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Summary: One subject that few care to talk about is suffering, but yet none can avoid the reality of it. Suffering is a part of the life we live here on earth and none of us are immune to it. A truth that we can always hold on to is that glory rises out of sufferi

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Glory Rises out of Suffering

Good News of God

By Greg Johnson

January 7, 2007

http://www.LovingGodFellowship.org

Romans 8:16-27

One subject that few care to talk about is suffering, but yet none can avoid the reality of it. Suffering is a part of the life we live here on earth and none of us are immune to it. Suffering does not feel good. No one looks forward to it, but everyone is confronted with it. It resides within no social or economic boundaries.

A truth that we can always hold on to is that glory rises out of suffering. God’s Word says (Romans 8:16-18 NIV) "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. {17} Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. {18} I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

GLORY RISES OUT OF SUFFERING FOR A COMMUNITY.

My wife Becky and I have witnessed a whole tri-state area go through much suffering. Both of us were raised in Huntington, West Virginia. Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia all come together at Huntington and it is known as the tri-state area. Huntington is the home of Marshall University. On November 14, 1970, the Marshall University football team was flying home from a football game with East Carolina University. It was a rainy and foggy night. I was nine years old and I can remember it like it was yesterday. I will never forget it.

I have flown in and out of Tri-State airport in Huntington many times. Tri-State airport sits on top of a hill. Planes come in and land on the runway on top. That night, the plane carrying the football team, suddenly and without warning crashed into the side of the hill and went up in flames. It was a terrible crash killing all 75 on board; players, coaches, parents and sport reporters. There were 28 children in Huntington that lost their parents that night on the plane.

The whole community suffered; the school, the city, parents and children. It was devastating as funeral after funeral was conducted; loved ones and friends buried. The crash was so horrific that there were six bodies that could not be identified; the remains of those being buried together around a memorial in a cemetery sitting on top of 20th street hill in Huntington. The suffering was real and intense as the community looked for any ray of hope.

In growing up there and graduating from Marshall University in 1983, I witnessed first hand the glory that rises out of suffering. The football team was rebuilt and played their first game in the fall of 1971 consisting of mostly of freshman. A powerful movie came out a couple of weeks ago concerning this story. I highly recommend seeing the film We Are Marshall.

Marshall did not have a winning season until 1984 which was a year after I graduated. I don’t think I missed a home game during my four years there, never giving up hope. Marshall was the most losing team in college football in the 70’s, but became the most winning team in college football in the 90’s. Marshall won 5 conference championships, 5 straight bowl games and 2 national championships. I learned growing up and being a part of this tragedy that glory raises out of suffering.


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