How suffering works…

Howsuffering works


Naaman and slave girl

Sovereignty – what God wants to happen, big picture

 Providence – how he intersects &  interconnect things to bring about His Sovereignty 


David’s friends

     DANIEL 3

     12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. ….

….. if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

God will allow things He doesn’t prefer to accomplish HIS greater plan. When you understand the link between Big picture and Small picture, you become conscious of God’s fingerprints in spite of His apparent absence. 

       /Tony Evans ( Bible study ) /

Monster cookies/cake

      Providential ingredients : perfect blending of ingredients. 

W/o being fully aware of Sov Purpose of God, can’t understand His providence. 


Heard story of history of Jacob’s Well. Planted in 2006, peak attendance in 2008, recession, decline till 2014 talk of closing. Then miracle and here we are. 

COULD have happened different way.

Increase attendance and giving till 2014 when this building came up for sale & buy it. 

Easy to SAY – wow, great opportunity God has given. But the voice of pride might still be whispering – “but we did the hard work, thus we get done of the credit. “

Gideons story


     22,000 to 10,000 (fear)

     10,000 to 300 lapping water

     300 fight.

W/o being fully aware of God’s big picture goal, we’ll miss His fingerprints 


      Atheistic viewpoint – 

               Suffering is meaningless ( no big pic )

               Can care  in spite of being 

                      inconsistent w/ evolution.

      Christian world view –

               Suffering ( works in big pic ) TRUST

               Care – purposeful ( Glory & Love )

                       Romans 8:17-18 sufferings

                       Romans 8:26,28


                       2 Cor 4:16-17

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.


                       Romans 5:3-4

  Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 


                       Romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

                            All things…



Barnes Commentary


The word “vanity” here ματαιότης mataiotēs is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life is a life of vanity and vexation.


(a) Christians are subjected to this state to do good to their fellow sinners. They remain on earth for this purpose: and this should be their leading aim.

(b) By their remaining here the power of the gospel is shown in overcoming their sin; in meeting their temptations; in sustaining them in trial; and in thus furnishing living evidence to the world of the power and excellency of that gospel. This could not be attained if they were removed at once to heaven.

(c) It furnishes occasion for some interesting exhibitions of character – for hope, and faith, and love, and for increasing and progressive excellence.

(d) It is a proper training for heaven. It brings out the Christian character, and fits it for the skies. There may be inestimable advantages, all of which we may not see, in subjecting the Christian to a process of training in overcoming his sins, and in producing confidence in God, before he is admitted to his state of final rest.

(e) It is fit and proper that he should engage here in the service of Him who has redeemed him. He has been ransomed by the blood of Christ, and God has the highest claim on him in all the conflicts and toils, in all the labors and services to which he may be subjected in this life.