The Truth About Your Suffering And God’s Purpose

Suffering - doll with a broken face

The suffering and persecution of Christians around the world stirs our souls. Suffering makes for good prayer requests, passionate discussions and inspiring sermons. All the prayer, burdens and support are noble, but it changes when the one that suffers is you (or me)!

I don’t like to suffer and I have not met anyone who does. Many assume that when we suffer, God is angry with us or punishing us in some way.

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Are We Willing To Pay The Price That Bitterness Asks?

A root growing through the word bitterness.

Bitterness is an infection with a relentless desire to consume every area of our lives. Bitterness corrupts our view of life, our relationships with people, our family and most of all, with God.

Hebrews 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
 
Roots can grow slowly and unseen for years.

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Resurrection Hope Is Within Reach Starting Today

Resurrection - Easter - Crown Of Thorns

Resurrection Sunday came upon us quickly this year. With the chaos of the election, the fighting in Washington, and multiple terror attacks, even with its later date, it seems to have come upon us unawares.

Our constant connection to social media, fake news, and real news can cause us to become discouraged and lose hope that things will be better.The sad part in all this chaos is we risk missing the thing we need the most. The story of the Resurrection offers the hope so many of us are searching for.

This is a short blog looking at three places in Scripture where we find the hope that the Resurrection offers us.

1. Our Fire Will Burn Again

The day following Jesus’ crucifixion and burial, two of His disciples made the journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus.  As they walked along talking about the events of the last week, Jesus met them along the way.

For what ever reason He hid His identity from them. As they walked along He “opened up the Scriptures” to them. They pleaded with Him to spend the evening and share more with them.

As Jesus broke bread (as He had at the Last Supper) they suddenly recognized Him and He vanished. As they rushed back to Jerusalem they said these words.

Luke 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Our situation may seem hopeless now, but the Resurrection means we have hope. When we spend time in the Presence of the Resurrected Christ, the fire will burn again in our hearts!

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2. This Is Not All There Is

One reason we tend to lose hope is that we focus on what we see and not what will be. We forget this cursed earth is not our home. Jesus rose from the grave and has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven!

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Discouragement will always find its way into our lives when we are we more excited about this world, than the hope of the world to come?

3. We Still Have A Job To Do

The Resurrected Christ gave us a job to do before He left this earth. In Acts 1 Jesus told His followers that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea  Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth. What a great promise and command to all of us as His followers.

Then He was taken up from before them. What would it have been like to see that? As they stood looking up, two Angels appeared and spoke to them.

Acts 1:10 11 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

The Resurrection and Ascension are not the end of the game. Jesus will return one day. The Angels question was, “Why are you standing around?” He left you a job to do. Others don’t have the Resurrection hope that you do, go and tell them!”

Easter is not only a time to celebrate, but to remember. As we celebrate Easter, let’s remember the everyday hope that the Resurrection brings us. And let us not forget we still have work to do!