Joy in Suffering

26th Aug 2012 – Sermon by Rev. Prabhu

1 PETER 1:6-12

Introduction:

 

Suffering is anything that hurts or affects us badly – Ex., an illness, a loss, a failure, a disappointment, a rumour that causes damage to you reputation etc.

Suffering is not a virtue by itself nor it is a sign of holiness.

Forced suffering does not add any credit to our spirituality.

It is not a way to gain favour from God.

It is one of the tools God uses to accomplish His purposes.

We all want to avoid suffering. Jesus himself prayed so.

When God allows it we have to go through suffering by His Grace

 

       I.The Causes of Suffering

  • It is fallen world of sin.

The consequences of Sin Gal 6:7-9

  • God does discipline His children  Heb 12:6
  • Righteous suffer 2 Tim 3:12

 

   II.The Nature of suffering

  • It is a painful experience. Though the intensity of suffering vary, they all cause pain, anxiety and grief.
  • It leaves us in confusion. No answer to “ Whys”
  • It does weaken us in many ways. – consumes our energies and at times our resources.

 

III.The Process of Suffering

  • Refining  process – Job 23:10 , Mal 3:3
  • A testing process for approval– James 1:12

Endurance test of faith Rom 5:3-4

Integrity proved

  • Growing process

Towards maturity

Remember it is an ongoing battle

  • Learning process Psalm 119:71

God’s method of teaching and training – Psalmist learnt God’s statutes

  • Demonstrate Faith – Trust
  • Love God

 

 IV.The purpose of suffering

  • There is an end product – Christ likeness
  • It is for the Glory of God

Devil tries to crush but God uses it is an opportunity to Glorify God

  • There is always a noble cause in suffering
  • God’s plan with Grace Phil 1:29

 

Conclusion

  • Stand firm I Cor 15:58

Do not yield or succumb

Our values, priorities and commitment remain the same

  • Depend on God’s resources
  • Cooperate with God. Shadrak, Meshak, Abednego
  • Demonstrate Faith – Trust
  • Love God – More and More