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Faithlife

Causes of suffering (3)

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The ultimate cause of suffering is sin, which has brought violence, disease and death into the world. All suffering, however, is under the sovereign purpose of God, who is able to use it for his glory.

Notes & Transcripts

The ultimate cause of suffering is sin

Genesis 3:14–19 NCV
14 The Lord God said to the snake, “Because you did this, a curse will be put on you. You will be cursed as no other animal, tame or wild, will ever be. You will crawl on your stomach, and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your descendants and her descendants will be enemies. One of her descendants will crush your head, and you will bite his heel.” 16 Then God said to the woman, “I will cause you to have much trouble when you are pregnant, and when you give birth to children, you will have great pain. You will greatly desire your husband, but he will rule over you.” 17 Then God said to the man, “You listened to what your wife said, and you ate fruit from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat. “So I will put a curse on the ground, and you will have to work very hard for your food. In pain you will eat its food all the days of your life. 18 The ground will produce thorns and weeds for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 You will sweat and work hard for your food. Later you will return to the ground, because you were taken from it. You are dust, and when you die, you will return to the dust.”

It need not be the result of particular sins:

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Suffering as a result of human wickedness

Murder

Genesis 4:8 KJV 1900
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
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Injury

Matthew 26:67 KJV 1900
67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

Hatred

Psalm 109:3 KJV 1900
3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; And fought against me without a cause.
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Jealousy

Genesis 37:4 KJV 1900
4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
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Persecution

John 15:20 KJV 1900
20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
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Cruelty

Psalm 71:4 KJV 1900
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
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Rioting

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Warfare

Jeremiah 50:22 KJV 1900
22 A sound of battle is in the land, And of great destruction.
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Injustice

Ezekiel 9:9 KJV 1900
9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The Lord hath forsaken the earth, and the Lord seeth not.
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Oppression

Ecclesiastes 4:1 KJV 1900
1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
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Adultery

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Theft

Matthew 6:19 KJV 1900
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
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Broken relationships

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Suffering as a result of misfortune

Accidents

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Sickness

Genesis 48:1 KJV 1900
1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
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Hunger and want

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Natural disasters

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Suffering through old age and death

Ageing

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Bereavement

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Suffering through anxiety

Proverbs 12:25 KJV 1900
25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: But a good word maketh it glad.
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Suffering through foolishness

Psalm 107:17 KJV 1900
17 Fools because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
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Suffering through Satanic activity

The influence of Satan

Genesis 3:1 KJV 1900
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
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Demon-possession

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Suffering brought about by God himself

All suffering comes within his will

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Some suffering is for his immediate glory

John 21:19 KJV 1900
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

Jesus Christ’s suffering produces salvation

Isaiah 53:10 KJV 1900
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
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Christian suffering produces good fruits

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God’s people must be disciplined

Hebrews 12:7 KJV 1900
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
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The wicked must be punished

Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Suffering accepted voluntarily

By Jesus Christ

1 Peter 2:21 KJV 1900
21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
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By his people

2 Corinthians 12:15 KJV 1900
15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
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For the good of others

John 15:13 KJV 1900
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
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