This week Bro. Leo continues us on a study of God’s purpose of a Christians’ suffering with part 2 of last weeks study.
In honor of all the fallen American service members on this Memorial Day holiday I will put this study in the context of their suffering and ultimate sacrifice for us.
Last week we learned there is a Biblical pattern throughout the Bible that shows us that suffering can always be followed by glory, reward, blessings, exaltation and spiritual growth if we approach suffering and go through it in obedience to God. We learn that sometimes it’s the will of God that we suffer so that He can use that suffering process to grow, purify, refine and solidify our faith. Notice in 1Pet.3:17 “if the will of God be so” and 1Pet.1:6 “if need be”, there are some things that God can only teach us thru our sufferings.
On this Memorial Day weekend, as we take time to reflect on the ultimate sacrifices our fallen soldiers have offered for us, let us as a Christian nation ask God to help us grow spiritually, draw closer to Him and grow in our dependence and obedience to Him so that He can purify, refine and solidify our faith.
We see in Isa.48:9-12 that suffering is a process that God uses to refine us. Suffering helps us learn things of God (Psa. 119:71, 67, 75).
Sometimes our natural reaction to our suffering as well as others sufferings is to reject or ask that the sufferings be removed, but sometimes enduring the sufferings are the only way God can teach us what He needs us to learn (Matt.16:21-23, 2Cor.12:8, 7, 9).
I can not think of a better way to honor all our fallen soldiers than by acknowledging they sacrificed their lives not only for our freedom, but also to draw us closer to God.
Scriptures used in today’s message:
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
Isa 48:9 For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.
Isa 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
Isa 48:12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
Psa 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
Psa 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
Psa 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
Mat 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Mat 16:22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.