This broadcaster has 254 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
June 2, 2020 10:00 pm
Rev. Mike Hess preaches a chapel message about suffering. Today’s scripture passage is II Corinthians 1:8-10.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform will hear from Rev. Mike Hess, Mike has served as senior pastor in both Illinois and Iowa and is now the national representative for regular Baptist churches. We honored this morning to have speaking in chapel Rev. Mike Hess, Mike serves as the national representative of the general Association of regular Baptist churches in Fellowship of 1300 churches throughout the United States and around the world. Mike served for 15 years and local church pastoral ministry and we were able to develop a relationship with him over the last few years. He was voted in little over a year ago and he's a great guy and I told them that if you ever lose your job. Please come to Bob Jones University and you can be my personal bodyguard so were really thankful to have him here and I know that you be blessed by his message is so open the word and open your heart to the message of my kiss this morning morning. Thank you Dr. Pettit for your kind words were humbled were honored to be here. It's a great privilege is a great honor and I thankful for Dr. Pettit and his leadership, his friendship in the heart he has for the Lord his word in for you. The students here grab your Bibles if you would insert a second Corinthians chapter 1 in second Corinthians chapter 1 will consider today verses eight through 10. How many of you to be graduating in about a month to see her hand several graduates okay. How many of you are looking to go into local church ministry full-time in some capacity. Let me see your hands. Okay good number of you the Jeremy see the fellowship of churches that I represent, and I'm grateful to be a part of such a wonderful fellowship. We have a number of local church ministry opportunities for you and this is why I'm so grateful for this relationship between Bob Jones University and the G RBC, friends, brothers, sisters in Christ, the harvest is plentiful. The world is coming here and the need for the local church has never been greater in urine or play a big role in that wherever God sends you for his glory.
You have a tremendous opportunity to proclaim the name of Christ to make disciples for the glory of Jesus Christ. Second Corinthians chapter 1, I want to take you back several years. I want to take you back to when I was a real young man and I still remember like yesterday.
My first day sitting in my office as a pastor and I don't kinds of delusional thoughts. I thought to myself this is not going to be as hard as everybody thought or everybody said it would be. I'm not going to have any major problem people to deal with an undetermined to never get discouraged to always be encouraged and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ. What you wrestle with this question. As we look at this text today wrestle with this question and ask yourself this, what is the point of God ordained suffering. Why does God ordained this for his children. We look here at the book of second Corinthians, and this book is very practical and is very personal in the sense it's practical. The apostle Paul is taking theology and he's applying it to real-life in and theology in the Bible is not abstract or theoretical or even philosophical. It's very practical.
How does this relate to my life and is very personal in the sense of the apostle Paul is really defending himself against some attacks in the church. This church in particular were some had question his credibility because of the very suffering that he had gone through and so what is going to do here with the flow of the tax he's going to take verses three through five, where he talks about the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our afflictions and this is a passage is very near to my heart into many of your hearts if not now, it will be one day you understand that God wanted his great attributes is the fact that he loves any comforts his children as they go through difficult times and he's now going to expound on the fact that this is not some theory to him. This is very real to him. Let me expound to you. He tells his audience as to how this really has played out in my own life. If you want to have a one sentence summary of today's message is simply this, our God will often go to great lengths to force you to trust in him alone and to ensure that he gets all the glory for whatever we go through in life was picking up in verse eight for we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life, but we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead who delivered us from so great a death, and deliver, in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us, so as asses question why does God do this to his children but is a God just make life easy, why doesn't he just make ministry easy.
Why can't college be easy because for all of you here at the home stretch here were in early April. The school year is about to end. And here's a common denominator of nearly every college student that I know they're tired and they're broke financially. I mean, you does that apply to today, the tired, they're broke, why doesn't God just make this easy to connect your heart tightly to this passage were to consider today that leader to be glad that you did.
Why does God go to great lengths to force us to trust in him alone first thought is this is to show you that you cannot escape suffering. You cannot escape it so young. My cats thought this and I the right theology. I just wasn't really applying it to my life where I thought I could escape this I could avoid those things early on in ministry. You look back to bursae. Paul is saying in so many words make no mistake about it, friends.
I really went through it in Asia. Now the text doesn't tell us exactly what event he's referring to. I would tend to think probably the riot that he went through back in Ephesus that you read about a next chapter 19. So while the text doesn't tell us what exactly he's referring to. It does tell us the results of this look at some of the words that he uses he says we were utterly burdened.
This gives the idea of a heavyweight heavyweight that you're carrying that you just cannot bear under anymore and he says we were burdened beyond our strength, which means he got to the point where it was more than he could handle friends. We live in a day and age of a lot of Christian clichés. They find their ways on the coffee mugs. They find their ways into our kitchen, sometimes hanging on the wall and one of them that's popular today says God will never give you more than you can handle the fact of the matter is, is our Savior, who said in John 15 verse five that without me you can do what friends nothing you can do absolutely nothing in one of the best positions you can find yourself in in life is this is to cry out to your heavenly father and say father I cannot handle this. This is more than I can bear.
