Summary: Pain is a part of life. God assures us it is always purposeful.
LIGHT FOR DARK DAYS
November 12, 2005
A. Who among of you here want/don’t like pain?
B. Thousands babies are born with a rare disease of familial dysautonomia.
1. The disease prevents a child from feeling pain.
2. What would it be to you if your child has this disease?
C. Imagine the possibilities of boxer who don’t feel pain.
D. Imagine the possibilities of a child who don’t feel pain.
1. A child will never live long enough to know the glory or joy of childbirth
2. A cavity will rot the tooth without an ache.
3. An appendix will burst without a sharp pain in the side.
E. Pain in itself is not bad.
1. It is an indication that something is wrong.
2. Its function is the restoration of normal function.
3. It is a means of preservation, of preventing injuries
Thus pain is a wise ordination of Providence.
F. Kinds of pain
FOUR REASONS WE SUFFER
Pain is a part of life. God assures us it is always purposeful (Rom.8:28)
1. To develop our faith – just endurance is developed in a long-distance runner through strenuous exercise, so faith grows through testing (Jas.1:2-4)
2. To learn obedience – Our relationship with God grows through as we learn obedience.
3. To create humility - Our thorns in the flesh have a way of piercing pride and deflating an overblown estimation of ourselves (see 2Cor.12:7)
4. To bring glory to God – See 1Peter 4:16
TRUTH THAT ENCOURAGES (vs.13b-14a)
Paul exhorts to stand firm in the doctrines that he had taught them. These truths comfort us in the times of suffering and pain.
1. He chose us from the beginning for salvation (2:13b) - In this statement, as it springs from God’s eternal love, we see the ultimate cause and source of our salvation in Christ—divine selection.
• This choice was not on the basis of their love for God (1 John 4:10) or any merit on their part,
• but because of God’s love for them.
This salvation is a matter of present confidence, enjoyment, and future anticipation in contrast to those who will go through the Day of the Lord
2. He sanctified us (set us part) by the Spirit (2:13c) – .” It carries the idea of a “setting apart” from the secular to that which is holy or reserved for God’s special purposes.
• to bring believers to spiritual maturity and conform them into the character of Christ.
3. He called them to this salvation through the Gospel (2:14a) “Our gospel” naturally refers to the message about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
• In verse 13 Paul spoke of God’s pre-temporal choosing of the Thessalonians for salvation.
• Here he speaks of the actual work of bringing them to Himself by calling them through the message of the gospel.
4. He called us to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (v.14b) – This points us to the ultimate goal – sharing in the glory of eternity with the Lord Jesus.
• The Thessalonians are suffering severe persecution. Think what this verse meant to them. They were bound for glory.
• The believer will be glorified with Christ by receiving a nature of glory, a glorious nature just like the nature of Christ (Rom.8:18)
• … What begins with grace always leads to glory. This is quite a contrast to the future assigned to the lost (2 Thes. 1:8-10).
WHAT WE HAVE TO DO THEN? (v.15-17)
Because of God’s Saving Grace, we are been comforted by His Sovereign Power to sustain us in the midst of pain and suffering.
What then we should do?
1. Holding Firmly to the Truth (v.15) - Paul now turns to a practical responsibility that flows out of all that has been said in verses 1-14. They are called on to stand firm.
• because of the glorious deliverance that awaited them at the coming of the Lord (2:1),
• because of the false teaching that had disturbed them (2:2-3),
• because of Satan’s working of error and the tragic future of those who had not believed the truth (2:9-10).
• Both “stand firm” and “hold on” are in the continuous present tense and the imperative mood, the mood of command. In this context, where some had been shaken from their composure (2:2), it carries the force of “begin and continue to stand firm and hold on.”
• “stand firm” and “hold on” picture a person planting his or her feet in a secure spot in a defensive stand. Then that person stabilizes further by clinging to something fixed.