Hope at 7 - May 10
Hope at 7
Hope at 7
Good evening everyone!
Hope you’ve had a great day so far. Today we got to live record church overlooking the beautiful lake here in town. I got to tell you it is really awesome to be able to worship God with you all, in this remote way, and get to see the beauty of God’s creation at the same time.
It is also a little weird. I was talking with Bob this morning and we agreed that it is more nerve wracking to live stream services than being in the actual gym running a service. For me it’s making sure that the technology works and stays working the whole time. I hope you enjoyed the little added touches that we included in today’s service. If you haven’t seen it yet please go and have a watch, Bob shared an awesome message in our series in Judges on Deborah.
One more quick announcement before we continue on. We’re doing a competition on Hope at 7. The opening music will be different on each of the next 10 days and up for grabs is a $10 Timmy’s card. Brad Kraft won the first day and last night Nash Rutherford won last night where there was the Avengers theme song and we have another song tonight. The first person to put the correct song in the comments will win the Timmy’s card!
Anywho, tonight we’re going to continue with our new topic on Hope at 7! As Bob mentioned yesterday we’ve finished the Relationship series and we’re on a new topic called You Asked For It. This topic series is answering questions that you have about life and God. Tonight we’re going to talk about why is there suffering in the world?
This is a super common question in the Christian world. Cause when we dig down on it the real question in why would God allow suffering in the world. God who can in a snap of his finger make all things right, why would he allow suffering in our world.
In my opinion suffering is multifaceted; there’s mental, physical, suffering that happens because of our choices, because of the choices of others and then sometimes really tough things just happen to us. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, “8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
In looking at the first part; suffering that happens because of our choices and suffering because of others I think, we have to start at the beginning of the bible to understand the source. We know with Adam and Eve sin entered the world through their disobedience to God’s commands. What the serpent convinced them of was their own desire to be Lord’s over their own lives. The serpent told Eve that if she ate the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that she would be like God, knowing good and evil. At the base level this is a pride issue, there was this desires to be in control.
And we understand that right. In my heart of hearts I know that deep down I want to control the things around me. To make everything happen and be done in my own timing and to my own benefit. Sounds pretty intense, but if we really look deep down into ourselves, into how we make decisions it’s this thought pattern that gnaws at us. If we look at our life as one big orchestra we want to be the ultimate conductor in own life. We want to tell each section to do exactly what we want when we want them to do it.
And I think for suffering that’s caused by ourselves and by others around us that’s where that suffering starts. We expect things to happen when we want them to and to stop when we want them to stop. So that’s the first element to suffering kind of where suffering begins.
Then there are times where tough things just happen to us. People develop health challenges, we lose someone close to us, something bad just happens out of the blue. There are times where things happen, not because we’ve done anything to deserve it.
Now the bible speaks to all types of suffering. And I have a few that will hopefully give us some context on suffering and why it takes place and the result of suffering. To help explain suffering I need to go to 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” Our suffering based on this verse is to produce in us a glory that will outweigh the suffering. And that’s God’s glory. The suffering that we face God allows to show his glory in our lives. To point us toward our need for him. To make us know that we can’t be the hero of our own stories, that never works. It’s to remind us and to show us that we need to rely on God and his power to work in our lives for His good in our lives. Romans 8:28 tells us that, “28 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.”
One of the best verses to help explain the results of the suffering that takes place in our lives is Romans 5:3-5 which says, “3 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.” So this verse tells us that suffering that takes place in our lives produces 3 things. The first is endurance, this is the idea that suffering produces the stamina that we need to get through other moments in our lives. God knows that life in general has its ups and downs highs and lows and so he allows various types of suffering to in essence toughen us up and prepare us for other moments in our lives.
And the second is that it produces character. It makes us who we are. What happens in our life shapes the people that we become doesn’t it. Today being mothers day I know that the suffering that my mother went through with me and my brothers, along with all the other things that happened in her life has made her into the strong woman that she is. I know the moments that I’ve faced in my life have crafted me into the person that I am. And to let you in on a little secret, this building of character isn’t just for our benefit. It is also to help those around us, just want you to know.
And the third is hope. Our suffering produces in us the endurance which leads to character building which leads into hope. And this hope isn’t just the knowing that we can get through the challenges that we face. But when we put our lives in Jesus its the hope and knowing that it was Jesus that brought us through those moments, and not just brought us through but carried us through whatever it is that we faced. And the verse tells us that he does it because God loves us.
And I know that when your suffering in the moment it’s hard to hear that, that what you are going through is to make you better. You don’t want to hear that in the moment don’t you. You just want to get through it. But I think if we get these truths in us before we hit those tough moments, it’ll help us to run to God instead of away from Him when we suffer.
I also love what 1 Peter 5 tells us about suffering. In this chapter Peter is saying to throw all of our worries and anxieties onto God, because he cares for you. And that’s the truth, God wants us to pile all that onto his shoulders because he can take it. He says there are things in this world like satan which are seeking to destroy. He says to resist that and know that we are all suffering in this together. Then he says, these words in 1 Peter 5:10, “10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” As a believer God has called you to experience this glory which in reality is an eternal glory because it goes on long after we leave this earth. And when he says that after we suffer a little while, and what he’s saying here is that the suffering that we face here is only momentary, it’s only a small chunk when you consider our time on earth and the eternity that we will spend with Jesus. And he’s encouraging us that in this suffering he will restore, he will strengthen us and fix us and make us better.
I don’t know what’s going on in your life. You might be suffering through something awful to day. Maybe your not. But I want to encourage you tonight to put your burdens on Jesus and remember that these moments that your going through he’s using to remind us to rely on him and to make us stronger in endurance, character and he’s using it to give us his hope.
Let’s pray together.