Sunday, February 3, 2013

God's Purpose for Pain Part 1

I Peter 4:19

Troubles come to all of us. None of us are exempt.  We may ask the question, “How can I avoid trials?” The truth is that we can’t. Trials are inevitable! The question we should be asking is, “How can I change the way I respond to hard times?” It might surprise you to know that God has a purpose in bringing us through trials. Knowing that trials have a purpose can make a big difference in how you face the hard time you’re going through.

When Experiencing Trials or Suffering…

I. Reflect on the Purpose of Trials and Suffering James 1:2

God uses the worst times of life to fashion the best for our lives.

From great fights can come great faith.

·         God’s own Son faced trials for a purpose.   Hebrews 2:10

Christ was made “teleos” – perfect as our Savior through suffering.

A true sacrifice is not complete without suffering. Isaiah 53:3-6

Jesus, who was Lord of heaven, also learned obedience through suffering.  Hebrews 5:8-9

The Last word of Jesus was a form of the word “teleos” or perfect or complete.  It was the word tetelestai…“It is finished!”

·         We also are made perfect through suffering. I Peter 5:10

Immature people are often impatient –– they want the blessings of maturity without walking the road of growth.

Immature people are weak.

Testing provides the proving of our faith. I Peter 1:6-9

The testing of our faith is more about who He is more than who we are.

Testing leads to perseverance.

Perseverance means, "to remain under."

To submit to circumstances, relationships or situations which are unhealthy or dangerous is to place yourself “under” the circumstances and not in the circumstances.

Perseverance is not being a victim.

Victims who choose to be victims do not honor God.

Perseverance produces maturity.

Sermon additions 2/3/2013

Some Causes of Trials and Suffering:
·      Our own Sin – words, actions, behaviors, thoughts, temptation
The consequences of sin are painful and destructive.
·      The Sin of Others – caught in their consequence
·      Sickness – physical, emotional, spiritual
·      Natural disaster or event – fallen world
·      Grief – loss of that which was treasured
·      Bad Relationships – failures and sins of fallen man
·      Faith – persecution for beliefs and religion
·      Race – prejudice and condemnation
·      Gender – prejudice due to cultural traditions
·      Age – old or young
·      Economic Situation: Poverty – Hunger - Loss of Job
·      LIFE!!

Trial and Suffering Mishandled Can Cause:
·      Anger
·      Confusion
·      Anxiety
·      Frustration
·      Hopelessness
·      Guilt
·      Envy / Jealousy
·      Doubt
·      Shame
·      Bitterness
·      Fear
·      Depression
·      Denial
·      Rebellion
·      Apathy

Trial and Suffering Can Remove
·      Pride, Haughtiness and Arrogance
·      Callousness
·      Self-centeredness and Narcissism
·      Self-righteousness
·      Hard-heartedness
·      Bad tempers
·      Mean and vengeful spirits
·      Verbally and physically abusive spirits
·      Manipulating and controlling spirits
·      Know-it-all attitudes
·      Judgmental and critical attitudes

So when suffering under the hand of evil or manipulative persons, what should the Christian do? 
1. Seek God’s opinion as to who is at fault in the trial.  If I am guilty of doing anything to cause my situation apart from failing to submit to unjust or evil authority, I must answer to God’s call to personal responsibility and repentance.  If my situation is the direct result of another’s weakness, character or sin, I must pray for that individual that God would change them.
2. Affirm my right under God to stand up against unrighteous oppression, insult or other controlling actions. 
3. Seek counsel from others who I feel will share God’s wisdom and desire for my life.  Beware double-minded men who want you happy and free without consideration of what God desires.
4. Boldly confront the oppressor in love with my concerns and desires.
5. Act with courage if the oppressor fails to cease their behavior. 
6. Trust God with the outcome to be faithful to His word to save and deliver me. 

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