates against sin and evil in the life while challenging your spiritual self-esteem to suffer for blessing and profit.
“Tested by fire” is used, because when you put gold in fire, the gold melts and the fire changes the nature of the gold.
Providential preventative suffering changes the nature of the believer.
As pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine.
PHI 1:29 For to you it has been given on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.
Providential preventative suffering is described as various testings producing steadfastness or spiritual autonomy.
Spiritual autonomy plus momentum testing = spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity plus evidence testing = glorification of God to the maximum in the angelic conflict.
This passage describes providential preventative suffering as the category that prevents sin and challenges spiritual self-esteem to suffer for blessing in the midst of trials.
Suffering does not bear its meaning in itself, but becomes a spotlight, focusing on God’s power and our concurrent weakness, weakness brought about by suffering for blessing.
Suffering for blessing focuses on God’s grace, and turns boasting away from self-glorification into worship, love, and appreciation for God.
Whenever we face suffering for blessing, human solutions cannot solve or help; only divine solutions can.
Doctrine gives us the mechanics of everything: for strength in suffering, for capacity, for how to pray, and for what to pray.
What God does not remove, He intends for us to bear, and He has provided the problem-solving devices to convert all suffering into blessing.
Preventative suffering is a restrainer of sin, a builder of integrity, of honor, of character.
Before He could be qualified to go to the Cross and become our substitute and be the only Savior, the humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ had to endure a certain amount of providential preventative suffering which contributed to His impeccability and qualified Him as the sin offering.
Providential preventative suffering was combined with our Lord’s spiritual self-esteem to result in impersonal love or spiritual autonomy.
As a result of spiritual self-esteem plus providential preventative suffering, our Lord had spiritual autonomy, with which He advanced to spiritual maturity.
If you learn from your suffering, and really come to understand the lesson you were taught, you might be able to help someone else who is now in the phase you may have just completed.
The discipline and restraints of childhood imposed by parents are replaced by the discipline and restraints of adult life enforced by suffering.
Suffering depletes our human resources and confronts us with our total dependence upon the grace of God.
The removal of suffering might deny the believer a special blessing available to him only through the suffering.
God will not send suffering for blessing until first the believer is confident in his relationship with God and in his own ability to use the assets that God has given him.