There’s a good chance that we’ve never met and there’s a good chance that I’m not actually your pastor. But would you mind for a few minutes today if I took the place of pastor in your life and shared with you on a topic that I think is really needful to address? That is suffering and how to suffer well. Bear with me for a few minutes as we talk about that today.
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Suffering is a topic that we don’t often want to talk about. But, it’s something that is present in everyone’s lives.
There is so much suffering in the world today, but some people might feel it more than others. Realize that suffering is often disproportionate to my circumstances.
There are times when you are going through terrible hardship, but you don’t feel like you are suffering. On the other hand, there may be times when, despite the many things you have going for you, you experience a kind of emotional suffering.
In Philippians 1:29, the apostle Paul says: “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ, you should not only believe in Him, but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I have.”
God has granted your suffering for the sake of Jesus. We’ve all experienced tremendous amounts of personal suffering. But, when I look back on my life, I can see every suffering I’ve experienced has served a purpose.
We are naturally programmed to look forward to victories – overcoming difficult circumstances. But your hope cannot be in the outcome of suffering.
Your hope must be in Jesus Christ. As you pray for the victory that is to come, spend your time rejoicing in the fact that God is right there with you in your suffering.
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