Thursday, May 14, 2015

Do faith and suffering go together? |Ali Scott

This message was preached by Ali Scott at Word of Grace Church on May12th 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here

HEB 11:1,32
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Assurance /conviction/certain. The author lists people who did mighty things by faith. He first defines faith- being certain of what we do not see.

Faith is the vehicle that God uses. If we live by sight we will accomplish very little. Do you want to see the Kingdom of God break forth in power in Pune? Our time is short and our desire should be for the King of God to fill the whole earth.

V32. After taking his time over different people, in verse 32 he mentions a whole lot of people in one go.

V33-34 It’s about how these people did great things for God, obtained justice, they were mighty in war, became strong in weakness etc etc. We want to see some of those things in our day too.

V35-38 Up to v35 faith sounds exciting. But then verse 35 we are not so sure!
 Here we see faith that leads to suffering, even death. In the UK churches see faith as a ticket to health etc. It’s there to make your life more comfortable. Faith will make our life better, plant churches, see healings etc.
But sometimes it does not work out. Some of our family gets saved and sometimes there is no impact.

Faith is not to a get certain outcome. That is on God’s hands. WE are called to live by faith, no matter what the outcome. It might mean leading a hard life. Heb11:34&37 – 34 escaped the edge of the sword.
V37 Some got killed by the sword even though they were living by faith.
Acts 12 James is killed by the sword. Peter is released from prison . Both lived by faith. This is the call of God on our lives

Faith does not say this far and no further. Faith says I will keep going further and further no matter what the cost.

V35 “Women received back their dead by resurrection”v35b there is a resurrection which is a better one which is eternal that is far better in comparison to what the women received which is temporary.
1Pet1:2-4 It’s a resurrection that will never spoil nor fade.
The eternal resurrection will have no tears and pain. That resurrection will give us a new body.

God can and does intervene miraculously when we live by faith and sometimes he does not. So even  if my life is not comfortable now, it will be in eternity.
Where is your hope? That will dictate how we live. If our hope is in what is seen we will have limited impact.

Phil1:21 summarize Heb11.
For Paul death was a better resurrection. The gain comes in the future. Imagine if we lived in this reality- that would be living by faith. People will see the difference and will ask what the difference is.

To live is Christ is not just about your quiet time but through the day, living radically for HIM

Let you manner be worthy of the gospel of Christ. It is living out the gospel for the gospel.
It’s not about asking for suffering. It’s living fully for the Lord. When we do this, the natural outcome can be suffering. It might be living on a lower income because of the choice you are making for Christ.

If you read the New Testament properly it’s a recurring theme. WE tend to skim over these verses and only read what we want.
2Tim3:12: will be persecuted
1Pet2:20-21 follow in His steps
Rom 8:17 we suffer with Him
2Cor4:11 given over to death
Luke6:22-23 rejoice when people hate you
1Pet4:12-13 Rejoice in His sufferings
Phil3:10 Share in His sufferings
When you suffer for the gospel, it is a privilege.
Ch12:1-2 Fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfector.

The cross was horrific- it was the worst death because if was designed maximum pain and shame. He endured this for joy. That joy was us. He endured it for you and for me. He suffered physical and spiritually

It is my prayer that we will endure when we suffer to some extent. All of us will have to face it but we can endure we we look at the cross.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know more about us please log onto  

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