Key idea: We find joy in our sufferings when we embrace Christ’s loving purposes behind them.
Four truths to inform and shape our theology of suffering:
I. Suffering is not the whole story, but part of the greater story of redemption
II. Suffering is not meaningless, but has greater purposes
A. We embrace suffering by believing God’s purposes are greater than our own (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
Suffering is not the greatest danger; sin and stagnancy are.
B. We embrace suffering by redirecting our focus to faith in Christ.
III. Suffering does not define your life; Scripture does
A. The Word counters lies and clarifies reality.
B. The Word conforms our hearts.
IV. Suffering is not the absence of love, but a demonstration of it