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Here's our hosts, Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Well, welcome back to Man Talk Radio, and you're sitting out there right now, listener, and you might be going through something. You are going through something, and you don't actually know why you're going through it, but you're feeling, you have feelings of anxiety, maybe. You have feelings of trouble.
You have feelings of worry. You don't know quite where you fit and why you're going through what you're going through. Well, that's called suffering. We are to suffer for Christ. Now, there is suffering that we go through, which is not, and suffering in any sense is not good, but when we go through it, knowing who is holding our hand, knowing who is the one who is keeping us secure in our faith, the one who basically has our back, and that's the Lord Jesus Christ. So what we want to talk about is suffering, and suffering, and what is it? What is suffering? Why do I have to go through suffering? And see, suffering, we did a word study on suffering, and a lot of the Greek words that talk about suffering in the scriptures have these meanings. To undergo hardship, to endure something, maybe you have a disease or a condition, or you have a feeling, pain, or distress.
So these are the type of words, definitions of suffering that is found in scripture. So when you ask yourself why I'm going through what I'm going through, maybe it's because we haven't talked to God today, and we want to do things on our own. Maybe it's because we start seeing things in a different light than what we saw before, because suffering is, it can make you, build you up, draw you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, or it can pull you away from the Lord Jesus Christ. And all of what we're going through, we have to ask ourselves the question, why is it that I'm going through what I'm going through? Because I believe when we go through things, there's always a reason why we go through what we're going through.
And we have to search out what that reason is. We have to understand that the reason why we're going through it, I don't want to put myself in a position to where I'm to where I'm going to cause myself to suffer. So you can put yourself in certain positions and you can bring about suffering on your own, Roy, but there are times to when other people who you might be encountering cause you to suffer, and it might be no fault of your own.
Yeah, Will, that's a great lead in for this. And when you think about suffering, we oftentimes, it was woe unto me, right? Rather than what is God trying to teach me? What is God trying to temper me for in the future?
And, you know, we love James because we always talk about being a man book and we've got several other scripture references. But one, as you were walking through that, Will, it comes to mind as James one, two through five, and it says, consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, let perseverance to finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and will be giving to you. So there is that the, one of the answers, right? We're supposed to let the perseverance kind of run its course and teach him, mold us and shape us and finding joy among suffering. And see, that's a hard thing. It is.
It is. And I think we got, we confuse joy with happiness. Joy is eternal. Joy is that deep down anchoring that God has us, right? We're happy. We're excited that God has us. We know that comfort is there.
It's not an emotional, it's a conscious state. If you will. I like using the example, and I've used this with the church members that if I have some, well, I like strawberry ice cream. So if I have some strawberry ice cream and I'm eating that strawberry ice cream, I'm happy that I have it.
It's cold. It tastes good going down. But then Roy, when I finished the ice cream cone, now it's sort of like, I'm sad because the ice cream, as long as I had it and I was eating it, it was making me happy. It gave me happiness, but see, it was only temporary because once it's gone, now I have nothing to be happy about it anymore. So, but, but again, it's that joy.
That joy is eternal. And of course we, we wrote an article on TAWCMM where it talked about, I wrote it, it was the convergence of belief in faith toward truth. And it's a really, it's a thinking article. And, but when it comes to suffering, Roy, we want to know maybe too soon before we finish going through what God wants to take us through, we want to interrupt, if you will, the process and not let God mold us all the way through it like Job.
Yeah. That's the, even non-believers know the story of Job, right? I mean, that scares everybody.
And I think that's a great point, Will. I think there's a certain fear in all of us that as a follower of Christ, we know there will be suffering, but how difficult and how deep will that suffering be? And I, and I think as followers of Christ, we have to just immediately flip back that he's never going to put more on us than we can handle, right? And we know that he has us undergirded just like he did with Job. He knew exactly how the story was going to end, right? That's why he told the devil, said Job will not fail. And he knew because Job, Job had, he was anchored and he had joy in all that God had blessed him with. He didn't have happiness.
He may have had those moments of happiness, but he knew that his joy was rooted in the father. Well, and it's, and it's hard for, I think people to understand how can I be happy or joyous while I'm suffering and see, and that's, that's the big enigma when it comes to understanding why you're going through a particular thing. And again, you may not fully understand why you're going through it, but if you let God endure, for example, in 1 Corinthians 13 and 4, love suffers long and it's kind.
