Chapter 17 – Power Principle 11: The Power Of Suffering

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

  • Write the Key Verse from memory.
  • Identify the source of suffering.
  • List five ways by which suffering comes.
  • Summarize the purposes of suffering in the life of a believer.

INTRODUCTION

The last chapter began discussion of the two power principles of Philippians 3:10:

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship
of His suffering, being made conformable unto His death. (Philippians 3:10)

Chapter Sixteen concerned the power of the resurrection in the life of the believer. This chapter focuses on the power of fellowship in suffering. Paul said of Jesus:

For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of
God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. (II Corinthians 13:4)

We view suffering through human reasoning. By every standard of human reasoning the cross of Jesus was a waste of a great and noble life. But in the reasoning of God it was the greatest demonstration of His power. It resulted in the salvation of man.

Paul understood this important principle of spiritual power. The power of God is disguised in weakness. This is why he could say:

. . . Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in
persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I
strong. (II Corinthians 12:9-10)

We never see power in weakness or failure. This is a strange attitude for people whose center of faith is the cross. Jesus experienced the resurrection after He had suffered. Resurrection power comes through the fellowship of His suffering.

True spiritual power is demonstrated not in the absence of suffering, problems, and crises, but in the midst of them. Power turns what the world calls an ordeal into an opportunity for the demonstration of the power of God.

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.