Chapter 11 – God’s Will And Suffering

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Write the Key Verse from memory.
  • Identify five reasons for suffering.
  • Recognize that the will of God may entail suffering.
  • Distinguish between suffering within and without of the will of God.
  • List positive benefits of suffering within the will of God.

INTRODUCTION

You heard the voice of God. You sought guidance, it was given, and you set off along the road of life which God seemed to indicate. But as a result of this decision you are experiencing problems which would not have arisen apart from this new path of “God’s will” on which you travel.

Did you really hear the voice of God or have you made a mistake? Are these difficult experiences a sign from God that you are not living in His will? Does God permit suffering to come to someone who is living righteously within the will of God?

When Jesus was here on earth and spoke of the suffering He was to face on the cross, many of His followers deserted Him (John 6:55-66). They expected the Messiah to reign in power and glory. Instead, He spoke of suffering. They could not understand, so they turned away.

If you do not understand suffering as it relates to the will of God, then you too may turn from following Jesus when you face difficult circumstances. God did not create suffering. It originally entered the world through man’s sin (Genesis 3). But God can take that which is intended for evil and use it for good to accomplish His purposes.

Read over the chapter study material and complete the self-test at the end. After this chapter is completed, mark complete and go to the next lesson.