I need your help. I need your power. I need your presence and then he talks about the fact here, insomuch in verse eight that we despaired even of life in the Greek here gives the idea without getting into this of simply giving up hope.
He was at the bottom of the bottom does keep in mind who's writing this to lose sight of this.
This is the apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is not some immature Christian writing this. The apostle Paul.
Love God was submitted to him considered himself a bondslave of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul planted churches. He mentored young pastors. He shared the gospel. I'm sure if you would ask him how his personal devotions work. He probably had a very consistent prayer life. This is not an immature man but yet he's speaking very candidly, any point something out.
He suffered, he was faithful yet he suffered, he doesn't hide this is a paid any kind of allusion. He tells his audience exactly what he went through and again some in this church back in Corinth were questioning the legitimacy of his apostleship because he had suffered yet. He's pointing out that one of the marks of my legitimacy as an apostle is the fact that I did suffer not too long ago when I was pastoring back when I didn't have as many injuries as I do now.
One of the greatest places that I did discipleship with other men and my church was the weight room and we would often go to the gym and cemented my church. We would lift weights and one of the characteristics of the culture of of lifting weights is you fine guys in the weight room who will often say things like I got it I don't need your help. I don't often see you know a guy who didn't look anything like me, I kinda a small real slender guy going up under this way not be watching him on sizing up the situation thinking I'm just looking at the geometry of this in the physiology of this there is no way he can lift this weight. There's simply no way.
As I walked over and say I can help you with this. If you want me to Ohno. I got it I got it walk away.
I keep my eye on this guy. What happens about 30 seconds later. Here's the guys arching his back is got one arm higher than the other home if you've ever seen this in the waiter before, so I rush over and I lift the bar up for him and he's like thank you, thank you so much.
Here's my point. With all this. What is seen as a sign of weakness in the weight room is actually a sign of maturity for the Christian when they say this, I cannot handle life on my own.
I desperately need God's help I need his people in my life.
I need the encouragement of author of others in what Paul is making a point here. This very clear. Everybody suffers.
Everybody you're not going to be the one exception to the rule we all grieve. We all shed tears if your godly second Corinthians, their second Timothy chapter 3 teaches us. If your godly living for Christ. To some extent you will be persecuted for the stand. You take for biblical truth. No one here is exempt. Paul makes it very clear here. There's a point in this and remember God will often go to great lengths to force you to trust in him alone to get a second thought. With this, why does God do this you look at verses nine through 10.
It's to force you to rely on God alone. Look at verse nine. If you wouldn't know he kinda pivots in the tax and he says but we had the sentence of death in ourselves that we should notice the words not trust in ourselves. Here's the contrast but in God which raises the dead who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver, in whom we trust that he will deliver yet again. This verse here is so precious because it's the proof it's the proof that your suffering is not pointless. There is a purpose behind it and one of the purposes is to build your faith, not in yourself, not in your strength, not in your resources not in your own talents and abilities, but in God and God are great triune God father son Holy Spirit who does what no medical science can do.
He raises the dead. Notice the contrast or look at verse eight and then look at verse nine. Utterly burdened verse eight despaired of life. He talks about in verse nine the sentence of death to this to God to God who raises the dead liquid.
One author wrote about this God uses significant suffering to teach us to need him and when we need him we find him one of the most important keywords in this text want to highlight is rely everybody here right now is trusting in something or someone. Paul says here that God has ordained this in my life that I not live an easy life that I suffer for the cause of Christ.
And if you want to look at second Corinthians chapter 11 for future reference versus 23 and so forth. You find exactly what he went through some of the highlights he gives to his audience as to the details of his suffering. This man and his body bore the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ in this word rely conveys the truth. We no longer trust in us. Our strength or wisdom. Our resources but instead we trust in the one true God who raises the dead, and what that does is it places your hope in the rightful place.
The Hebrew understanding of the word hope this is literally this is an expectation what's our expectation in life and Paul's audience would understand suit hope in that context, it's some sort of expectation I like what Corrie 10 boom wrote years ago you probably heard this quote before. If you look at the world, you'll be distressed if you look within. You'll be depressed but if you look at Christ. You'll be at rest. Ohno modernize that phrase just a little bit to 2019. If you look at politics. You'll be distressed if you look at your sports teams, especially right now in her Chicago Cubs fan are not doing real well.
You'll be depressed but if you look at Christ. This is always relevant. You'll always be at rest will be a coldness will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, you will let your requests be made known unto God and the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts, you look here at the tax Paul doesn't say people were so people can be such a blessing. I'm blessed with. With so many precious dear supportive and encouraging friends.
