Summary of the Sermon by Pastor K Steven, at Bethany International Service,
on Sunday, 29 July 2018.
FAITH & DIFFICULT TIMES
It is time to prepare our family that it is not only GOD’S blessings that is part of Christian life. There is the other side of the coin. Many Christians do not understand there will be wilderness and difficulties that God permits to storm into our life. Stand strong in the Lord, and be rooted in Christ, so we will not be taken by surprise when we face difficult times. We are saved not just for going to heaven but, more than that, to be moulded into the image of Christ.
Prepare our children that suffering is a part of a believer’s life. Suffering can be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual. We, as Christians, need to remain faithful to the end, follow what the Bible says, and what we need to believe. We should not rely on what our body says, what our doctors say, or even what our feelings say.
How do we handle our faith in difficult times? When bad things take place, we tend to ask God “why me?”
Why do pain and suffering exist?
They exist …
• because of the nature of sin.
• so that our character may be built up to become Christ-like.
• because God is showcasing us to Satan like He did with Job.
During our time of suffering, God is near even though He seems far away.
In Psalm 13:1, David was troubled and felt isolated from God. If we go through tribulation and suffering, remember that God is always with us; the reality is that God will never leave nor forsake His children. God’s ways are not comprehensible with our finite minds but we are to trust His sacrifice on Calvary (1 Peter 5:7).
God’s timing is perfect even when He appears late.
God may be delayed in our life as far as we are concerned, but according to the Bible, God is always on time. God always steps in at the right time, and we will experience the goodness and faithfulness of God. Mary and Martha expected the LORD to come before Lazarus passed away (John 11) but God has His own reasons for the delay (John 11:43). Our suffering may be necessary to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character hope (Romans 5:3-4).
Keep our faith and trust in God.
Faith is the currency of heaven (Hebrew 11:6). Faith is the most important thing for us to hold on to. Hold on to your faith and trust in God no matter what happens. Job held on to his faith even though his life was full of pain and agony (Job 1:20-21). Job did not give up on his Saviour because of his painful moments. There is no other person resurrected by God, apart from Jesus Christ our Lord; we should never deny Him. God has His own reasons and His ways are higher than ours. In times of difficulty, our Father extends His grace to sustain us.
God has the final say over our life. In good times and in bad, we are to continue serving and loving God. Never give up on Jesus. Be faithful to the point of death despite our pain and agony.