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Contentment In The Midst Of Suffering, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
July 21, 2020 8:00 am

Contentment In The Midst Of Suffering, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ to God's goal is to conform to the image of his son in a sense, to make you a much better person. The enemy's goals. He wants you to be afraid.

You want to be filled with anxiety.

He wants you to worry you. Once you then to become angry, hopefully angry at God and then he wants as an afterthought at all. He wants you to become better. How often is joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana joint pastoral governor now is once again he shows us how God's word name is Elaine and is a graduate of Princeton University and Albert Einstein College of medicine. She found herself in the middle of her OB/GYN residency. She also find yourself in more difficulty than she expected. During that residency. She she had two babies at home to care for herself, but that wasn't her biggest problem she was struggling with her eyesight so she made an appointment with an ophthalmologist and his diagnosis was recognizes big Mendoza. She was going blind. She been a Christian for eight years. Tears anguish, hysteria, no.

The first thing that Dr. Ng did was she's thanked the Lord and then she resigned her residency and went home. She writes the Lord had already started working in my heart to somehow begin to cope with this diagnosis before I ever heard I was in a residency with two children a baby and a toddler. I was torn between my children and my job when I heard the news I was startled but then blessed to realize that this was part of the Lord's answer to my dilemma, there was no point in continuing in a surgical subspecialty that would be unethical. I resigned that day.

Thank the Lord and went home and had some of the greatest years of being a full-time mother.

This so-called tragedy in my life was very much for the good. I had a chance to see and care for my children. During those precious young years to play with them and sing songs and to teach them to feed them and to all those wonderful mothering things that many take for granted and now that they're grown I can see in my minds eye all those great images, memories. I enjoyed motherhood so much that I would not have changed my life in any way.

If given the chance, is not even the end of the story as her children grew, she returned the medicine and she switched to psychiatry. 20 years later.

She is a member of the distinguished fellow of American psychiatric Association. She's also a full-time professor at alliance theological seminary in New York City, teaching, counseling, which looks back to the moment that she was told of her impending blindness. She said looking back at my diagnosis. I did not experience the normal stages of grief, but I believe what I did experience was completely Christian and divine. I would've you done with that news I would've you read spotted to that suffering is an unavoidable part of life. Everyone's life no exceptions. St. Augustine said this God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering we can avoid it. We can avoid it by being a success by being a Christian. We can't stop suffering through science and technology or even affluence suffering manifests itself in a variety of ways, physically and emotionally and relationally, spiritually, and if we could choose a life without suffering we would when way. No headaches no overdue bills. No flat tires no broken relationships, no cancer, no insomnia, no hurricanes technology would always function perfectly the saints and the pelicans would always win Jenna.

What could be a problem with that, a life without suffering would be a one-way ticket to superficial Christianity. Philip Yancey said this, there are some lessons that one can only be learned through the gift of pain. CS Lewis said, but pain insist upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, and he speaks to us in our conscience, but he shouts to us in our pains as his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. That's what I want to talk about this morning. We are in a series on contentment. My hypothesis this morning is simply this, you can be content in the midst of suffering.

In fact, you should be open your Bibles to Romans chapter 5 Romans chapter 5 in the first point will simply be this suffering is part of a very important process to us.

Suffering is part of a very important process to us is kind of interesting. By the way how Paul likes to put suffering in a context it's sort of like an ambush to the apostle Paul.

He always counters it would sorta be like this it would sorta be like a parent who hides the spinach in a hot fudge sundae. That's kind of the way the apostle Paul does this in chapter 5 of Romans. He says therefore, having been justified by faith that were justification in Greek means to be declared righteous. Having been declared righteous by faith we have peace with God. That's called reconciliation through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand and we exalt and hope of the glory of God.

All those are great things declared righteous by God having peace with God exulting in the glory of God. And then he says and not only this is more but we exalt in our tribulations were that come from we exalt in our tribulations… Hard to say in English are the same Greek… That's the word tribulation is the same word Jesus Christ uses in the all of the discourse when he describes the great tribulation of the end times. It's the same word to choose for tribulation in the book of Revelation, it means a overwhelming impending sense of doom. He says anomaly of this we also exalt in our tribulations.