It's a wonderful gift from God, but I cannot place my ultimate hope in them money can be useful but is not your ultimate source of hope. You might be healthy right now. Rest assured, you stick around, you're going to get older your body will of aches and pains. It didn't have before is just the nature of living in a fallen body be sick around her to go through some sickness. I'm reminded of the words of Psalm 33 verses 20 through 22 parcel waits for the Lord. She is our help and our shield for our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name. Think of Psalm 62 verse five for God alone all my soul waited in silence for my hope is from him that you look back at verse nine, especially the end of the verse. That's not who I am naturally, naturally, I like to think I can handle this on my own I can do this without asking for help I could widen myself sometimes and say what I can do this without praying and really from childhood you wanted to live life independently. It's the nature of our flesh, you want to ride the two wheel bicycle without your parents help you want to have your own checking account you want to be able to live, perhaps by your own rules free of any kind of supervision, but God's design for us as his children is that we live in complete dependence and trust upon him. You know the verses perhaps from childhood.
I first heard this verse and I was 17 years of age because I did not come to know Christ. So I was 17 years of age and I walked into church of the first time open the Bible for the first time as a teenage boy grew up in a home where God ordained that I never knew my real father. I the only one I have ever called father is my heavenly father. My real father left when I was a very small child and at the age of 17, God brought a friend in my life easier the gospel with me and with church one Sunday morning and got gloriously saved me the change my heart and my life and gave me new desires and I remember that if you grope insert. You probably don't remember the first time you heard this verse but I actually do remember hearing Proverbs 3, five and six trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge he will direct your path is such a simple verse but yet so profound and yet if were not careful we could make its rights in our own lives. Think of this trust in the Lord with how much of your heart, friends, all of your heart I think is Psalm 20 verse seven some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. I think of Psalm 56 verse three that when I'm afraid. Which happens to all of us kind of was a child. You're afraid of the dark when you get older and your ministry are tempted to be afraid of people. But what I'm afraid I will trust in you and there's good to be certain benchmarks. Certain mile markers you have in life. We have to wrestle with this question. Circumstances maybe have never faced before and after asked can I trust God with us, and I trust God with this what you would back at the text you want to ask want you to ask yourself this question was God involved with Paul suffering the answer to that is yes. You see that clearly in the text, God was involved. God was working in God was at work with the greater cause in a greater purpose than he could see at that time no ask yourself this right now is God involved with the troubles and the stresses in the circumstances and the problems in the sufferings that you're going through in life right now. The clear answer to that friends is yes.
Can you trust him. Can you trust in.
Can you trust him course to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you, washing the blood of his son, who died in your place on the cross was buried in three days later physically rose again from the dead, that all who repent and trust in him will be granted eternal life and brought into his family eternally secure in him can you trust him without look at the text can you rely on him when you're burdened beyond your own strength when you despair of life even use this phrase here when you receive the sentence of death. Could there be a time in your life to the me a time for us living in in a Western context were preaching the gospel would entail. This consequence this circumstance in our own lives will ask you this question and I'm asking it on my own heart, primarily where will your hope. Be that words are going to be, then who will you trust and then whatever the situation is you learn this absolute truth from this passage, God is in this. He's in this God was in it when I was a young boy confused and didn't understand the gospel in and he ordained that I would hear the gospel at the age of 17, God was in it when I lost my parents at a very somewhat young age. You look at your life right now. Whatever you're going through. God is involved. God is in it. God is at work for your good, which is always Christ likeness, and ultimately which points to his glory. She is involved. He's in it when people attack you. He's in it. When a so-called friend betrays you, he's in it. When you have more cash than you know what to do with knees and it when you wonder how in the world he can put gas in the tank to make it to work today. He said it when you're physically strong to get out of bed. You don't think much about being able to walk without pain in your strong and your young and your vibrant and using it when the simple things of life become more difficult.
Using it when ministry seems fruitful and God is blessing in so many visible ways in your rejoicing as people respond in humble positive ways to his word is also when it when ministry is slow is not a lot of visible fruit and there's discouragement that's there but always remember this. Friends are God always go to great lengths to force you to trust in him alone and to ensure that he will always get all of the glory. We serve a great God, do we not this great God created you in his image with a purpose in a direction that your life would follow the trajectory of pointing to his glory, and he will use that suffering and make sure that he will often go to great lengths so we understand that we trust in him alone. If I can encourage you with this.
Take a look at your problems here today and you can circuit a big circle around that you can say I can trust my God with this I can trust.
He is faithful.
He is trustworthy. He is dependable. He loves you and his purposes and goals for your life are greater than our own purposes and goals for our lives. Let's go to him in prayer together.
Shelley was far hearts before him let's ask him to grow our hearts and trust towards him. Father, we praise you for text like this in your word you connect our hearts deeply to them.
May you helpless father today to constantly go back to understanding you are trustworthy with whatever situation we face may bless these dear students, you encourage them, especially in the last month of the semester. May you give them strength physically, spiritually, you help them to finish strong, especially for those graduating leaving this great university make you use them in great ways for the glory of Jesus Christ proclaiming his name in whatever field he ordained for them, use them in a great way for your glory. We praise you in Jesus name in all God's people sit together you been listening to a sermon preached by Rev. Mike Hess, a former senior pastor and now the national representative for regular Baptist churches. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform