SufferingBro. Roger Smith
11/16/2003 6:00 PM
By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
In verse 25, it speaks of the choice that Moses made. He chose to suffer. This wasnt an easy road to choose. He could have chosen to be rich and famous it was at his fingertips. He looked that the suffering of his people and the opportunities of the palace, and he made a choice. This worlds pleasures are only for a short time. We have to make this choice: God or the world. Paul had a choice to make, and Stephens witness made a difference. Paul chose the road of suffering.
2 Corinthians 11:24-28
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Paul suffered many things, but he was willing. Job was a perfect and upright man who suffered for Gods sake. The devil tried to make Job fall. He took away all that Job had, but Job still served God. Man tends to give everything he has for his health, but Job didnt give up.
Job 2:10; Matthew 16:21
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
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.
Are we willing to suffer? Christ told them that he would suffer.
Acts 26:23; Hebrews 5:8
That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
Jesus was willing to suffer to learn obedience. We suffer to learn some things. He went through it so he would know what it was like to obey through suffering. Our obedience pleases God and strengthens us.
Hebrews 2:9, 14-18
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Jesus even felt death for us. He did it so that he could help us to go through it. People are afraid of death. This is why they spend so much on their health. The saints dont have a fear of death. We have Gods comfort. God did this so that he can be merciful and faithful. Hes able to help us through the hard times.
1 Peter 2:19-21
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
We havent even come close to what others have had to suffer. We need to be able to stand in suffering, so we can be a witness to the world.
1 Peter 3:14-15
But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Be ready to give an answer.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
God allows trials to help our appreciation to grow. Trials do have benefits.
Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 4:1
For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Were willing to suffer for Christs sake.
Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Jesus wants us to share in his suffering. Are we too comfortable? Are we following and craving the world? Dont let things become more important than God.
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Serving God will cause a spiritual division from the worldly family. Dont let them come between you and God. Be Christs and only his. We want people to see Jesus in us. Suffering, in the long run, pays. Acts 16 tells of the suffering of Paul and Silas.
2 Corinthians 11:23
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Paul went through some things.
1 Peter 4:12-14
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
The trials come to help us and to try us. Are you happy to be reproached?
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Rejoice and be glad, even in suffering. What good is accomplished by suffering? It brings people together.
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.
Suffering triggers deep and edifying thought. It helps us to think about the important things. It helps us to be compassionate, loving, and careful. It builds character.
1 Peter 5:10
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
Suffering strengthens us. It establishes and settles us.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
It works for our good and makes us complete.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
They couldnt get Paul in life, suffering or death.
2 Timothy 2:12
If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.
Go through with grace.
Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Give your burdens to God. Cast your care on him. Suffering does have good things. It helps us grow. Be willing to suffer. Remember Moses choice.