Why because suffering is part of important process. Notice he says, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance and perseverance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, tribulation, perseverance, proven character, hope.

James picks up on this and he says there are various trials which produces is produced when the basis of testing which brings about endurance, which brings about maturity. That's the process. In other words, what God has found out and is always known you and I are most likely to change for the good in the context of suffering amazing thing. Think of how many times that happened so think of how many times in the context of suffering we finally got the message. Over the years it's been my privilege to deal with couples that are on the verge of ending their marriage is been a lot of suffering going on, and only when the marriage is about the end.

Are they willing to make the changes necessary to make the marriage what it should be.

There's a context in suffering. Lewis is right, God shouts to us in a megaphone when it comes to this idea of suffering and he doesn't leave us to our own.

Notice he says in verse five and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within you Petersons cast your cares upon me, for I care for you in Psalm 103 is that I am like a father he said I have compassion on my children as I see them suffer. The apostle Peter picks this up in a little bit different way to with me now to first Peter chapter 5, first Peter chapter 5 in verse six. Peter's approach is similar but different than Paul's in verse six he says therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he might exalt you with the proper time casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you and then he says, be of sober spirit, be on the alert, and now we see the other side of the coin of suffering. He said your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour but resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect and confirm and strengthen and establish you see someone else is interested in our suffering as well. Not just God, our adversary, he says he has a different goal in mind though using God's goal is to conform to the image of his son in a sense, to make you a much better person but the enemies goes different. He wants you to be afraid.

He wanted to be filled with anxiety. He wants you to worry.

He once you then to become angry, hopefully angry at God and then he wants as an after thought of it all.

He wants you to become bitter.

How often does he get his wishes. Some of you have suffered many many years ago and you still carry the latent anger and bitterness in your heart. You see you still carry it. The enemy has used the suffering, not for the glory of God. But in order to ruin your relationship with God.

Suffering is part of a very important process.

Something else I might surprise you. Even our perfect Lord suffered.

And there was a reason for it told me now to Hebrews chapter 2 Hebrews, few pages to your left. Chapter 2 I think sometimes were supplies, not by just the suffering of the cross but the Christ suffered even long before the cross in Margate. Mark writes he began to teach his disciples of the Son of Man was going to suffer many things they were surprised but in Hebrews 2 in verse 10, the writer of Hebrews writes this, he says, for it was fitting for him for whom are all things and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory. He says to perfect the author of their salvation through suffering. Now that word author is not really a good translation. The word pioneer might be better. The pioneer of their salvation. Notice what he is saying is that the suffering for Jesus Christ, had a purpose to perfect that word perfect is the word telling us it's the word on the cross is finished. It means to finish something to perfect something it means to mature.

It means complete. That's what it means. This idea that there is a maturation process or completion and notice he says to complete the author of their salvation through suffering.

In other words, the humanity of Jesus Christ suffered why what did improve improve this proven character. You see suffer exactly the way God would've intended him to suffer the way he would intend us to suffer hidden suffering was filled with anger or anxiety or worry.

You see he didn't become bitter, but he did suffer. Notice verse 10 AMI verse 18. He says for since he himself was tempted in that which he suffered. He is able to come to the aid of all those who are tempted, there is always a temptation in suffering there is always a temptation. The greatest temptation we have when we suffer is what victimization would become victimized. All woe is me look all terrible. This is what's going on in my life. There is a temptation here, he says, Jesus understands that temptation. In fact, he gets a little more profound, just two pages. The chapter 5 of the book of Hebrews a look at verse eight it says although he was a son, he learned obedience from the things which he suffered. How we struggle with diapers committees perfect why we have to learn obedience is talking about his humanity. You see once again how does Christ prove his sinless character. By the way, suffered. You see, by the way he suffer, he becomes our model are pioneer and think of were his suffering led him is very different than ours. It's not like he was dumped by your boyfriend or girlfriend, or I didn't get a promotion.

