1. When Adam and Eve (Ishah) were living in Eden, before the fall, there was absolutely no suffering – either for them or for the creatures of the garden.

2. After the fall, the earth was cursed and entered a state of perpetual suffering.
Rom. 8:19-22; Gen. 3:17-18

3. Both the man and the woman also entered into an existence of constant physical suffering.

A. Suffering from the curse upon them.
    B. Suffering through living IN a cursed earth.
    C. Suffering from the presence of the sin nature.
          See Topic:  SIN NATURE

4. Suffering for the human race will not cease until the sin nature is removed. This will only occur through resurrection in the eternal state. Rev. 21:4. But of course, this is restricted to the believer in Christ.

5. In the age of the millennial kingdom, the curse on the earth will be minimized. However, suffering from the presence of the sin nature will continue.

6. In the meantime, mankind goes through many varieties of suffering. This suffering is separated into two main categories (Deserved and Undeserved), and two groups (believer and unbeliever).

7. The suffering of the unbeliever:
    A. In time while here on earth.
        1. Soul pressure and suffering from the presence of the sin nature.
        2. Physical suffering from the cursed earth.
        3. Physical suffering from a soul “overflow” (Prov. 14:30).
            Negative thoughts cause physical reactions in the body.
        4. Suffering from other people – both deserved and undeserved.
        5. Suffering from societal changes.

    B. In eternity: The lake of fire – Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:15; 14:9-11; 20:10.
        See Topic: everlasting judgment

    C. Very often an unbeliever in suffering will consider the gospel issues and trust in Christ.
        Such sufferings cause the person to face the realities of both time and eternity and opens up

     his soul to the truths of the gospel.
    D. The unbeliever is at the mercy of the pressures of this world, which is basically under
        Satan’s rulership. God does not interfere in such cases, except in answer to the prayers
        of believers.

8. The suffering of the believer:
    As with the unbeliever, this is broken down into deserved and undeserved.
    A. Deserved suffering:
        1. This will come from divine discipline or natural consequences when the believer has
            violated the righteous standards of God.
            Principle:  Psalm 39:11; Prov. 3:12; Heb. 12:6
            Example: Psalm 38:1-8
            Failure to confess our sins: Psalm 32:3-4
            a. Psalm 119:67: the believer goes astray FIRST.
            b. Isaiah 59:2: Sin breaks our contact and fellowship with God.
            c. Psalm 51:4: God is JUST in bringing discipline upon us. Psalm 119:75
            d. Natural consequences: Job 9:4; Pr. 14:30b, 14; 5:22-23; 8:36; 11:17; 28:14;
                Psalm 31:9-10: 1 Peter 4:15.
            See Topic:  Discipline on the believer

        2. Suffering from carelessness and stupidity in societal living.
            a. Marriage: Prov. 6:26-35; 7:21-27
            b. Family:   Prov. 20:20
            c. Nation:  Rom. 13:1-7; Prov. 19:12; 21:15; 24:21-22
            d. In business:  Prov. 10:4-5; 15:27; 18:9; 19:15; 20:4, 17; 24:30-34; 28:19
            e. Diet:  Prov. 25:16; 23:29-35
            f. Material things in general:  Prov. 21:17
        3. Suffering from the soul “overflow.”
            Negative thoughts cause physical reactions in the body.

    B. Undeserved suffering. 1 Peter 2:19
        1. From living godly in Christ: 
            a. Directly from Satan. 1 Peter 5:8
            b. From persecution by people:
        2. From association with others.
            a. Individuals:  1 Cor. 12:26; Prov. 17:21, 25
            b. Nation:   Lev. 26 – five cycles of discipline. Prov. 28:15
DETAILS of  Undeserved Suffering

1. Definition: Undeserved suffering refers to any suffering, pressure or crisis that does not result from sin or carelessness. It comes from persecution or pressure from the physical world. Suffering that comes as a result of sin or even social carelessness does not qualify as undeserved.

