“Suffering is not for nothing” – Elisabeth Elliot

This is part 1 in a series on suffering, by the missionary wife of Jim Elliot, who, in 1956, along with 4 other men,  was killed by an indigenous tribe in South America, when they attempted to take the gospel into that area.  Throughout her 6 part series, she reminds us that God is sovereign and many sufferings are ultimately a mystery to us, as to why – like Job’s sufferings were not revealed to Job himself.  We know more information that Job got, because of chapters 1-2 in the book of Job.  God allowed Satan to attack Job.  God allowed Satan to attack the apostle Paul. (2 Corinthians 12:1-10)  God allowed Satan to attack Peter. (Luke 22:31)  She reminds us that God has purposes for our sufferings – to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 12:1-11) and so that we can minister and comfort others by sharing our compassion from what we learn through suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-10).  Throughout her series, she makes the excellent point that part of the way in which we continue to trust God and persevere in our pain and suffering, is to “do the next thing”.  Doing our duties in life expresses trust in God.  After we pray and read Scripture, mornings and evenings, there comes a point when we have to do things, be disciplined, work, etc.  As someone else told me years ago, when faced with a mystery over the next steps in life, “Do what you know to do (obey God through the revealed will of God in Scripture), then you will know what to do.”  Obedience causes us to grow closer to the Lord in a personal relationship with Him.  (John 14:21, 23; 15:9-11) She wrote many books, one of which had a great impact on me as a young Christian, when I read it in 1979-1982.  The book is entitled “The Shadow of the Almighty”.  

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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