Summary: A lot of people have asked "Why do we suffer" and I have tried to answer this question through this sermon.
Crossroads Full Gospel
August 18, 2000
REASONS FOR SUFFERING
TEXT: ROM. 8:28 “FOR I KNOW THAT ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER TO THEM THAT LOVE GOD, WHO ARE THE CALLED ACCORDING TO HIS PURPOSE”
a. the good and the bad
b. the favorable and the unfavorable
c. the joys and the pains
d. the hurts and the struggles
e. trials, temptations, tribulations
f. all that happens in lives
God knows them and he has a good reason for allowing them to happen: “……..for good them that love God, those who are called according to His purpose”
You see God has a plan for each of us in this sanctuary. Jer.1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and I before you were born I consecrated you, I have appointed you.” I don’t know where you have been and what you have been through. One thing I know is that God has a purpose and a plan for your life. Jer. 29:11 “For I know that plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”
BUT why the bad things?
I believe that most of us have asked this question one or another in their lives.
Why is this happening to me Lord?
Why have I been mistreated? Etc….
And then we try to justify ourselves:
Regular attendance at church
Faithful in tithing and prayer and reading scriptures.
This morning I would like to share with you some of the reasons why God would allow us to go through sufferings.
I. THAT WE MIGHT BE CHANGED INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS CHRIST.
Do you realize that the ultimate goal of God in a believers life is that we become like Christ.
In humility, obedience, selflessness, love, forgiving one another, studying the word, prayer.
Some of us believe that his goal in life is to be happy…a very humanistic attitude. As long as it makes you happy!! Oh yes indeed, God wants us to be happy and have his peace, BUT IT IS NOT HIS ULTIMATE GOAL.
The bible says “…..when we shall see Him, we shall be like Him”. We will have the very image of Christ. And in order to get there, God needs to do some work in our lives. Through the circumstances in our lives, He is slowly changing us, transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ. This process of transformation is described in IICor. 3:18 “And we who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord who is the spirit”.
Changed/Transformed comes from the Greek word metamorpho, which means a complete change from one form to another. The English word metamorphosis describes the transformation in a more clearer picture. Scientists use the word to describe the caterpillars changing into a butterfly.
The process takes time and energy. We as Christians go through metamorphosis. And it takes time, energy, patience, consecration, commitment, prayer, getting into the word etc…… Yes, we are of a sinful and lower nature, BUT each day regardless of the struggles we go through, as we follow the Lord more and more and are obedient to His word, we are changed and transformed into the image of Jesus Christ, who is perfect in soul body and spirit.
“From glory to glory He’s changing me”
God’s purpose in his dealings with us is to purge away all dross from our lives.
“Purge”-to refine, to make pure, to change by heat. Through his dealings, the Lord puts heat on his people. He ordains this heat to purge His people as the preparations for precious metals. All of the filth and foreign matter is brought to the surface for disposal.
“Dross” –scum, that which is thrown off, waste matter, the useless part. God is removing all waste matter and scum from His people and particularly from His leaders as he wants to develop character in all of His children’s lives. Isa. 1:25 “I will turn my had against you. I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities.”
Matt. 3:11, 12, John says “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and Fire. And His winnowing fork is His hand, and HE will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and he will gather His wheat into the barn, But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire”.