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The Gift That No One Wants

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Christmas time, YAY!
Ever receive a gift that you didn’t really want? “Thanks, but no thanks!”
What we’re going to talk about today is usually perceived in this way. Not only do not want it, but most people spend just about their entire lives trying to avoid or escape it.
But first: introduce myself
Crohn’s Disease:
so, what is it that we try to avoid at all cost? Pain/suffering
When you have to endure it, remember these bedrock truths so that your faith will stand strong like the wise builder in Jesus’ parable (Mt. 27)

God loves us more than we can comprehend

Ephesians 3:17b–19 (NIV)
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
He created us
He saved us - Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What if I’ve messed up?
- Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? ...
Romans 8:39 “…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You didn’t earn it, you don’t “maintain it” —> you simply receive it and surrender to it

All pain & suffering is the result of Sin in the world

(not necessarily personal sin, but the existence of sin in the world)
The enemy will try to convince you that this suffering is God’s fault, but...
Genesis 1:31 “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good... ”
But after Adam & Eve sinned - what God had created was corrupted (Gen. 3:14-24) and infected by disease, dysfunction, and death.
True - God is well aware of the negative consequences that this has in our lives, but...

God doesn’t enjoy our suffering

Lam 3:32-33 (NLT) “Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. 33 For he does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow.”

God’s answer to our prayer for healing/deliverance is always “Yes”...

Matt. 7:11 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
healed my abscess

...UNLESS there is a greater work that He wants to accomplish

2 Cor. 12:8-10 “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Joy “God must know you so well” - the infinite ripples that these events would have
2 Cor 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
God loves us too much to substitute a lesser blessing for a greater one
Isabelle - shots
A) God Loves us infinitely more than we can comprehend
B) God doesn’t enjoy our suffering
C) God will deliver us from our suffering UNLESS He has a greater work in store
A + B + C = ?

If suffering is allowed to continue, God WILL bring something good from it!

Either in:
Our lives - Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
Or others - 2 Cor. 1: 3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Linnea - “Difference Maker” (Need to Breathe)
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