Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
     As we have seen, and will continue to see in the coming weeks, the Bible reveals many blessings that come from suffering.
1.   Suffering can humble us                                                  2.  Suffering can mature us
3.   Suffering can sanctify us                                                  4.  Suffering can drive us to pray
5.   Suffering can compel us to be (more) grateful

6.   Suffering can elicit in us compassion for others
     We are more apt to sympathize and empathize with others who are suffering, when we ourselves are suffering or have suffered.  Sometimes, especially when we are healthy and happy, we can become apathetic or calloused to the needs of those around us.  Sometimes, we are simply unable to truly understand what it is like to live with pain or sorrow until we ourselves experience suffering.

     One of God’s purposes in the suffering of Christians is that they would experience direct, personal comfort from God, and then from that experience be able to minister God’s comfort to others (see 2Cor.1:3-6; Rom.12:15).

7.   Suffering can awaken us to our own mortality
     Death is a sobering wakeup call for all those who are alive.  It can awaken us to fragility, brevity, and unpredictability of human life.  Some people scarcely contemplate their mortality. To them, thoughts of death and dying are morbid and depressing.  The truth is, we ought to come to grips with the reality of death before we (or those we love) die.  For death is a part of life (Heb.9:27).

     Viruses, plagues, disease, and death are all consequences of sin and living in a fallen world (Gen.3; Rom.6:23; 8:18-23).  This should not surprise, or shock, us.  Rather, this reality should cause us to be ever-aware of the blessing of life, and the brevity of life.  Suffering can remind us that none of us know how long we will live (or when we will die).  Therefore, we must always be ready to face our mortality, and ready to one-day face the judgment of God (see Lk.13:1-5).

     All too often we assume that we, and others we love, will live forever – or at least live to a reasonably old age.  But Scripture assures us that we have no guarantee of living a long life.  In fact, God’s Word reveals that even a “long life” is an incredibly brief moment in time (Jms.4:14).

8.   Suffering can unmask the depravity and severity of sin and unbelief
     Living in a moralized world – a so-called “Christian nation” – can mask the true depravity and severity of sin.  A civilized culture and society can give the false impression that sin/unbelief is not humanity’s greatest problem, and that all problems can be resolved by human means or merit.  Suffering unmasks such delusion and vividly reveals the true depravity of our sinful nature (see Jer.17:9; Phil.3:18-19; Tit.3:3-6; Jms.1:14-15).

     It is important that we remember that there is no inherent goodness in us apart from the saving work of Christ that comes through faith in Christ (Rom.3:10-12).  Morality cannot fix our sinful condition.  Legislation cannot cure the sinful heart or soften the hard heart.  Suffering reminds us of the Gospel – that a person is saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #37):
Numbers 17-20; 1 Chronicles 25-29; Psalm 108-110; Proverbs 23-24; Amos 1-4; John 16-18; Titus
Recommended Reading:
“The Blessing of Humility” by Jerry Bridges

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