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November 23, 2020 3:00 am
It's no surprise that we experience hardships and difficulties in our lives if we let them. Those trials can make us bitter, but the truth is, God uses suffering to conform us more into the image of his son today on Truth for Life. Alastair Begg outlines God's divine purposes for our pain in a message titled God's faithfulness and affliction. We continue today in first Peter chapter 4 God is glorified in the death of the saints's faithfulness is so vast it is so comprehensive that it embraces not only our successes but also our disappointments that is Providence orders all things good days and bad days. The hymn writer says ale that he blesses is out of good and unblessed good is ill and all is right. It seems most wrong if it be his sweet will.
So we need to have a biblical perspective. Let me spend the rest of my time suggesting to you that we need to understand the purposes of God in this and I have 10 points going that'll make you look forward to your lunch.
I know, but I'm not going to spend a long time on Italian when you're preparing to preach that if you have something like 10 points. The people thought you were almost finished because of the tone of your voice if you tell them you have 10 points. It absolutely knocks the wind out of so why don't we just take a deep breath, get some more wind and let me give you the 10 points. This is not an ace and exhaustive list.
It is a selective list. What can we say with biblical certainty concerning the purposes of God in the experience of suffering, number one, that God chooses to use sufferings in our lives to develop perseverance straightforward. You know that from James chapter 1 consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds same phraseology is Peter. Interestingly, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
The old thing in physical terms. You two could have a body like mine. If you're not careful. I poster of the big muscle guys as you to get a body like mine but it involves paying for game, no pain, no gain. My wife looks at me says there has been a great deal of pain in your experience on this.
There's a knowledge that secondly God uses sufferings and afflictions in our lives, to manifest his faithfulness in bringing us to maturity still in James one. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. The staggering family can delay on this is that we discover there in Hebrews chapter 5 and verses eight and nine that although Jesus was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him the right to return Stuart in chapter 7 and in verse 28. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day for the law appoints as high priests men who are weak by the oath, which came after the law, appointed the son, who has been made perfect for ever the sufferings of Christ were told by the testing ground in which his obedience was manifested in its fullness wasn't supplying any lack in Christ, but it was within the framework of suffering that the perfection of his humanity was made visible for all to recognize and if suffering was the means whereby the sinless Christ became mature so much more do we need it in the experience of arson and shunning trial said one of the Puritan writers we miss blessings all son all the time and all you have is a desert. It really is such a tyranny center knew such a methodology in which to try and live under a banner of Christian testimony, which somehow holds out the people rose garden time. I don't know about you but my life is not and has not been a rose garden great and wonderful days of encouragement that today's church is like that is your pastor a church you have and you get enough little encouragements to keep you from committing suicide and you get and you get a not all the other stuff to keep you from becoming any egomania and what helps to that end, God's faithfulness and self what Augustine said trials come to prove us and to any improvements. Many of us are tempted to run away from the very things that in the providence of God, he is brought within the orbit about expedience to fashion is according to the image of his son. Father knows best early God chooses to establish his faithfulness in the experience of suffering to assure us of our son ship is not what he says in that glorious passage in the midst of it in Romans chapter 8, and I think 17 yes. Now if we are children, then we are heirs. Heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, then comes in.
If clause if what if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory, the assurance of son ship is in the experience of suffering in the same way the assurance of censorship is in the experience of discipline every son of the father loves he disciplines you come home in the afternoon the Ricardo children in your yard. They decided to take big lungs of mod and throw them in the neighbor citing on the next door house see your car come up the driveway and all of them split and only one gets a smack on the bottom. Why are you loving because you want the best for because you know he needs is because is the one thing in that moment that distinguishes him from all the other kids in the neighborhood. It is an assurance of his son ship your hand on his bottom assured him that he belong, you could have given him an ice cream you could've given everybody else on a screen. We couldn't give everybody else a company son ship that makes that possible. Fourthly, to prove the genuine nature of our faith. God establishes this to prove the genuine nature of our faith.
I have so many verses before me here. I'm sorry to take you all around the Bible, but Deuteronomy chapter 8.
Be careful to follow every command. I'm giving you today so that you may live an increase in me enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath, your forefathers, remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years, to humble you, and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands, he humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna and the reminder is of the simple truth that he was improving and that the genuine nature of their faith.
The exact same thing that Peter says in this opening section of first Peter verse seven.
These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise and honor and glory when Christ Jesus is revealed. Abraham and Isaac.
Genesis 22 recorded again reiterated and in Hebrews 11 the wonderful story God why you doing this I waited for this boy.
All this time I've taken them in my lab.
I have watched them grow. I've seen them come to manhood and now the word is to go up here and sacrifice my only son. And remember when the RAM is caught in the thick God affirms that to Abraham's awareness of his genuine faith physically to develop in his humility to develop in his humility. It's a sad thing.
How little humility is sought as the soil in which God's grace flourishes.
Two Corinthians 12.
Remember this, he says, I was caught up in the body or out of the body.
I don't know, God knows, but I know this that I've been up in the third heaven, he says, I have heard inexpressible things that man is not permitted to tell.
I'll boast about a man like that but I will not boast about myself even about my weaknesses, the apostle says to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment God determined that in that experience he would develop the posture of humility which was to be vital for Paul in his usefulness in the kingdom.
