What may be God’s Purposes for Suffering?

1. To work together all things for good and to conform me into the image of His Son. 

Romans 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,
29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

2. To comfort me in troubles, and to teach me to comfort others as I have been comforted. 

2 Corinthians 1
3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

3. To draw me closer into fellowship with Him.  
4. To experience a Greater degree of Humbleness.  
5. To be grateful for the graces he has already given me. 
2 Corinthians 12
7 even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant.
8 I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me.
9 But he said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me.
10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

6. To cause the church to bear the suffering of those members that are suffering. 

1 Corinthians 12
26 If one member suffers, everyone suffers with it. If a member is honored, all rejoice with it.
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and each of you is a member of it.

7. To test my faith to complete my character. 

James 1
2 My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,
3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.

8. To test if I am going to continue to be loyal to Him. 

Job 2
9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!”
10 But he replied, “You’re talking like one of the godless women would do! Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” In all this Job did not sin by what he said.

Job 13:15 (NET) 15 Even if he slays me, I will hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face!

9. To execute my Father’s discipline on me to prove I am His, 
10. to teach me to submit to His will, 
11. that I may share His holiness, 
12. that peace and righteousness will be produced within me. 
Hebrews 12
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scornthe Lord’s discipline or give up when he corrects you.
6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”
7 Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline?
8 But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons.
9 Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life?
10 For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but he does so for our benefit, that we may share his holiness.
11 Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it.

13. To trust in His sovereignty and not my small perspective which cannot fully understand. 

Proverbs 3:5 (NET) 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.

14. To show the acts of God by performing a Miracle to relieve suffering. 

John 9:3 (NET) 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but he was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him.

15. That I will find my peace in Him and not in the world. 

John 16:33 (NET)
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage – I have conquered the world.”

16. That In this life I may highly value my eternal home in Heaven.

2 Corinthians 4:17 (NET)
For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison

17. That my faith which He is causing to persevere through the testing of His righteous judgement will appear to Him to be worthy of His Kingdom. 

2 Thessalonians 1
4 As a result we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and afflictions you are enduring.
5 This is evidence of God’s righteous judgment, to make you worthy of the kingdom of God, for which in fact you are suffering.

18. To not only improve my sanctification but the sanctification of a multitude of others associated to me and to this event for years and even generations to come.

19. To teach me to fear God more. 

20. That His name be glorified in a greater way by my closer relationship with Him than if everything went on without suffering and my heart remained more distant from Him. 

21. That I may better appreciate life when there is no suffering. 

22. This suffering may limit future unforeseen evil in my life and those effected by this event and my changed life. 

23. To realize that the faith and character built through suffering is more important to God than peace, health, and wealth which rarely build faith and character.