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Coping with Suffering

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20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.

I. Be Prepared for It

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

A. Suffering began when sin began. It is the lot of fallen mankind. All are subject to it.

B. Prepare for it physically. Proper nutrition, exercise, and fresh air help. Sufficient insurance, savings, and dependable doctors are needed, also.

C. Prepare spiritually. The assurance of forgiveness and cleansing by the Holy Spirit affords the greatest help when suffering strikes

II. Be Patient in It

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

A. Many people lack patience. They waste time, effort, and money on quick cures and quack methods when suffering strikes.

B. Some people become resentful. They blame others for their suffering. Their impatience makes it more difficult to receive help.

C. We must strive for patience during suffering. We should do the best we know to do, and then rest on God.

III. Be Prayerful Through It

One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

A. Some blame God for their suffering. They fail to pray. Their neglect causes them to drift from Him.

B. During suffering, we must be more prayerful. We draw nearer to God by reading His Word and practicing implicit trust. tells us: “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.”

71 My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.

C. God always has a purpose in what He allows to come. Paul explains to us in . “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

IV. Be Productive Because of It

11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. 12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.

11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.
13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in

A. Suffering may bring a new awareness of God’s power and presence.

B. Suffering may make us more effective for God. Experiencing the sufferings that others go through brings compassion and understanding.

C. By our example of faith and trust, others will place their confidence in God.

AMEN

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