Heb. 12:5-6




I would like to begin by making five points.

1st---There is not a disease God cannot heal,



Not a heartache He cannot lift,

Not a pain He cannot take away,



Not a person He cannot make whole.

With God all things are possible.



2nd---Many times our problems are afflictions Satan lays upon us.

Satan tries to destroy our faith,



Discourage us,

Discredit us, etc.



3rd---Sometimes we are not helped because we lack faith.

Jesus could do mighty works in Nazareth because of the people's unbelief.



4th---Sometimes we are not helped because others don't have the faith.

Jesus told His disciples they could not cast the devil out of the lunatic because

of their unbelief (Matt. 17:20).



Notice, that the problem wasn't the unbelief of the lunatic.

It was the unbelief of Peter, James, John and the others.


I shutter to think about it,

But if you have problems that aren't removed,



It may be my faith that is weak.

Or, it may be this congregation's faith.



I remind you that Jesus healed the centurion’s servant,

Not because of the servant's faith.



But because of the centurion’s faith.

You may not be healed because of your faith.



But the problem may be my faith.

Or, it may be this congregation's faith.



5th---God will chastise us.

He will apply the rod of correction.



But don't misunderstand me.

I'm not saying that all chastisement is from God.



I've already said that Satan afflicts us.

And I hasten to add that we bring affliction on ourselves.



BUT this is what I'm calling the neglected side of suffering.

SOME chastisement is from God.



Our text says: “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.”

“He scourgeth EVERY son whom He receiveth.”


Does God love you?

Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.



Are you a child of God?

He scourgeth EVERY son whom he receiveth.



How many times have you heard someone say, “My parents were hard on me         

and I'm glad they were,”

“It was for my own good?”



How many times have you heard someone say, “I wish I had been harder on my


“They would be better off now?”



My great niece who was told not to ride her Go Kart in the street.

The little girl’s mother was taking a bath.



The girl decided she could ride her Go Kart in the street.

And her mother wouldn't know it.



She got hit by a car.

We should be thankful that God cares about what we do,



Thankful that He loves us so much that He will take the time to correct us.

We don't always understand it.



We don't always find it easy to bear.

“No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous.”




It hurts.

It's real.



But it's important to remember that God may actually be doing something for         

us when we are suffering.

I like to repeat a story that I heard Dr. J. Vernon McGee tell.



It concerns a man who entered a room where a young girl and her mother     

were standing.

The girl screamed.



Her mother grabbed her.

She clutched her daughter to herself.



The man went to the phone,

Dialed a number,



Garbled something into the phone,

Hung up,



Walked over to the mother,

Took the screaming girl out of her mother's arms.



Rushed out the door,

Put her into his car,



Jumped in beside her,

Tore out as fast as he could,




Squealing tires.

After a short drive at high speed, he arrived at a large building across town.



He removed the girl from his car,

Took her inside,



Handed her to someone else,

They laid her on a table,



Strapped her down,

Rushed her into another room.



A man stood with a sharp knife.

Now, I suppose we could let our imaginations run wild, if we wanted to.



We could assume all kinds of bad things.

But let's back up and see what Dr. J. Vernon McGee calls, “the dark side of




It's the unseen side of our story,

The part that’s been left out.



The man who entered the room was the girl's father.

The girl who screamed was in pain.



Her mother grabbed her up.

Her father called the doctor.



He hung up the phone;

Grabbed up his screaming daughter;

Rushed her to the hospital.

And she received badly needed surgery.



What motivated this father to take his daughter to the hospital?




What motivated this father to allow the doctor to cut on her?




She needed surgery.

It was good for her.



It hurt.

But she was better off because of it.



Why do we pay people to give our children tetanus shots when we know their        

arms will get red, swell and hurt?

Why do we make them take measles shots, smallpox shots, etc. when we     

know they don't want them?



We do it for their own good.

The same is true for us.



What if we don't know all the facts?

What if we can't see the dark side?



Just as the girl in the story trusted her father to do what was best for her,

We have to trust our heavenly Father to do what is best for us.




I once heard a mother say her son was so prosperous he had abandoned God.

His success and money interfered with his relationship with God.



His mother tried to talk to him.

But he wouldn't listen.



Finally, she asked God to intervene.

She prayed, “Take everything away from him if you have to,”



“Make him sick if you have to,”

“But please don't let him go to hell.”



I don't know what happened.

And it would be a shame if God had to take everything away from him.



Or make him sick.

But it would be an act of love if that was the only thing that would get his      




God doesn't chastise us to be mean.

But He does chastise us to make us better,



The problem is He sometimes has to break us before He can remake us.

He sometimes has to put us under pressure before we will listen.



Okay, for just a few minutes, I would like to look at six Bible reasons why we         


1st---We suffer because “God resists the proud” (I Peter 5:5).




“Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18).

This is exactly why Paul received his famous “thorn in the flesh.”



He was in danger of becoming proud because of all the things God had        

revealed to him.

So God allowed Satan to afflict him.



And God refused to remove the affliction because He wanted to keep him    


I don't know what Paul's “Thorn in the Flesh” was.



