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July 22, 2020 8:00 am
Today on the Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ and others are saying that suffering introduces a person see you really come to know really all sort of a fašade. Everything one just reduce her life suffering no suffering is a rigorous classroom but it's also the joining of today on this additional fellowship of the word pastor broke apart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going pastor build up her mouth. Once again he shows us how God's word. Our world with me to Walmart Romans chapter 8 verse 12 what tell 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 flash if you live a set according to the flesh, you must die 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 Abba is 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 our 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 wears followers with Christ. Well, I read the end of the book, and I'm sure you have two but how much does Jesus inherit everything in your fellow where is this great I guess is all this and remember 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 let 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, please don't be 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 your hand right. How many believe that right now people are suffering right now all over the world. You raise your hand, then why is it that when something comes up on your porch and rings your doorbell you go to the door needle. What how can you possibly be here were surprised by this, he was 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 na´ve. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ideal 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.
He says four things there one, don't be surprised to. It's a test. By the way, it's not a test receipt for God to see where you are spiritually it's a test for you to see where you are spiritually fairly. 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. And thirdly, and most application only and most importantly suffering is too important a 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 share were designed by God to share it in Galatians chapter 6 verse two Paul says 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 Sherritt is with your really suffering.
A lot of times you can find it. People don't know what to say to you, I don't and so consequently they're afraid to come up to you and talk to you about it if you lost 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 and so they don't say anything because are afraid to hurt you. So take the initiative. Share your suffering with them. This go to them and talk to them about it. Ask them for prayer. Pray with them, then, and I think you'll find by sharing your suffering.
It will be very helpful for you this next one's a little more difficult and went to the term just back a couple pages, the James chapter 1. The second step would be this. Thank God for if suffering in your life. Thank God for. Notice what James writes, beginning in verse two, he says, considerate, all joy fully.
I've I find I wish he didn't say that I wish he would've said considered as potentially positive situation, but he doesn't. He says considerate all joy. I've never say that in less that's the potential of the verse considered all joy, my brother and when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith. There it is again produces endurance, the same as perseverance and let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, and lacking in nothing.
In other words, in you mature, you become more like your Savior. You become a better person. That's what James is saying thank God. Praise God, seek praise and gratitude have an interesting thing. There are powerful painkillers.
You see, once I start praising and thanking God for what I have seen Dr. Elaine named G she was losing her sight, she could become better. The rest of her life.
I'm never going to be in OB/GYN. That's what I wanted to be and look what happened to me what you focus on her children what the dead giver time with their children. You see, she focused on that, so much so that when it was over. She said I would've never changed anything because of the opportunity I have with my own children see considerate all joy when you encounter various trials in acts chapter 5, the apostles were flawed not.
I don't know exactly what that would mean, but I'm guessing it's not a pleasant experience ended after they were flawed. It says they went away rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Jesus I wasn't that great guy. We got the sucker for the Lord member of the apostle Paul did. I told you one in the early sermons and contentment all the things that he went through and he said you know what I consider those as almost nothing compared to the surpassing glory that awaits me see, there is not sense I thanking or appraising of God.
Now I know something that's unusual and it's counterintuitive in its countercultural, there's no doubt in my mind about that. How can I how can I have joy. How can I have contentment in the midst of this will first of all, I know that he'll be there.
I'll never leave you nor forsake you. I also know that in Romans 828 all things are going to work together for my good. I know that's going to be true as well. I also know from the book of Philippians. I can do all things through him strengthens me. These are what I know when I'm facing this kind of problem in my life. You see, what feels often like something is telling us down is really building itself when it feels when it feels like it's a harmful thing.
It may turn out to be a very positive and good thing so you can share the suffering. You can praise and thank God. And this is the one you been waiting for that you really like this go back to Psalm 10 Psalm 13.
Psalm 13 this is the one you like the most of it. Go ahead and complain about it. Yes, that's right, you can complain about the reason we complain is by the way, suffering is painful and overwhelming. Sometimes you see and it's wonderful God says: complain about it.
The Psalm 13 is a Psalm of David. That's right, David, a man called after God's own heart, and apparently he's in a suffering situation so I love the way he starts the song how long the Lord will you forget me forever notice at how long will you forget me forever. How long will you hide your face for me.
How long shall I take counsel in my soul having sorrow in my heart all that day.
How long will my enemy be exalted over me. How long Megan feel this pain is okay to save you see it's okay to say that I call that praying your humanity how long it was not okay to do. It's not okay to judge and accuse God it's not okay to say to God you're not good because if you were good this one be in my life that you judging God is not good for us to hide from God, but you can say the Lord how long notice the pain that is under verse three considering answer me oh Lord my God, enlighten my eyes or I will sleep the sleep of death. This agony is killing me see again no naivety here in Scripture is painful.
