About this Class
The great aim of Satan is to prevent and weaken and, if possible, destroy faith.Satan uses pleasure and pain to do it. Pleasure: to make us doubt God’s satisfying greatness. Pain: to make us doubt God’s sovereign goodness. To triumph over Satan (in pleasure and pain) we need to know the Word of Truth that teaches God’s sovereignty over Satan.
What follows are the texts that form the skeleton of discussion when I teach the seminar on suffering as part of The Bethlehem Institute at Bethlehem Baptist Church. This is not a book on suffering. It is a collection of Biblical passages with some occasional comments. I hope that these passages from God's Word will help you forge your own strong convictions concerning God's wise and gracious sovereignty in our suffering. I pray that God will make us all better ministers of mercy and truth in times of affliction.
We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.
Ten aspects of God's sovereignty over suffering, and Satan's role in it.
Even though Satan has the power to inflict suffering in the world, God is sovereign.
In part, the meaning of global suffering is God's judgment on the world for its sinfulness and the portrayal in the physical world of the moral and spiritual horror of God-belittling sin. It is also God's message of warning and awakening that the world should take seriously their desperate moral condition. Satan is not obliterated but permitted to torment the world because it is God's purpose to glorify the power and beauty of sacrificial, sin-forgiving grace through defeating Satan progressively through the death of Christ and through its application by the Spirit in Christians' lives. Followers of Jesus will suffer because he did. Perseverance is essential.
The suffering of sickness and persecution are intended by Satan for the destruction of our faith. and governed by God for the purifying of our faith. Suffering from sickness and persecution are often indistinguishable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.