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The Journey  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  35:30
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Discover how God can turn suffering into victory!

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Matthew 27:27–31 ESV
27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.
Suffering and pain is a part of life—and can lead toward discouragement, sorrow, and the feeling of abandonment.
What can we learn for Jesus that would help us navigate through uncertainty, hardship, rejection, and loss?
Romans 5:1
Romans 5:1 ESV
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peace with God keeps Suffering in its Proper Perspective

Jesus was fully engaged in the Will of God—in full unity with the Father—implementing the Father’s redemptive plan.
Turmoil, abuse, insults, rejection, torture—nothing could persuade Jesus from disengaging in God’s plan to save people. Jesus was at peace with God.
When a person finds peace with God, it enables that person to keep life—and all the experiences it affords—in its proper perspective.
We may not understand why we are going through what we are going through—but peace with God enables us to trust God.
We may feel overwhelmed and discouraged with suffering, but peace with God gives to us an assurance that suffering is temporary.
We may at times feel loneliness and fear, but peace with God sustains us, even in the greatest of difficulties.
So, how does a person obtain this peace? We obtain this peace through justification—a legal term that means God has forgiven our sins and views us as righteous—as perfect—because of Jesus.
This justification from God comes by faith—but trusting in what Jesus did by taking the penalty of our sins and paying for them with his suffering and death.
What Paul identifies here in is a ringing affirmation of the objective legal standing of the Christian—that the Christian, through faith in Christ, has been justified and declared righteous by God, once for all. The result of this is that the Christian no longer lives under the fear of judgment and the wrath of God but has peace with God, which is not merely a subjective feeling but an objective reality. (Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2165.)
Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2165.Transition
Romans 5:2 ESV
2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Hope keeps Suffering from Overpowering our Joy

Jesus suffered like no other. Not only did he suffering pain and humiliation—the perfect Son of God (who never sinned), allowed the sins of the world—every sin that every person ever committed—to be placed on him.
There even came a point that the perfect unity He enjoyed with the Father was affected.
However, Jesus knew the plan of God to save people—He knew that through this selfless act of sacrifice, God would be glorified. He knew that all who would believe would be saved and transformed.
This is hope—it is our hope.
By faith in God’s amazing grace of forgiveness and mercy, we have hope.
When we discover all that Jesus did for us, we have hope.
When we realize that even in the midst of suffering, that maintaining hope in Christ de-powers suffering.
With this hope, we can rejoice—no matter what! Why?
Because, with this hope we can know that God is for us and not against us.
Because, with this hope we can know that we are in the presence of God.
Because, with this hope we can know that no weapon formed against us can prosper.
Because, with this hope we can know that we can stand—and when we have done all we can do, we can still stand—in the knowledge that God and His glory is our chief aim!
Romans 5:3–5 ESV
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

The Holy Spirit can turn Suffering into Victorious Living

Caution: This point can easily be misunderstood or misused.
Jesus experienced horrendous suffering—but He knew that through His suffering, the Holy Spirit would provide salvation to all who would believe.
In Paul’s description of suffering, he identified how suffering can, with God’s grace, become a positive, productive influence.
Suffering can produce endurance.
When we live by faith—and experience the challenges of life—and we trust God through those experiences—our faith is strengthened.
Strong faith endures—because of trust is not in ourselves, or other people, or our circumstances—our trust is in God alone.
God loves us—and His love will sustain us—even when all seems lost!
Endurance can produce character.
As we trust God and build faithfulness, our core character changes.
We don’t just exercise faith, we become faithful—trustworthy—committed!
Character can produce hope.
As we live by faith, we begin to see God grace in action, our hope is strengthened.
So, no matter the circumstances, challenges, hardships, and pain—hope sustains us—because we keep our eyes—not on our suffering, but on God’s promises.
Hope can extinguish shame.
Everyone of us have experienced defeat. It is all too easy to lower our heads in shame. But then there is God.
When we hope in the Lord, shame can no longer hold us down!
Worship Team
Song: It is Well with My Soul
Isaiah 40:31 NIV
31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
As Jesus faced the Cross—faced humiliating insults—faced the lacerations of the whip—faced the ugliness of everyone’s sin—he also faced this blessed assurance: through the cross, victory was won!
It is all too easy, however, to look at our suffering, to look at our shame, and resign ourselves to the pit.
The shame of habitual sin.
The shame of experience abuse.
The shame of being told you are a failure.
The shame of wrestling with doubt or fear.
But, Jesus took that shame, and nailed it to the cross—and you bear it no more! (Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Oh, my soul!
This is God’s love demonstrated—in spite of our shortcomings—he loves us —and that love changes everything!
Victory over Suffering
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