It does not envy. It suffers long. In other words, it endures.
See that's, that's the word endure. So, so when a person is coming against you in such a way that may cause you to fall or stumble, then you have to remember and revert back to love. The person may not understand and most of the time they don't on why they're saying awful things to you, why they're not visiting you if they think you should visit them, you know? So, so they may have this bottled up animosity and you don't even know about it. And yet the individual has this, you, you're suffering these afflictions as a result of something you may not even be cognizant of. And so, so in a sense, in a sense you're suffering from afar, but then when you encountered a person, now you're suffering face to face because chances are, if you ask them what's wrong, you know, now they might just spill it all out.
You know, that, that's the other thing, Will, right? And when we're in the middle of these storms, we should be willing to be open with a brother or sister that can pray for us. That can pray for us. And men, you should be transparent with a, with a brother and women, you should be transparent with a sister in Christ that can be praying for you.
And also pray for your security and in this process and just the reaffirming that the Holy Spirit can wash over you to, to bring that joy back if you've lost it or to re-reinstate it, if you will, and to provide comfort that only He can provide. Exactly. And see, and it goes on to say, love does not parade itself.
It's not, it's not puffed up. In other words, it doesn't, it doesn't say, I'm better than you, or my love is stronger than your love. God loves us all the same.
He doesn't love anyone any more than He does the other. So God's love is constant, if you will. It's, it's, it's not, it's not partial because you sit in this position, you have this much money, you know, you preach to this many people. He, there's no partiality when it comes to God. Amen. So He loves us all the same because He sees us through His Son.
Amen. And folks, that's important to remember. He loves you. And we, we, we talk about that, but it's a good time to stop and think about that because many, many people out there in the middle of trials right now, we know either financial, physical, what it, whatever it may be, um, child that's gone off the radar, you know, any number of things, but God knows all this. He's already been there for you. And it's important just to sit back and meditate on Him, on His word and what it is that He has planned for you and your, and your family. And, and think about, you know, from our previous show, you know, uh, heaven is for real.
You, you're in this life for just a very short time in the scheme of eternity, no matter what suffering you're going through. Uh, and I think about long suffering. It comes up in terms of marriage for some reason. And honey, I'm not saying you're making me long. I'm just saying that, uh, long suffering, because that, that is the situation where the, the emotions go up and down if you're married for any length of time. And if you're solely depending on your walk with Christ to be an emotional up all the time, then, then you're really going to be let down. And you just need to understand that it's the, you're making a conscious decision to love Christ and to follow Christ.
Absolutely. And from that will come those emotions that go up or down at times, but He's always got you. That's the beautiful part.
He's always got you. And see, I like calling first Corinthians 13 for the laundry list of love, because, because it tells you what love is and it tells you what love does and what we should do. If we are allowing ourselves to be led by love. So when we come back, we're going to continue talking about suffering because we all suffer, but don't suffer for unrighteousness folks, suffer for righteousness sake, suffer for doing the right thing in God. Amen. And don't, don't, don't, don't stop.
Don't let go. PAWCMM would love to have you join their community of men for breakfast every first and third Friday of every month. They have Bible discussions and fellowship after the best breakfast in town. The meeting location is at their gracious post-church First Christian Church in Kernersville, 1130 North Main Street in Kernersville.
They have a hard start at seven o'clock and a hard stop at eight o'clock. First time visitors eat for free. Join your hosts Will Hardy and Roy Jones Jr., a black guy and a white guy. Affordable chiropractic in High Point, as you might tell from their name, affordable chiropractic, even for the cash patient. Dr. Jeff Rickey has been caring for patients in High Point for 34 years. Physical therapy, such as ultrasound and spinal decompression for disc conditions, such as herniation, comprehensive care for auto accident injury patients with no out-of-pocket expense. Remember affordable chiropractic on West Lexington Avenue in High Point.