But I do know that he was a great man of God,

As great as any who ever walked the face of this earth except Jesus.



He had great faith,

Great love for Jesus.



Paul laid down his life for Jesus.

He prayed three times for his affliction to be removed.



But God refused to heal Paul because He wanted Paul to stay humble.

2nd---We suffer because suffering teaches patience. Paul said, “We glory in    

tribulations also:”



“Knowing that tribulations work patience” (Rom. 5:3).

God wants us to learn to endure hardships without them harming us,



To learn to rejoice no matter what our circumstances.

To learn to bear our burdens long enough to give Him time to work.


So He sometimes afflicts us to teach us patience.

3rd---We suffer because suffering brings repentance and growth.



The Psalmist said, “Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now I have kept         

thy word” (Psa. 119:67).

He said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy    

statutes” (Psa. 119:71).



Some people totally ignore God's Word until they wind up in the hospital,

Or, on their deathbed.



This is why Gideon Bibles are so effective in the hospitals.

Affliction causes people to read, repent and grow.



Dr. Clovis Chappel told a story like he was a newspaper reporter interviewing         


The reporter asked Joseph to tell him about the darkest day of his life.



Joseph thought and replied, “The darkest day of my life was the day my       

brothers threw me into the pit.”

Then, the reporter asked Joseph to tell him about the greatest day of his life.



Joseph thought again:

He asked himself,



Was the greatest day of my life the day I interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and     

became the second highest ruler in Egypt?

Was the greatest day of my life the day I saw my brothers again for the first  

time in many years?




Was the greatest day of my life the day I saw my father again for the first time         

in many years?




He said, “The greatest day of my life was the day my brothers threw me into

the pit.”

The reporter said, “I don't understand.”



“You said the darkest day of your life was the day your brothers threw you   

into the pit.”

“Now, you say the greatest day of your life was the day your brothers threw

you into the pit.”



Joseph replied, “The darkest day of my life was the greatest day of my life    

because that was the day I began to trust God.”

Lazarus died.



His sisters were grieving.

Jesus told His disciples He was glad He wasn't there to heal Lazarus.



Imagine that!

Jesus was glad He wasn't there to heal Lazarus.



But the neglected side of suffering is that Jesus intended to raise Lazarus from        

the dead.

And He intended to do it for two reasons;



One---So the people would glorify God,

And two---So the miracle would increase their faith.




Sometimes God allows us to suffer because getting delivered gives us a        


Sharing it glorifies God,



Helps others,

And increases our faith.



I want to encourage you to share your testimony.

God will bless you when you do.



4th---We suffer because “We are able to comfort them which are in any         

trouble” (II Cor. 1:4).

Dr. O.B. Green calls suffering “A school of sympathy and understanding.”



Some of you have been to the school of suffering.

You can understand what people are going through.



You can help in ways others cannot.

You have been there, done that.



And you are even better ministers in some areas than many professionals.

5th---We suffer because suffering strengthens us.


A great song says:

          “Lord don't move that mountain;”

          “So I can better do your will.”


          “If there were no mountains, I might forget to pray.”

          “If there were no trials, I might forget and stray.”


          “The higher the mountain, the greater the victory.”

          “Lord don't move that mountain, just give me the strength to climb.”

          “For if you moved the mountain, I might grow weaker every time.”

Mountains produce endurance.

Climbing out of the valleys strengthens us.



Hard times prepare us for harder times.

6th---We suffer because we are destined to be like Jesus.



“All things work together for good to them that love God;”

“To them who are the called according to His purpose.”



“For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the       

image of His Son” (Rom. 8:28, 29).

We preachers do a lot of preaching about all the good that results from the    

death of Jesus on the cross.



But we sometimes neglect all the good that comes from suffering.

I didn't say suffering is good.



I said good comes from it.

God often uses crutches, hospital beds and wheelchairs because He intends

for us to be like Jesus.



Another song says:

          “Lord, grow me into someone gentle, kind and true.”

          “Grow me into someone just like you.”



 That's the way we are going to wind up.

If God has to afflict us to teach us humility,



Afflict us to teach us patience,

Put us on crutches to bring repentance,


Put us in a wheelchair to increase out faith,

Remove a loved one to get us to minister to others,



He will.

I wish I could stand here and honestly tell you that if you had enough faith,   

you wouldn't suffer,



That might be true.

But I doubt it.



Paul had faith.

But he suffered.



The disciples, the prophets, Stephen, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had


But they suffered.



And many others of whom the world is not worthy.

I can only advise you to commit yourself to God.



And remind you that Satan might be afflicting you;

That you might have brought something on yourself;



Or God might be chastising you.

Ask Him, “What do 1 need to do?”



Ask Him, “Is this a thorn in the flesh?”

Remember that God might be sending you to school.




Be willing to learn from what you're going through.

Try to be positive.



Try to praise God.

Try to rejoice.



Finally, if God is for you,

Nothing can be against you.



Nothing can separate you from His love.

That's the neglected side of suffering.



God chastises us because He loves us.

It’s not easy.



But it’s for our own good.