Dear Bros in Christ, Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Brothers in Christ, this monthly devotional is sent and meant to be an encouragement to all and to build up and edify in the Lord Jesus Christ. Oikodome means "Builder". The Lord has put this on my heart to send out a monthly Iron Man Oikodome {oy-kod-om-ay'} to build up and encourage the men who love and follow Jesus Christ in their walk with Him. Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Hebrews 3:13 "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." NOVEMBER 2007 FRUITFULLY SUFFERING FOR HIS PURPOSE JOB 2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. Bros, do you ever wonder why God allows suffering. Why did God have to allow satan to strike Job with the boils from head to toe? Have you ever had a boil, I mean one would be enough suffering for each one of us for a lifetime. But God allows Job to be covered with painful boils and they are indeed extremely painful and slow to come to a place where they reach full maturity so they can begin the healing process. I cannot think of a more painful place to be than covered with boils that is suffering to the max. So many of us often ask why God allows suffering, why would He allow such horrific suffering to happen to His children, He is our loving Father. This question has to be the most painful question that confronts the believer. Many of us I am sure have suffered many things over the course of our life, some harsher than others. But what is the purpose of suffering, what good can come from it, why bring suffering or allow it, isn’t there another way, can’t we just talk about it and resolve it that way. “Let’s not and say we did” as the old saying goes… No, God would not allow that, He has a purpose for our suffering. His design is divine and we can never know or recognize the fruit when we are in the midst of great suffering, but as Job learned there was great fruit produced during and at the end of the suffering. Purposes of suffering: To produce fruit something has to grow. If we allow suffering to accomplish its purpose, it can bring out patience, joy, knowledge and maturity. Let’s look at a few scriptures to see these fruits… Bringing out patience; Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise… James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. Bringing out joy; Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalm 126:6 He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him. Bringing out knowledge; Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O LORD, And teach out of Your law… Bringing out maturity; 1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. Now while I know most all of us have suffered, some greatly more than others. I am sure none of us after reading these very real truths in Gods word are saying “BRING IT ON” lets see some boil action. But quite the opposite I am sure, but it does bring great comfort to know that God does have a plan in allowing suffering. Suffering as coming from God to bring out the best in us but the other side of suffering is satan attempts to use the same suffering and temptation to bring

out the worst in us. We know that God does not temp us. I like Gods side better’ we suffer with the purpose to produce fruit and bring out the best in us. Satan will make the worst nightmare for us and produce the worst of everything including rotten fruit… There are many other reasons to allow suffering; to silence the devil. Satan accused Job of serving God because of material blessings involved. But God allowed the devil to torment Job and to suffer to make obvious that His servant Job loved Him because of who He was and not for what Job could get from Him. Also, many other reasons for suffering are to glorify God, to make us like Jesus, to teach us dependence, to refine our lives, to rebuke our sin and enlarge our ministry towards others. It has been said that whoever suffers much speaks many languages or understands others. Bros, how should we respond to suffering when the Lord allows us to experience suffering? We should determine first of all why we may be going through this suffering. That begins with seeking the Lord. We can suffer because of our position or disposition. In 1 Peter 2:18, 19 Peter brings that to our mind when he says “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.” As Believers we can also act in response to suffering by despising it, treat it without due consideration. Esau responded this way with his birthright as we look at Hebrews 12:5, 16 “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;” 16“lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.” Esau responded with despise in his heart, he treated his birthright too lightly. Another way we can respond to suffering is to faint under it or become weakened or treat it way too seriously. Again keep in mind the previous scripture reference of Hebrews 12:5 "My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;” And finally we can be exercised or instructed by it, to receive all that God wants to do in allowing us to suffer. This is the response most wanted by God, He loves us and wants us to grow and mature and bear much fruit. As we commit our pain and suffering to God knowing He is faithful even when we are not and will work out all these things for our good and to His glory. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. James says to rejoice or count it all joy when we encounter these trials or suffering seasons… James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, … 1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. Bros, what more can we say then if it is our Fathers purpose for us when we need His will in our lives than to be changed by whatever way He chooses to produce His desired results and if it’s His purpose that’s accomplished what can we say but we Love you Lord and thank you for First Loving us! In Him we rest, Daniel Wright Iron Man Oikodome Proverbs 27:17 PRAYER REQUESTS: If you have prayer, requests we will send out email prayer requests to the men in a discreet manner that respects your privacy if you so desire and glorifies the Lord. The main thing is to lift up your needs and bring them before our Father. That would be an honor and a privilege. To have your email address removed from future mailings please reply to ironmanoikodome@earthlink.net and type "PLEASE REMOVE" in the subject box, thank you! To view the Iron man Oikodome website please click on the link below or copy and paste to your browser. http://home.earthlink.net/~ironmanoikodome/