Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Last time I spoke we established the fact that when it comes to spiritual warfare and the art of war that the Christian soldier does not lead a normal life.

What we really need to note is the Divine Perspective and the Positive Outlook of the Believer in Time of Suffering.

Affliction into prosperity.
Disaster into success.
Tragedy into mastery

Catastrophe into devotion.

The divine perspective and the positive outlook of the believer responding to that perspective will totally change the personal suffering the believer goes through.

Adversity plays a major role in our life and that is because
suffer­ing is like a parent.

Suffering saps our human resources and confronts us with our total dependence upon the grace of God.

Grace is a good thing……God’s power is a powerful thing.

This is why Paul could say in that graceful and powerful verse

2CO 12:9-10, And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

2CO 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Pain and suffering not only discourages us from going in the wrong direction, but it can also help to drive us in the right direction.

PSA 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.

PS + DP + PRB = R of BD
Personal Suffering + Divine Perspective + Positive Response of the Believer = Revival of Doctrine.

Suffering is designed for our good and for God’s glorification: He is glorified by sustaining and blessing us in any situation, whether prosperity or adversity.

It is for His own glory, and that’s why in the midst of hardships and disasters of life God promises, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (JOS 1:5; HEB 13:5).

In PSA 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Rather than eliminating suffering from our lives, He gives us far greater benefits by walking with us even “through the valley of the shadow of death” (PSA 23:4).

Now, we have studied many times the principle that ** As we grow spiritually, every stage of spiritual growth is accompanied by some form of suffering.

1. Providential Preventive Suffering keeps the believer from distorting his new found spiritual self-esteem into arrogance.

This is when GAL 4:19 is fulfilled, My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you‑‑

2.The second test is what we call momentum testing (call it what you want) accelerates the believer’s spiritual advance, carrying him from spiritual autonomy or spiritual independence into spiritual maturity.

This is fulfilled in passages like EPH 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

3. Then the third test is what we call Evidence Testing which demonstrates the efficacy of God’s grace in the life of the spiritually mature believer and culminates in maximum glorification of God.

Fulfilled in such passages as PHI 1:20-21, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I shall not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ shall even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

PHI 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Now, for some strange reason, most believers seem to forget…..
ISA 55:8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

We always seem to think that suffering is something that’s negative rather than a promotion of something that is positive.

We should be looking upon it from the divine perspective and the positive outlook of the believer found in passages such as2CO 4:17, that this momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

2CO 4:18 Because we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

This suffering can occur while you are on your way to a certain stage of spiritual growth and when you arrive at a certain stage.

Therefore, ** The divine perspective and the positive outlook of the believer in time of suffering is ROM 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Why would you look at it in anyway but positive?

ACT 5:41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Why would you look at it in anyway but positive?

Each stage of spiritual growth contains divine assets that may be used to solve par­ticular problems that cause or accompany the suffering.

In fact, we all need to have that experience of going through struggles in life alone with God.

For example, In 2CH 32:31, God left Hezekiah “Alone to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.”

In JOH 8:9, it wasn’t until the woman caught in adultery was left alone with the Lord that she was set free.

The Lord even had to go through this in JOH 16:32 when He said, “Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

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