We do the remaining five much quicker. Sixthly, the faithfulness of God in the experience of suffering is there in order to keep us on track. Why does he allow these things into our lives to keep us on track 719 in verse 67 for I was afflicted I went astray. But now I'll be your work before I was afflicted, I was off but in the experience of affliction when you manifested your faithfulness to me. Then I lived a life of obedience psalmist is are honest enough to acknowledge the way in which God used the experience of affliction to bring them on track. Proverbs chapter 3 in verse 11, my son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves as a father the son he delights in and by means of his discipline. He keeps his son on track. That's why he goes on, then in chapter 4 and chapter 5 to establish the pathway of his son 73 faithfulness of God in the experience of affliction is in our lives in order to deepen our insight into the heart of God. We have time we go to the opening chapters of the book of Hosea and we would do a little mini Bible study there but we can so you can do that for your homework. Amazing story of Hosea. These tragic bizarre circumstances and relationship to the one who was his wife almost inconceivable stuff, yet it was providing a dimension for Hosea of God's faithfulness in the experience of affliction and it was providing in the record that is left to his in holy Scripture.
That which enables us to deepen our insight into the heart of God. Eight fleet faithfulness of God in the experience of affliction comes to his in order to enable us to help others in their trials and I will call again says to the Corinthians, and now with the comfort that you will receive you in turn will be able to comfort others you ever wonder what it must've been like for the girls mother when she was carried off into exile. How they must've stated home and said to one another. How could God be doing anything purposeful in the means of this how they waited to see if there would ever come news of her how eventually with somebody who had traveled along the journey. Perhaps the news filter bank to her village and to her mother and father, and they found out that there girl was no servant girl. She was actually the kind of immediate help to the wife of a fairly significant commander by the name of Naaman. The tragedy they must've said to lose our daughter to have her carried away from us to be taken into a strange place. I wonder how she is tonight.
I wonder how she's feeling. I wonder if she remembers God's covenant promises wonder if she's trusting God. I think she wants a fight.
I'm sure she wants if she had become embittered in her trials.
Then, when the word went around the house that her master had leprosy.
She would have said nothing more than what he deserves, but she didn't. She said if my master would go to the man of God I am sure that he could help while because, presumably, in the experience of the emotional range and struggle and emptiness and bereavement of physical separation. She herself returned with frequency to the living God, and only those who have and do will be able empathetically to turn others to the same source of comfort. The reason that many of us should bite our tongues and keep our lips tight in seeking to minister to those who are in deep affliction because there may be from our mouths too much of a spirit of glibness as we never got the soft guy's that were necessary for the task tomorrow and were done. God expresses his faithfulness in the experience of suffering in order to reveal for us what we really love. I was with a fellow just the other day he told me that he'd been playing softball he was missing every ball in the outfield's friend said and what's wrong with you said I don't know my legs feel like a thousand pounds each. I feel like I'm running in water the following morning we went to the emergency room in the hospital within an hour. He was in the.
The office of the neurosurgeon and within six days he was lying on a table and they went in and took that piece off the top of this skull and removed a large brain tumor which had accumulated right in his frontal low and I said to him, we were just in a grocery store.
As it turns out we were waiting for somebody was picking up some meds said tell me, tell me what it did to you.
He said in an instant it showed me what I really love who I really love what I really want and what matters most to me and in an instant. He said it rearranged my priorities. Deuteronomy chapter 13 and verse three you must not listen to the words of that Prophet or dreamer the Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul is not the same thing of the Lord Jesus is doing as is recorded for his in the gospel records in the Luke's gospel chapter 14 and verse 26.
The large crowds were coming him towards him and he says if anyone comes to me and doesn't hate his father and his mother, his wife and his children, his brothers and sisters.
And yes, even his own life he cannot be my disciple.
It matters what we love John chapter 12 and verse 25 the man who loves his life will lose it.
While the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. When I survey the wondrous Cross on which the Prince of glory died in an experience the very apex of suffering, my richest gain I count but loss for contempt on all my pride to you and your husband or your wife was diagnosed with significant illness. It doesn't matter whether the rug is blue or white it doesn't matter if the car has four doors or two doors. It doesn't matter if the tires need replaced and it doesn't matter if the paint is chipping off the window like and yet we want the pain to be fine. The tires to be right the card to be clean everything to be super so that the world may look on and say oh what superduper people I would love to be superduper as well. I may say so, God had operated that way than the symbol that he left to us living a carnival across finally the faithfulness of God in the experience of suffering is that, into which we are brought in order that we might display God's glory. Remember Joseph through it all he comes to the final point where in Genesis 15 he says to those around you intended it for evil but God intended it for good and really what will help us more than anything else is a rediscovery in these things of the doctrine of providence and understanding of the fiber God orders all things and controls all things, and is is is present in all things for our good and for his glory. So we don't run out to seek sufferings I would be strange. When I want to go out and buy here shirts get rid of our nice mattresses and get a bed of nails were not going to become monastic, that externalism does nothing to transform the soul, but we are going to be honest enough to say trials are going to come. Difficulties are to be face to mean the cumulative potential sadness of a group like this is staggering. If we were to go from row to row and just said we just tell me one thing that is a real dilemma to you adding your own immediate family circle or in one circumference removed from what a litany we would have.
I relented and I got no we are to bless him for his faithfulness. Even in the midst of affliction. Father turn our eyes upon Jesus, help us to look full in his wonderful face that the things of the might grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace for his namesake. We ask Alister bag with a comforting reminder.
God is faithful even in the midst of our affliction. Your listing to Truth for Life or series is called my times are in your hands.
Anytime we are experiencing suffering when were in the middle of it. It can be challenging for us to trust God's purposes and to praise him in the middle of suffering for his faithfulness. That's why it's so important for us to keep our focus on Jesus and to stay grounded, rooted in God's word here Truth for Life teaching the Bible every day of the year with clarity and with relevance is what we're all about the reason we do this is because we know that when God's word is heard God's Spirit works to convert unbelievers to establish believers more deeply in their faith and to strengthen both pastors and church members when you donate to Truth for Life.
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