Scriptures on Suffering for God’s Glory and Our Joy.

Below is a powerful list of scriptures that challenge us regarding the concept of suffering for the glory of God. 

Jesus promises blessing to those who suffer for him.
Matthew 5:10-12

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The apostles found joy in suffering for Jesus, and it stirred them up to keep sharing the gospel.
Acts 5:40-42

40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Paul says that suffering helps to sanctify us.
Romans 5:3-5

3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Suffering helps us to bless others in need.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

The reward of eternity will more than outweigh the pain we suffer in this life.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Suffering can help us to be humble before God.
2 Corinthians 10:7

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

Moses chose suffering with his eye on the reward.
Hebrews 11:24-26

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

We too should suffer with our eyes on the reward.
Hebrews 13:12-15

12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Suffering for Christ sanctifies us.
1 Peter 4:1-2

1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.

We should trust God even when we suffer.
1 Peter 4:19

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

Jesus calls his children to suffer with their eyes on the reward of eternity.
Revelation 2:9-10

9 “ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

6 thoughts on “Scriptures on Suffering for God’s Glory and Our Joy.”

  1. Jesus told his followers they would be hated by the world, but reminded them that he was first hated. In the early church, we see that the Apostles (including and especially Paul) suffered for the glory of God. There are many New Testament verses on how to deal with suffering when it comes. And yet the wealth and prosperity gospel is alive and well today, telling us that God wants only to bless us with more… stuff. They toss the name of Jesus around, without studying his words and teachings. How could a person miss that?

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  2. So God would use Satan to teach us to be humble? Why would God have dealings with the devil? In short what it sounds like is that God would send hardships and suffering to His 'beloved children' so that in return His children can give glory to Him. Wow, if God was in human form He'd end up in jail. People get locked up for animal cruelty. What more child abuse. Kinda hard to make people follow a 'loving' God who is in cahoots with the Devil who does His errands. Man that's harsh. “How could a person miss that?”

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  3. Dear AJ,

    I’ve just returned from a little road trip, and finally have a chance to address your comment.

    First, I want to thank you for taking the time to read through my post and make a thoughtful comment.

    Second, I do understand how it can seem harsh to some people when they find out that the world exists for God’s glory and not for our comfort. Thus, it feels very unfair and, as you said, harsh, to think of God using what we perceive as painful things to demonstrate his majesty.

    Third, while I will make a brief response to your statement, I also want to let you know that I will not make this forum a place for debate. I’d be happy to talk with you in person or directly via email, but this blog is a place for the encouragement of believers. If that is not you, , I understand. However, I know several believers who are encouraged by even these thoughts that you find so difficult to imagine.

    Response in Next Comment

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  4. Comment Continued. . .

    A Response

    Isaiah 55:6-9

    6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
    7 let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    Romans 9:19-21

    19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?

    These verses from the Bible teach us that we will not, in our sin-darkened humanity, be able to fully grasp or understand the ways of God. Too often, people believe that we, with our limited understanding, have the right or ability to sit in judgment over the choices of a God who has revealed himself as omnipotent and omniscient. Sadly, this is similar to a child who declares his or her parents to be inhumanly cruel for not allowing him or her to have something that the child wants; though the child has no possible way of grasping the reality of the situation.

    Yes, God does use our hardships to display his glory. His word makes that abundantly clear. But what his word also makes abundantly clear is that God created us for his glory, and nothing, absolutely nothing, will ever make us happier or more totally satisfied in our souls, than when we find our joy in the glory of God. God commands us to glorify him, and then he makes it so that glorifying him is what will give us the greatest happiness.

    Psalm 16:11

    You will make known to me the path of life;
    In Your presence is fullness of joy;
    In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

    Psalm 27:4

    One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
    That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
    To behold the beauty of the LORD
    And to meditate in His temple.

    Psalm 63:1-5

    O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly;
    My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You,
    In a dry and weary land where there is no water.
    Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary,
    To see Your power and Your glory.
    Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
    My lips will praise You.
    So I will bless You as long as I live;
    I will lift up my hands in Your name.
    My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
    And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

    Psalm 84:10

    For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
    I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
    Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

    Psalm 23

    The LORD is my shepherd,
    I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
    He leads me beside quiet waters.
    He restores my soul;
    He guides me in the paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.
    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I fear no evil, for You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    You have anointed my head with oil;
    My cup overflows.
    Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
    And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

    To Be Continued. . .

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  5. Continuation of comment Part 3

    Again, I understand that this concept may seem foreign or even repulsive to you. However, I also know that God’s word declares to us that God loves us, and he gives us that which will most truly satisfy our souls. This concept is not cruel, because eternity will show that the goodness of God in even our suffering will far outweigh anything we go through.

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18

    16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

    AJ, my prayer for you is that God will create in you a desire for him so that you can genuinely experience that which is the highest possible joy, experiencing his glory. There is only one way that you will experience God’s glory and your ultimate joy, and that is if you will recognize that God is good, your Creator, and your perfect judge. He is willing to forgive you of your sin and make you into his very own child if you will come to him and seek his grace through Jesus.

    John 1:12-13

    12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

    John 3:16-18

    16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

    Again, I don’t intend to follow up this discussion in a public forum. But if you would like to speak with me personally, send me an email or add a comment with your email address. I won’t publish that comment, but I will happily make contact with you to talk with you further.

    Blessings to you

    Travis

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  6. Thank you for compiling these scripture on suffering. I printed them out as I am going through a lot of physical suffering and these are really encouraging.

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