The whole counsel of God requires an understanding of the three categories of suffering found in the Bible: suffering for blessing; suffering by association; and suffering through cursing.

Suffering for blessing: Suffering for blessing is that form of human suffering that comes from circumstances of life over which you have no control; that is, not necessarily caused by your own decisions. This was the case of Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). The purpose in suffering for blessing is your own spiritual growth. This type of suffering when encountered is divinely designed for you to utilize the appropriate grace provision, the application of which results in increased spiritual strength and spiritual growth. The nature of the circumstance is not the issue. The issue is whether or not you will use the appropriate specific grace provision necessary to stabilize your spiritual life at the time the circumstance is encountered.

Suffering by association: Suffering by association is that form of human suffering that comes from the circumstance of being associated with someone or a group of people who are suffering through cursing because their personal decisions are negative toward the plan of God for their life. All you have to do is be associated with someone or a group of people who are themselves suffering through cursing and you will suffer by association. Perhaps an illustration will help. If you are a spiritual Christian advancing toward Christian maturity, and recognize that the USA is morally and civilly corrupt, you will suffer by association because the integrity of God will not allow those who are negative toward His plan to escape without divine discipline in their lives. Here’s an example. If you live in the proximity of a natural disaster, God may not have caused it, but has permitted it through His permissive will. Since you live in the proximity of the natural disaster, you will suffer with the others.

Suffering through cursing: Suffering through cursing is that form of human suffering that comes from making free-will decisions that are contrary to God’s will for your life (Hebrews 12:6). When a human being violates God’s will for his life, the integrity of God measures out the appropriate intensity level of divine discipline to be experienced as human suffering through cursing for the purpose of getting the attention of the person manifesting negativity toward His plan. This type of suffering is never good in itself, but it is for the good of the one suffering. It is good in the sense that it is saying, “There’s something wrong with your plan.” If and when the sufferer becomes sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired of suffering through cursing, this individual may just stop long enough to consider God the Father’s plan for his or her life. If not, the disciplinary measure from the integrity of God will simply intensify. Why? Because God loves you with His perfect agape love. You are a member of the human race, and He loves (agapao) the human race so much that He gave His uniquely born Son to die on the cross for the personal sins of every member of the human race (John 3:16).

If you are suffering, it’s imperative that you know why. You cannot handle the suffering properly if you do not know the cause. If suffering for blessing, apply the appropriate grace provision and grow spiritually thereby. If it’s suffering by association, physical separation may be necessary, but if that is not possible, then God has the appropriate grace provision for you to grow spiritually in the midst of the suffering. Remember, God may not change the circumstance when it’s His desire is to change you in the midst of the circumstance. If you are suffering for cursing, the solution is to confess the specific sin and change the direction of your life back toward God’s path instead of away from God’s path.

There is much suffering in the USA today because Americans, in general, have departed from their moral and civil moorings. However, God will always have a remnant. Are you a part of that remnant? (Romans 11:5)

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