We ALL go through trials and tribulation – Is all that we go through in this life worth the trials and sorrow, misery, pain and heartache that we suffer?
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once….
As a Christian we know that there is more to life than:
Days full of sorrow and burdensome work; nights that are not restful either (Ecclesiastes 2:23)
There is a Change
Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
We do not yet see clearly or fully
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
But we do know and see in part
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 11:14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. [our goal] Hebrews 11:15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Of course we cannot go there looking like this :)
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
One not subject to the ravages of time; not susceptible to sickness; one that does not tire from exertion; one that withstands pressure; one that is spirit!
Sting of Death is Removed
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
And the nice thing about this is:
1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”
But truly we cannot grasp all that God has planned for us; the few things that we have gone through does not do justice to what God has in store for us:
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
It is with this future in mind that God is doing a work.
What is the Work of God
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
John 4:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
This is the work that God is doing in you now
Work = effort over time
Believe in Him fully. Believe every word He has given us
Begun a good work
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
He has a designer plan for you!
Psalms 139:1 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
Psalms 139:2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.
Psalms 139:3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.
Psalms 139:4 For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
Psalms 139:5 You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
God knows exactly who we are and what we need in order to become more like Him.
He has a path all laid out so that we can get to our final destination.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
This work is our conversion from what we were to what He wants us to be…and it does not always seem pleasant.
Corrects whom He loves
As a preface…and for perspective he says:
Hebrews 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Hebrews 12:4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
Hebrews 12:5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM;
Hebrews 12:6 FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
Hebrews 12:7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
Hebrews 12:8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; [what are you going through?] nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,
Hebrews 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
When we realize that God is working in us for a reason, we can take heart.
These course corrections are so that we can better be in line with Their nature.
God has a purpose in the testing
… that we have to go through. There are specific reasons that are personal for each individual, but there is an all encompassing goal that He has in mind.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness [through testing, trying, trial, proving] of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested [same root as genuiness] by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing [this is faith], you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
1 Peter 1:9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
We are tried so that our faith will be found to be praiseworthy and honorable at the return of Jesus Christ. Shouldn’t we rejoice in that. Shouldn’t we greatly rejoice in the fact that God is making sure that we make it? Do we see the “end that was intended by the Lord?”
Peter goes on in chapter 4 to tell us more about the purpose of trials
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; [If we see the aim of God, then fiery trials should come as no surprise to us and we should not be upset by them]
1 Peter 4:13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
1 Peter 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. [We are not talking about the suffering that comes from being a willful wrongdoer of God’s laws] 1 Peter 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:18 Now “IF THE RIGHTEOUS ONE IS SCARCELY SAVED, WHERE WILL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?”
1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
It is not too much
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Matthew 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Sometimes it feels that way, but that is where God comes into the picture
…God is faithful He sets the trial, not us; He knows what He is accomplishing.
We were inadequate at one time, now we are growing, have grown and can handle what we were not able to before … because of God.
Growing character in us
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Hebrews 1:3 …the express image [of God]
Our temporary nature
2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
2 Corinthians 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
We have a short time to make the most of it
A life worth living
Our sufferings do not compare with what awaits us [do we believe this?]
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
Romans 8:21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Romans 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Romans 8:24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
Romans 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Endure to the end
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
2 Corinthians 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.
2 Corinthians 1:9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,
2 Corinthians 1:10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,
2 Corinthians 1:11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
God will save us
Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
1 Chronicles 28:20 And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
Is It All Worth It? IT IS ALL WORTH IT!