Sermon Illustrations

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? - Romans 9:22-24

Why does God allow so much suffering? Why does He allow evil and hardship? These are some of the most difficult questions we face as Christians. I believe the answer is found in these verses and I like to give this illustration to help us understand the riches of His glory.

The Boston Red Sox had been on a World Series drought for well over 80 years (from 1918-2004) It became so bad many were convinced the team was cursed. In 2004 they made the playoffs yet again after suffering a heartbreak defeat in 2003 to the New York Yankee’s their arch rival. In the 2004 playoff series they found themselves facing the Yankees again down 3 game to 0, a deficit that no team had ever overcome. Fans were distraught, they were heartbroken! It looked like another year had come and gone and the beloved Red Sox had failed again.

To make a long story short the team rallied and pulled off the greatest comeback in sports history winning the next 4 games! They went on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the world series and won in a sweep! It stood as the greatest baseball season Boston fans had ever seen! It was glorious because of the suffering and heartache fans had experienced all those years. If the Red Sox had won again and again that season would not have been nearly as great. Adversity made it glorious!

I believe God allows hardship to make His glory known, it makes salvation that much more sweet! We will appreciate heaven so much more because we know what we have been saved from! Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

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