2. Orientation to DESERVED suffering.
A. Divine discipline:  Hebrews 12:6; 1 Cor. 11:30
     1. Psalm 119:67, I went astray FIRST.
     2. Sin breaks our contact and fellowship with God. Isaiah 59:2
         The sin nature:  Romans 8:8, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
      3. Psalm 51:4, God is JUST in applying discipline. Psalm 119:75

B. Soul Overflow:  Proverbs 14:30, “passion is rottenness to the bones.”
    The word, passion, is qinAh, and refers to mental attitude sins.
    These negative attitudes in the soul cause an overflow into the body causing various
     physical  ailments.
C. Carelessness: Stupidity in moral and social living.
     See Topic: Natural Consequences.

3. Two Classifications of undeserved suffering.
A. Natural: John 17:15, we are IN the world
     1. Physical abuse from the cursed earth. Gen. 3:17-19; disease, disaster
     2. Morality abuse from the cursed soul: The sin nature of other people
          a. Marriage abuse
          b. Parental abuse: parent to child; child to parent.
          c. Sibling abuse
          d. From the nation:  Proverbs 28:15
               An innocent member of a nation under discipline. Hab. 3:16-19
          e. Societal abuse: prejudice, commerce, slavery, warfare.

B. Spiritual:  Phil. 3:20, We are of heaven
     1. Satan’s attack: 1 Peter 5:8; Job 1:12, 2:6-7; Rev. 12:10
     2. Persecution: 2 Timothy 3:12; John 15:18
-25; 16:1-4; Phil. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:21

4. The real issue in underserved suffering, whether it is natural or spiritual, is to recognize that the believer in fellowship is under special protection from God.
He is in control and knows what is best. Romans 8:28, 31-37; Heb. 13:5-6
Apply Daniel 3:17-18

5. The benefits of undeserved suffering.
     A. To provide orientation to God’s grace. 2 Cor. 12:1-10; 2 Cor. 1:9
     B. To learn the value of the word of God. Psalm 19:67, 71
     C. To aid the growth process in the believer.
          It develops faith/patience to the point of total rest in God’s character and plan.
          Romans 5:3; James 1:2-4; Heb. 5:7-9; 2:10
     D. To help other believers when
they are in suffering. 2 Cor. 1:3-6
     E. To manifest a maximum expression of the character of Christ. 2 Cor. 4:8-11
     F. To bring maximum glory to God, and a maximum vindication of God’s grace.
          1 Peter 2:19

ATTITUDES to cultivate concerning the prospect and the experience of undeserved suffering.
     A. The FACT of persecution as a real potential for the believer.
          1. 2 Timothy 3:12, "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
          2. Philippians 1:29, "For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in
              Him, but also to suffer for His sake."
          3. John 15:18-20 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before {it hated}
              you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of
              the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember
              the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted
              Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also."

     B. ATTITUDES to cultivate:
          1. Recognize that the attack is REALLY on Jesus. Philippians 1:29, "for His sake;"
               John 15:18-21
          2. Rejoice: James 1:2-4, inner contentment and relaxation based on orientation to God's
              character and plan.
              Romans 5:3-5, because such suffering and testing solidifies our
              spiritual growth.
              Matthew 5:11-12, because of the privilege of association with those who have gone
              before you. 1 Peter 4:13, in view of reward and divine favor.

           3. Realize that endurance in undeserved suffering promotes God's grace.
                1 Peter 2:19-20, "this is grace with God."

           4. Do not fear their threats and do not be troubled.
               1 Peter 3:14: Philippians 1:28
               They can only hurt the body. Matt.
10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body, but
                are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and
in hell."

           5. Maintain a good conscience. Live morally and righteously. 1 Peter 2:11-15; 3:15-16

           6. Do not be surprised at the prospects or the experience of undeserved suffering.
               1 Peter 4:12; John 16:1-4
           7. Do not be ashamed, but stand up for truth. 1 Peter 4:16;  2 Tim. 1:8
           8. Entrust yourself to the care and protection of God the Father.
               1 Peter 2:23; Hebrews 13:5-6; 1 Peter 5:7

7. Example of David:  1 Samuel 21:10-15; 22:1-5 Psalm 14:2
      1 Samuel 23:1-14; Psalm 63

8. Example of Job: A detailed study of the book of Job is very helpful in understanding undeserved suffering.



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