Call 336-885-1987. Yes, we're talking about the laundry list of love and suffering and suffering. See, cause see, if you if you're acting in love, then what it does is suffering is abased. In other words, it's brought low because you're letting love dominate your your walk in your life. Love does not behave rudely. See, so if someone is being rude to you and causing you to get off course or off track from the walk that God has set you on, think about the laundry list of love. It's not it doesn't behave rudely and it does not seek its own.
But this is the one I like. It is not provoked. See, so it's not provoked. So so if someone comes up to you and say, you're a Jesus freak, what are you doing talking about believing in God and going on and all this stuff in attempting to provoke what you believe? Then the word of God tells me that I'm not condemned based on what they're saying because of Romans eight and one. There is therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
So if I'm doing that and I'm operating in love, then it's like talk to the hand. You know what what they're saying will not have a effect on me spiritually. Because, see, what we see is what we see. I mean, we see individuals provoking us. And that's going to stir up and maybe cause some ill will feelings, stir up the flesh. Absolutely. And that's why you've got to be praying right amidst all that going on. Right.
And do the laundry list. Exactly. Because if you'll pray through that and just know I'm supposed to show love and be loved through this process, it makes it bearable. And I won't say it makes it easy. It makes it bearable because you're at a higher calling.
And I think that's the key term, right? Higher calling, suffering because of higher calling, loving because of higher calling, sacrificing because of a higher calling. And if we'll keep all those things in mind, you are answering to a higher calling. Your calling is from a higher being. You're following God and following Christ. So if we think about that, we'll love because I'm answering to a higher calling. I'm suffering because I'm falling in a higher calling. I'm doing all these things.
I'm serving because I'm at a higher calling. And I think we've missed that sometimes, as you know, as you were just sharing the insights that we miss those things as a follower of Christ that we're not we forget that we're, you know, in this world, but we're not supposed to be of this world. Exactly.
Right. And your presence should be different. You should look different because if you look just the way everybody else looks as the non-believer behave as the non-believer does, what does that say to the person who looks at you when you try to witness to them? If you don't endure, if you don't turn the other cheek, if you're not serving all these things that are components of the love and other various aspects of what Christ has told us to do and shown us how to do, we're really hurting our walk and our witness. So and back to the original to suffer, not to suffer. We're all going to suffer. We're all going to suffer. It's not a matter of if, it's just a matter of when you're going to have a journey. So it's not optional, Roy. In other words, you can choose to say today, I'm just not going to suffer. How about that? But see you, that, those are some things you just don't have any control over because we don't know what's going to happen five minutes from now or 50 minutes.
That's right. But we know every time you come with me, you've got to hanging out with me for, but wait a minute now. So, so, but I'm gonna throw at you Romans 8 and 18, for I consider that the sufferings of this present life cannot be compared for the things which God has prepared for those who love him. So in other words, we all have great reward when he gets home for hanging out with me every week. Well, and you know, you know, that's a blessed verse right there, that Romans 8, 18, because I think what it shows, Roy, is that God is blessing through the apostle Paul to say, whatever it is you're going through, if you're going through for the right things, if you're going through for the right reason and not bringing it on on yourself, but if you're going through for the right reason, what you will get when you leave this life far exceeds the suffering that you've gone through. That's good, Will.
And it was your talk about that. It just comes back about Romans 12 about renewing the mind, which we talk all the time about is, do you think it's important for the person to renew their mind if they're in the middle of the suffering? Well, if they don't, Roy, if they will have a tendency, I believe, to continue to allow the flesh to dominate whenever suffering comes and by whatever means it comes, because, you know, again, we can control the flesh if we allow the spirit of the living God to rule and reign in our life at the time that we're going through our suffering, because, see, when you're suffering, it's just a natural tendency, Roy, to focus on whatever it is you're going through and not focusing on the one who is able to rid you of whatever it is you're going through, because he can deliver you and take you from a place of where you are and bring you through that thing. And when you're on the other side, it's just everlasting joy. And we can rest on the fact he's never going to leave us.
Never. But in Romans 8, 17, I'm sorry, 837. No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I'm convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Yeah. And see, Roy, because God has already promised, if you do this, you will never be separated. Amen. But if you don't do it, then you will be separated and then we'll default to the flesh. Now, here's a verse in 1 Peter, chapter 4, verses 12 and 13. Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fire trial, which is to try you as though some strange thing has happened to you. See, so it's not strange when you go through for the sake of Christ.
