March 4, 2021
We have been looking at suffering as a disciple of Jesus Christ. The trials, tribulations, and persecutions that come along with being a disciple of Christ and how those things can be a blessing and bring you joy. This week we will look at the purpose of our sufferings and how to help others through them. We will also look to see some of the perks of discipleship, that it’s not all pain and suffering.
USING YOUR SUFFERING TO HELP OTHERS:
2 Cor. 4: 7-10, 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Did you ever wonder why you have to suffer the things you do? Why are you going through financial difficulties, addictions, health struggles, loss of family members and more? You look at the non-believers or the godless people and they are prospering and seem to be doing great. It’s just not fair!! Why? (John 15:19; 1Cor 4:10-13, Romans 5:3-5)
Can you recall tribulations, struggles or circumstances you have been through that appeared hopeless?
Did you question why this was happening to you and did it seem worse for you then for others going through the same thing?
How did you get through these circumstances or do you still need help with them?
There is a reason you go through the things you go through:
2 Cor. 1:3-7, 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
Keep in mind there are different sufferings. There is suffering because of your discipleship to Christ and there is suffering that comes from living in a fallen sinful world. We will discuss both briefly.
Scripture tells us you go through tribulation so you can help others go through the same tribulation you went through. Your experience will equip you with the wisdom needed to help someone else through the same thing. (1 Peter 1:6-7, Romans 12:9-13)
Each one of us will have different trials, tribulations , or circumstances we have been through to help others. Your experiences will be different from mine and mine from yours. You may be able to help someone I would be unable to help.
Remembering how God brought you comfort and healing through a difficult time, in what ways can you bring others the same Godly comfort you received?
Ask the Lord to reveal to you, someone you could help because of suffering you have endured and comfort them as God has comforted you.
REJOICING AS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST:
So, is there only suffering as a disciple of Jesus Christ? How many times have you heard people say, “I’m not going to become a Christian because then I will have to give everything up and never have fun again”! I used to think this same thing.
Take a few minutes and recall, if you can, “everything” you had to give up becoming a Christian.
Please describe your “Never having fun again” because you became a Christian.
When you compare your life before you were a Christian, to after you became a Christian, what did you gain when you gave your life to Christ and became a Christian?
Romans 8:18, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
2 Corinthians 5:17 , Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Romans 12:2, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Phil. 4:6-9; 2John 1:3; Matt. 5:1-11)
Matthew 5:12 , Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
MAKE DISCIPLES OF OTHERS:
- SHARE THE GOSPEL
- SHARE YOUR TESTIMONY