This message was shared by Chris B at Word of Grace Church on February 25th, 2018.
When I think about our time at Word of Grace two events stand out- the Birth of my daughter Eden and the death of my Father-in-law. It is easy to rejoice with those who rejoice, but to weep with those who weep is harder.
Suffering is wildly misunderstood by the Corinthian Church. 3 ways in which God makes suffering to be grace in us:
1. Suffering is Grace to me
2. Suffering is Grace to them
3. Suffering is Grace to us
Grace to me:
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee”
As we suffer in our earthly bodies, our earthly tent, we are longing for our eternal home. So it doesn’t let us get comfortable with our lives here.
Grace to them:
Paul’s thorn in his flesh was grace to him but also grace to them. When we were born again God made us a new creation and we were transformed.
Matthew 7: 24- 27 ““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Only in the context of a storm can it be demonstrated that a house has been built well. The same way, suffering is the context in which our faith is tested.
Grace to us:
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 “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 affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.[a] 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.”
Where there is suffering, there is comfort. If our daughter is hurting, Jenn or I will immediately scoop her up and comfort her. In the same way when we suffer, we experience the comfort of the Father.
Romans 8:35- 39- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
More than conquerors means that the things that are designed to destroy our faith not only do not destroy us but strengthen us.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking 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 into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org