It's difficult suffering always is.
You have this right to complain to God. Number four share the suffering. Thank God complain to God, but please never waste the pain don't waste the pain is and what would you say that because I've seen so many people do it over all these years I have been with so many people that have suffered in our church and they wasted the pain.
What I mean by that is I never learned anything from they never tap into got it all. You see, the way this process works you see will have comp how to how to suffering work on my behalf would notice the words are used in door persevere. What does it take to endure and persevere. According to Hebrews 11 takes faith and by the way what the suffering do. It drives me to God. There's nothing else I can do.
You see there's nothing nowhere else to turn. I can fix this myself. Lord, I'm driven to you and so what happens here for so many people instead of that happening.
What is happening in our lives is the only thing they will say is woe is me. I been victimized in this is terrible and I don't know why God let this happen to my life and they never learn from it and the reason it's so bothersome to me and so hard to witness as I wonder sometimes I just going to prolong the suffering.
You see, God is relentless in his pursuit of conforming you to the image of his son is you want us is going to do it and he knows that suffering is the best methodology to transform us into the image of Christ. So consequently, don't waste the pain you so you sure that that's the right way to go, but let's think of a couple analogies.
What about sports you think about of my point of view. One of there's no suffering in sports.
I'm getting visibly no improvement, there's no suffering. There's no improvement. There's no development. There's no strengthening. You see what the what are they accomplish and practice see what he could do that. Why do you keep running in your training. You see why you work on your endurance and your strength. Why because I tell you something. I don't know how it is for everybody but every sport I've ever played. Except maybe baseball practice is painful it is.
This is painful.
That's the whole idea of it. The ideas to push you push you push you push you why. So would you be able to perform is either the suffering. In a sense is what it is the perfect you think of the military boot camp escrow some see what are they doing boot camp what tell me all your choices that you have in boot camp.
None except what endure, persevere, stay at it, why they have a goal of mine.
You see, they have a goal in my name.
Want to make you a soldier you see in there's pain and that you see that works in our life, we see that in life that we often so often don't see it all when it comes to our spiritual life. Dr. Richard Swanson says this body hurts our brain hurts our spirit hurts. We cry, we can't sleep.
We endure high levels of stress and anguish.
We cry some more.
We wonder if we can possibly make it around the neck slap but when the dark Knight clears and we graduate to what comes next, we have gained perseverance and character in patients strength and experience insensitivity and compassion and maturity in depth and fortitude. Granted, it's a risky strategy, but there is no other way God can give us such accelerated growth. Remember always that this loving God suffered for us, and suffers with us still.
It is safe to trust him in the storm to have contentment in his will, and to wait for understanding until later share the suffering.
Thank God complain to God never waste the pain and lastly welcome the lesson welcome the lesson.
You know there's a saying that suffering introduces a person to themselves.
Think about you see you really come down the know who you really are. When you suffer is sort of a fašade when everything is going just so well in our lives but will reduce our lifetime to suffering and enduring and persevering, we kinda know who we are. Suffering is a rigorous classroom but it's also the birthplace of courage exceeds the birthplace of courage. So the question comes down to will you learn the lesson.
Is he suffering is a part of a very important process to us. Our growth even our perfect Lord suffered.
And when not to waste our suffering, France's Kragen pain's wrote this life consist of learning lessons in passing test the integrity of God requires that are alarming not be a mere head knowledge, but that our hearts be conformed to the image of Christ.
Indeed, before the Lord is through with us the way of Christ will be more than something we just know it will be something that we instinctively choose in the midst of suffering in the battle. This is where we graduate into the real and true power of God you can be content in the midst of suffering, you should be content in the midst of suffering asked Jesus as Paul asked Peter asked Dr. Elaine Ng never tell you the same spring father. There is probably no more unpopular topic among your children as among any group of people suffering and pain. Father, we want to avoid it at all costs. We will go out of our way to not have to experience it, but father that's na´ve and are part we live on this planet we live in this fallen world, and father.
We all suffer.
Every single one of us. Father, I would pray that when suffering rings our doorbell. We see suffering is something that you will use you will turn the pain into our good and your glory. And that's who are suffering we can have a sense of contentment, and even inner joy and father after we have suffered we can use that experience to minister to others who are suffering in a similar way. Father, I thank you for Jesus Christ, not just the life that he lived with the suffering that he had not only in his life.
But on the cross for without that suffering father had no relationship with you. Father I pray we learn the lesson become content in the midst bursa and pastoral giver on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.
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