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Pastor Steve Williams : How the Suffering Savior can Help

Remedy · 47:06 · Recorded March 21, 2021

How the Suffering Savior Can Help

1 Peter 1:5-7 (CSB) You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith — more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Our experience of difficulty, pain and suffering

Loss; Loneliness; Illness/Disease; Depression/mental health issues; Chronic pain; Consequences of bad choices; Physical disability; Rejection/betrayal; Financial hardship/poverty; Abuse/neglect; Discrimination; Persecution; Broken relationships

We try avoiding them at all costs!

We often carry misbeliefs about them.

We don’t develop fully apart from them.

Romans 5:3 (Phi) We can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles. Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us.

We’re never, ever alone in them!

Isaiah 63:9 (NLT) In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.

Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Jesus and our levels of suffering

1 Peter 4:12-14, 16, 19 (CSB) Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you… If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name… So then, let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator while doing what is good.

We face it LIKE Jesus.

We bear it FOR Jesus.

We share in it WITH Jesus.

We endure it IN Jesus.

John 16:33 (CSB) “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

How to deal with an ordeal

1 Peter 2:19-23 (CSB) It brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly…When you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God. For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

1. RE-FRAME how you’re looking at it.

2. REFRAIN from your negative reactions to it.

3. REJOICE in God’s goodness despite it.

Psalm 23:6 (NKJV) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life.

1 Peter 5:6-7, 10-11 (CSB) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you…The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.

4. RELY on his presence, purpose & power over it.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Phi) Three times I begged the Lord for it to leave me, but his reply has been, "My grace is enough for you: for where there is weakness, my power is shown the more completely." Therefore, I have cheerfully made up my mind to be proud of my weaknesses, because they mean a deeper experience of the power of Christ. I can even enjoy weaknesses, suffering, privations, persecutions and difficulties…my very weakness makes me strong in him.

5. REST in the arms holding you throughout it.

Talk It Over
  • Look over the list of the types of experiences of suffering, pain & difficulty Pastor Steve gave. If you were required to choose one or two from this list to live with – what would your preferences be to experience from the catalogue given? Which would you feel the least desire to be required to cope with?

  • Read Isaiah 53:3-5 and Mark 14:32-36. Jesus was a “man of sorrows” according to Isaiah. Identify the things from the list just referred to above that Jesus experienced. What difference does it make for you to know that Jesus experienced suffering?

  • Review the “levels of suffering” Steve identified and how they differ from one another and go “deeper” with Jesus. Can you identify with each of the levels in your walk with Jesus? Is there one of them you feel you need to focus more on right now or have been unwilling to experience in your discipleship to him?

  • When you consider the practical steps of “dealing with an ordeal,” which do you find comes relatively easy for you? How did you learn that quality? Which of these steps do you feel is especially needful to you at this season in your life?

  • Which of these truths has actually helped you in navigating this crazy time of COVID-19 and its challenges?

  • What scriptures from this message do you feel spoke most personally or most powerfully to you? What do you feel God wants you to remember as a take-away as a result of being challenged by them? Is there a way your group can pray for or assist you to do that?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

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