In today's sermon we will learn the secret of how to be able to rejoice in any situation. I invite you to join me as you complete the fill-in-the-blank words in your sermon notes. I personally think that one of the most challenging questions we pastors receive quite often is the question: Why do Christians suffer? Or in a more personal way: Why has God allowed this to happen? I’ve been there so I do understand those who struggle with these interrogations.
This is a very difficult question to handle especially when it comes from someone who is suffering a great loss such as the death of a relative or a terminal illness. Now the reality is that many people come to Christ with the notion that since God loves us He will never allow us to go through any trial, crisis, or difficult moment. Our Western philosophy has greatly influenced our theology to the point that today we could find thousands of Christians in America who incorrectly believe that God's desire is just to make their lives easy and comfortable. But the Scriptures teaches us something different.
The Bible clearly teaches that God loves those who are His children, and He “works all things together for good” for us (Romans 8:28). So that must mean that the trials and tribulations He allows in our lives are part of the working together of all things for good. Therefore, for the believer, all trials and tribulations must have a divine purpose. And what is that divine purpose? As in all things, God’s ultimate purpose for us is to grow more and more into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). This is the goal of the Christian, and everything in life, including the trials and tribulations, is designed to enable us to reach that goal. When we realize that this is the true purpose of our lives then we will be able to rejoice in God in any circumstance.
Pastor Roger Yenkins
* Extracted from our September 24th, 2017 Sunday Worship Bulletin.