It's not a strange thing and you shouldn't look at it as a strange thing. You should look at it as this is something that I'm going through. And whatever it is I'm going through, look toward the reward. Lord, when I go through in your name, I'm looking for when I get to heaven, what you will have for me.
And my joy will far exceed my suffering at that time. I said, oh, Lord, that's just a blessing. It's just a blessing to me, Roy, because it put things in perspective.
It's like we were talking to Lee Strobo on last week's show. What a blessed man. You all need to go out and get those books that we were talking about, too, by the way, last week, A Case for Heaven, A Case for Miracles, A Case for Faith, A Case for Christ, A Case for Grace. And he's written over close to 40 books. And because the way the books are structured, Roy, he talks about suffering. People who were suffering. And he mentioned Barbara, you know, in A Case for Miracles.
I mean, here's a lady who had progressive multiple sclerosis. And she I mean, she was so deformed in the fetal position, in bed, had stayed in bed for years. And she heard a voice.
See, here's the miracle. Here's what we can't understand. She was suffering, folks. And remember earlier we gave you the definitions of suffering. One of them was to feel pain or distress. Well, that's what she was going through in her body. She was feeling pain. She was feeling distress.
She was bed bound for six or seven years. And she heard a voice and the voice said, rise up, my child, and walk. So see, Roy, think about all of the people who were praying for her.
And see, this is where as Lee Strobel was talking about, the corroboration comes in. Because what happened is there was all kinds of medical evidence of what was happening to her physically. And all of a sudden, people were praying for her, but yet nothing happened. But until she heard the voice, until she heard the voice, the voice said, my child, get up and walk. And she said, all of a sudden, my hands, because her hand, folks, were so bent. According to the book, her hand was so bent, her fingers could touch her wrist. She didn't have any more control over her bowels and things like this. And it was so joyous to hear when God healed her, not the suffering that she was going through, but when God healed her. All of a sudden, she said, I rolled out of bed. It's in the book. I rolled out of bed, and all of a sudden, her joints and muscles begin to function again.
Were restored. And here's a lady, Roy, for years. How can you explain that? And see, this is why I'm glad Lee Strobel, Roy, took that journey. You know, Will, what a great story and just illustration of how God will pull you through the suffering. It may be healed while you're here, or it may be once you pass on. And that's back to what we've talked about.
This is just a short piece of time. And to think about the atrophy, as we were talking about off there, that she had gone through over five or six years. And then all of a sudden, physically, it would be impossible to get up and walk without the healing just because of the atrophy that had set in on the muscles. I mean, we all know what that's like. Just in a month or two of an injury, if you're inactive, the muscle tissue goes quick, much less five or six years.
And this is why physical therapy, they want you to get up like a day or two after you had surgery, things like that. Exactly. Well, Will, this has been a great discussion around suffering. And folks, there's nothing easy about suffering. Nothing.
Nothing. And we see it with our children. We see it with our spouses.
We see it in our families. What we want you to take away from this is that it's part of the journey. And it makes us stronger. It makes us more faithful. It improves our relationship with our Father because we've become more dependent. And sometimes, Will, sometimes that's the reason these things happen.
Because we've gotten so used to being on our own, even though we're quote unquote, a Christ follower. He says, look, I'll make it to where you want to come back and talk. And he sometimes puts us through these journeys or allows us to go through these journeys. But folks, we have just been blessed to be with you. Thank you for listening each week. We just want to give special thanks to Will for the prep on the suffering thing. And again, thanks to Lee Strobel for last week's program. So good to have you. Join us February 4th and 5th. See him live in Kernersville, North Carolina at the Summit on Friday night co-ed and men's summit on Saturday. God bless you all.
Thank you so much. As we wrap up today's show, be assured that TAWCMM, Talking and Walking Christian Men's Ministry, is building a community of men that are Christ followers with a desire to be servant leaders in their homes, communities, churches, and work environments. Check out our website for upcoming events and regularly scheduled meetings. Drop us a note for topics that you would like to have us visit in the future. Thank you for joining us on Man Talk today. Visit us at www.tawcmm.com. Men, walking the talk.
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