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Summary: Reasons to Praise the Lord in the midst of suffering

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“DOWN BUT NOT OUT” (PART 1)

2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-11 BRBC 2/3/08

INTRO: SUFFERING IS ONE OF THE MYSTERY’S OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE? WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING TO TAKE ITS TERRIBLE TOLL ON HIS PEOPLE? WHEN WE THINK OF SUFFERING WE MOST OFTEN THINK OF IT IN TERMS OF PHYSICAL SUFFERING. BUT THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF SUFFERING. MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUFFERING, STRESS, TENSION, WORRY, PRESSURES AND SITUATIONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL. THERE IS EVEN SPIRITUAL SUFFERING. SUFFERING AFFECTS ALL OF US AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER. RICH AND POOR, SAVED AND LOST, IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. ONE OF THE GREATEST PREACHERS OF THE 18TH CENTURY JOHN HENRY JOWETT SAID "YOU SEEM TO IMAGINE THAT I HAVE NO UPS AND DOWNS, BUT JUST A LEVEL LOFTY STRETCH OF SPIRITUAL ATTAINMENT WITH UNBROKEN JOY AND BLISS. BY NO MEANS IS THAT TRUE! I AM OFTEN PERFECTLY WRETCHED AND EVERYTHING APPEARS MOST MURKY." CHARLES SPURGEON SAID IN A SERMON IN LONDON "I AM THE SUBJECT OF DEPRESSIONS OF SPIRIT SO FEARFUL THAT I HOPE NONE OF YOU EVER GET TO SUCH EXTREMES OF WRETCHEDNESS AS I GO TO." SUFFERING IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS. IN 2 COR. 11 THE APOSTLE PAUL DOCUMENTS FOR US HIS SUFFERING READ (V 22-28).

YET IN THIS LETTER TO CORINTH ONE OF THE MAIN THEMES

PAUL WRITES ABOUT IS COMFORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT. HOW COULD PAUL EXPERIENCE SUFFERING THE WAY THAT HE HAD AND STILL SIT DOWN AND WRITE A LETTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT LIKE 2 COR? IT WOULD SERVE US WELL TO LEARN PAUL’S SECRET TO VICTORY OVER TRIALS AND SUFFERING? HE HAD LEARNED IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING THAT THERE IS POWER TO BE FOUND IN A PRAISE OFFERED TO GOD. HE TEACHES US IN V3 THAT PRAISE WILL OVERCOME SUFFERING.

PRAISE CHANGES OUR SITUATION.

4 REASONS TO PRAISE THE LORD IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING. FIRST…

I. PRAISE GOD BECAUSE HE IS GOD. V3A "BLESS BE THE GOD.."

A. EPH 1:4 "HE HAS CHOSEN US" PAST HAS ALWAYS BEEN

B. 1 PETER 1:3 "A LIVING HOPE" FUTURE WILL ALWAYS BE

C. 2 COR 1:4 "WHO COMFORTS US.." PRESENT IS NOW

GOD IS PRESENT IN YOUR SUFFERING, HE KNEW IT WAS COMING, HE IS WITH YOU, AND HE HAS ALREADY MADE A WAY FOR YOU TO MAKE IT THRU. PRAISE HIM

II. PRAISE GOD BECAUSE HE IS OUR FATHER, THROUGH

CHRIST V3B

A. WE ARE HIS CHILDREN, HE LOVES US JOHN 16:27

ROMANS 8:15-18

WHATEVER GOD DID FOR JESUS IN HIS SUFFERING HE WILL DO FOR US AND WHEN WE SUFFER WE ARE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE IN CHRIST GLORY AS WELL. PRAISE HIM

III. PRAISE GOD BECAUSE HE IS THE FATHER OF MERCY

V3C

A. SATAN, FATHER OF ALL LIES – YOUR HEAVENLY

FATHER HAS LEFT YOU - HURT YOU -

CAUSED THIS SUFFERING. ALL LIES!

B. "FATHER OF" MEANS "ORIGINATOR"

MERCY – DOES NOT GIVE US WHAT WE DESERVE

ETERNAL DEATH AND PUNISHMENT

GRACE – GIVES US WHAT WE DO NOT DESERVE

ETERNAL LIFE – PRESENCE IN MIDST OF

SUFFERING

GRACE AND MERCY ORIGINATE FROM GOD AND THEY ARE GIVEN TO HIS PEOPLE IN TIMES OF SUFFERING. PRAISE HIM

IV.PRAISE HIM BECAUSE HE IS GOD OF ALL COMFORT V3D

A. COMFORT-SAME ROOT AS COMFORTER

PARACLET

B. GOD GIVES COMFORT NOT - PITY OR POOR KID

BUT POWER, STRENGTH & COURAGE

2 COR. 12:7-10

2 TIM 1:7 “FOR GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER AND OF LOVE AND OF A SOUND MIND.”


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