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Suffering for Salvation

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INTRODUCTION

There is a very popular saying that many of you may have heard or have seen on all of your social media:
“God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers”
Usually it is followed by a nice picture of a shield and sword or maybe a lion.
This is a verse that makes me laugh every time i see it, especially when looking at the context of the battle.
“Man I cant believe that I had to stay late for work because someone called out. God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers”
Not that i don't think it has been used maliciously, But as Christians we are not given a “Get Out Of Suffering Free” Card. Instead, we are told to pass go and collect more suffering or it at least feels that way sometimes.

MAIN IDEA: We Are Going to Endure Hardships and Suffering During Our Walk With Christ

Context for the scripture: Paul is

1.We Honor God In Suffering

2 Timothy 1:8
So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.
Transition Sentence: While honoring God, it is challenging to still think about how God could put one of his believers through this. The

2. We are Called to Suffer

2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
God has a calling for every one of us. This does not mean that we are just going to be given our gift and that life will be easy. We will still endure suffering and hardships according to his own purpose and grace. God will put us in situations that will be challenging, but it will not be without a purpose. It may seem at times that this situation has no benefit, but in reality Christ is transforming us through his grace through this time.
Transition Sentence:

3. It Is A Condition of Our Service to Christ.

2 Timothy 1:11-12
11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, 12 and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me, until that day.
Paul is

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

1. Understand God’s Word (John 8:51)

“Truly I tell you that, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death”
As believers, we need to constantly remind ourselves to keep God’s word. Take time to understand what God not only says about you but about the Christian walk. This will provide a solid foundation in the hard times we will endure.

2. Preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2-3)

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching

The hardships we face during our walk can cause us to become out of season. The Bible teaches us that it is important to be ready regardless of the season. We need to remember to preach the gospel and be alert to situations around us where we can correct, rebuke and encourage others. You never know who may be going through their hardships and need the reassurance of the word.

3. Exercise Self Control (2 Timothy 4:5)

But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

In times of hardship and suffering we are tempted more than ever to give in to sin. Paul tells Timothy in this verse that he is to exercise self control and endure the hardship whilst doing the work of an evangelist.
The same can be said for all of us today. When going through hardships we can sometimes feel like sin is creeping in. Stand firm in the faith and fulfill you ministry.
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