You see, or that house we thought we had all locked up. The deal fell through. Not that kind of suffering. This is the kind of suffering on the cross. This is the kind of suffering that caused him to cry, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me, and yet he was obedient through and he becomes in that sense, our example turn with me to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 verse 12. What's how the Paul the apostle Paul puts this together are suffering and his suffering, he says. So then brethren, we are under obligation not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. If you live a set according to the flesh must die. But if by the spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live for all who are being led by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God, for you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, Abba, father, and interesting word I've said in the past. The word Auburn's Aramaic not Greek, the only English equivalent would be daddy and what he means by that is we have intimacy with God. A tender term, not just as our heavenly father, but in a sense is her daddy and then he says the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God again. Notice how positive this is. And then he says, and if children errors also, heirs of God fellow heirs with Christ, willing children of God.

But where's fellow heirs with Christ. Well, I've read the end of the book, and I'm sure you have two but how much does Jesus inherit everything in your fellow where in this great I guess is August member what this is idea spinach hot fudge sundae watch, he says, and if children errors. Also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. Indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with suffering is unavoidable. You see, to the Philippians in chapter 2 we call it the Fellowship of suffering with Christ the coy Anita the partnership of suffering with Christ while once again.

This led Peter speak to this. Go to first Peter chapter 4 this time first Peter chapter 4, and he adds to it in an unusual way, but he says something I think we all need to hear. Chapter 4, first Peter in verse 12 he said beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you.

That's what he adds, he says, look reasonably surprised to see if I was to ask you to raise your hands and set how many you believe there suffering in the world you will raise your hand and I said how many you believe there suffering everywhere in the world all and how many believe that every day people are suffering in this world raise her hand right. How many believe that right now people are suffering right now all over the world. Raise your hand, then why is it that when suffering comes up on your porch and rings your doorbell you go to the door and go what how can you possibly be here were surprised by you see were not surprised by the notion that other people suffer were surprised by the notion that were going to suffer. Peter says don't be surprised she don't be naďve. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery are due among you, which comes upon you for your testing. There it is again, as though some strange thing were happening to you, but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that he says also at the revelation of his glory, you may rejoice with exultation says four things there one, don't be surprised to.

It's a test. By the way, is not a test receipt for God to see where you are spiritually it's a test for you to see where you are spiritually. Thirdly, he says, the more suffering. Your life can actually bring more joy in your life really, and then he says, and by the way, suffering has huge future dividends with God while so suffering is part of an important process, even our perfect Lord suffered in. Thirdly, and most application only and most importantly suffering is too important to waste. Please understand what I'm saying. Suffering is too important to waste going to give you some sort of like steps or maybe some tips that can really help you have a sense of contentment even in the midst of suffering. The first one is this share the suffering when you're suffering shared were designed by God to share it in Galatians chapter 6 verse two pulses bear one another's burdens. I've said in the past. In the New Testament, there are 39 one another's believers responsibility to other believers.

One of those is the comfort one another in Romans 12 in verse 15, Paul says mourn with those who mourn, you see Sherritt if you are suffering.

Sherritt there is a Danish proverb that says sorrow shared his half of sorrow and the reason I say you have to share is with your really suffering. A lot of times you gonna find it. People don't know what to say to you, they don't and so consequently they're afraid to come up to you and talk to you about it if you love someone you love.

They don't know what to say. You see, if you have some horrific diagnosis. They don't know what to say so they don't say anything because they're afraid to hurt you to take the initiative.

Share your suffering with them. Just go to them and talk to them about it asking for prayer. Pray with them, then, and I think you'll find by Schillinger suffer very helpful for you festival never on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you decide to listen to the message one more time. Remember, you can go to a great website called one that's one and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online at that website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as Fellowship in the Word.

We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC that FVC and oh LA.O RG in our website you will find hundreds pastoral sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series you're looking you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for. You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC forecaster Bill Gebhart and Jason Gebhart.

Thank you for listening to fellowship in order

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