Summary: Suffering is a part of the Christian’s life.
1. Who really likes all the trials & testings?
a. I don’t know too many people that would jump and say, “I do Pastor Ed. I love them. Give me more!”
b. After all, they are often irritating times of sorrow & sadness, & difficult times of problems & pain.
c. But whether we like them or not, trials and testings will come to us in this world. You can count on it!
John 16:33 (NKJV) 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
NOTE: WAIT A MINUTE. DID YOU SAY THAT I COULD COUNT ON IT?
• Nobody told me that when I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
• But suffering is a part of life… it is a part of the Christian’s life.
• Let’s look at a few passages to lay a foundation.
• Matthew 7:24ff – storms come to both houses.
• John 16:31ff – Jesus warns of coming tribulations.
• James 1:2-4 – James encourages us to count it all joy!
The Golden Gate Bridge is an engineering marvel. Built right on the San Andreas Earthquate faultline, it’s engineered to sway some 20 feet at it’s center. With deep land anchor piers and a flexible cable system… it a wonderful picture piece of human ingenuity.
Engineers had to take into account 3 different kinds of LOADS or stresses when designing that bridge… the dead load, live load, and wind load.
The dead load is the weight of the bridge itself. The live load is the weight of the daily traffic that the bridge must carry. The wind load is the pressure of the storms that beat on the bridge. The designer plans for bracings that will enable the bridge to bear all these loads.
In our lives, too, we need bracings which make it possible to carry the dead load of self, the live load of daily living, and the wind load of emergencies. When we place our trust in Jesus Christ, He gives us the strength we need to withstand these various stresses. He thus gives our lives usefulness, stability, and durability.
NOW… anytime we talk about trials & testings, it’s easy for those of you in the midst of one to simply dismiss such a Bible Study.
• Oh NO, you don’t know what it’s like. You don’t understand.
• But that would be a mistake friends. Because our time together isn’t about ME & YOU, it’s about YOU & GOD.
• He understands. He knows. He sees. And He loves.
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV) 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Remember in the first few verses we learned of some of the blessed benefits of being a believer…
• PEACE WITH GOD – The war is over. HE is our friend!
• ACCESS TO GOD BY GRACE – We can rush into Him anytime!
• HOPE IN THE GLORY OF GOD – Jesus Christ is coming again!
• STAND IN GRACE – A new foundation for our lives!
• Today: TRIALS – A means to bring about maturity & trust!
THE TRUTH IS, GOD USES TRIALS in our lives to bring about great maturity, strength, and trust. Paul tells us Trials Produce!
“It’s been said that ‘smooth seas do not make skillful sailors’” – It’s true.
I. (5:3-5) TRIALS PRODUCE…
1. (1) Therefore.
• And Not only that… This connects us back to the beauty of being saved… not only do we have peace, access, hope, and grace, but we also have trials.
• Now before we move on into what trials produce, we have to ask the question.
• DOES PAUL KNOW WHAT HE’S TALKING ABOUT?
NOTE: I MEAN REALLY, if he’s going to be talking to me about trials, does he even know what one is? “I’m glad you asked.”
• Let’s flip over to 2 Corinthians 11:21ff
• Paul, he speaks to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the practicality of his personal experience.
BY THE WAY, that’s one of the unseen benefits when you and I go through a trial… pass through a testing.
• It infuses compassion and mercy into the core of who we are.
• Flip back to 2 Corinthians 1:2ff
OK BACK… to Romans 5:3…
• Paul says that we glory in our TRIBULATIONS.
• Literally it means “crushings” … reminds us of the olive press.
• They would pour olives into a vat & crush them continually with rocks in order to extract the oil.
• Yes, we rejoice in who we are in Jesus Christ positionally.