GIVE THANKS (in Suffering)

VetCriesThe Gathering/Pastor Barry   GIVE THANKS (Part 2 of 2)  Veterans Day  to hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINGCHURCH.COM

Give Thanks To A Vet (and His/her family)

Today is Veteran’s Day— a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of World War I (November 11, 1918) to honor US veterans and victims of all wars. This year marks 100 years since the end of that war.  Today we should all give thanks!  Thanks to all who have served in the military, who have died in war and who currently serve in our military today.  We should give thanks because without a military we would all be slaves of some other nation. Know this friends— what we give thanks for other brave souls suffered and died for. Many still continue to suffer today.  Many family members still suffer at the loss of these loved ones that you and I never knew. Some of these now live crippled, blind, deaf, or paralyzed because of their sacrifice for us and this nation.  So today thank a vet if you know one.  Thank a gold star family if you know one.  Thank a military man or woman if you see one.  Give thanks to God for them and their sacrifice—and always remember there is no gain without suffering and pain and one can hold no right without a fight.  And this is my rallying point for today’s message.  

When Life Hurts Romans 5:3-5, John 14:16-17, 26-27, Psalm 23

Life hurts sometimes and it is no respecter of persons. Jesus even said: 

He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike Matthew 5:45b 

Rather you are a “good” Christian or not you will experience pain, suffering and heartache.  Yes, sometimes we bring such things upon ourselves by making bad choices, but simply read your Bible and you will see, suffering comes to everyone at some time and although it is terrible to go through, the results of suffering actually improve us if we continue holding onto Jesus through it.  Romans 5:3-5 says that tribulation produces perseverance, character and hope.  James 1:2-4 tells us that “trials of many kinds tests our faith and makes us mature. Suffering can also humble us and teach us to love. It also teaches us to be empathetic with others and to be thankful for what we have. Suffering also helps us to better relate to Jesus. The Apostle Paul said that he wanted to know Christ —the power of his resurrection and the sharing in his    suffering and death (Philippians 3:10-11).  Paul knew what we must all learn. The only way to know Christ and experience his resurrection power is by suffering and dying!

Jesus promises that he will not leave us as orphans in our suffering, he gives us an advocate to help us and to be with us forever—the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit who lives within us) John 14:16-17.  King David’s Psalm 23 is proof of God’s promise.  It is God’s Spirit who reminds us that we truly lack nothing, when everything is falling apart.  It is God’s Spirit that makes us lie down in peace and receive his refreshment even when we are walking through the darkest valley.  It is God’s Spirit that calms our fear of evil and comforts us.  It is he who overflows our heart with praise in the midst of suffering and reminds us that we will dwell in his house forever. 

Give Thanks! 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 1 Peter 1:3-9

And so we can “rejoice always” and “give thanks in all circumstances” if we will “pray continually” being in relationship with Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Because there is no gain without suffering and pain—give thanks!                           Because tribulation produces perseverance, character and hope-give thanks!        Because trials develop faith and maturity in us—give thanks!                                     Because suffering humbles us, teaches us to love and makes us thankful—give thanks! Because as we share in Christ’s suffering and death he gives resurrection power—Amen! Because he will never leave us as orphans but will be with us forever— we praise God! Because his Spirit will make us lie down in peace and refresh us even though we walk through the darkest valley—we will praise the Lord!                                                          And we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! —Amen

For these reasons we can give thanks in the midst of pain, suffering and even death. No matter what the trial, Jesus remains our living hope that will not fade away! (1 Peter 1:3-9)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

Nothing Shall Separate us Romans 8:35-39                                                                                

In all of life’s trials, tribulations and sufferings perspective is what we often forget. Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer.  She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen had perspective on suffering.  One of my favorite quotes from her is: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” ― Helen Keller 

1.  If you are going through some kind great suffering now then I urge you to get perspective.  Is there someone you may know —or know of— that is suffering greater than you?  Is there someone who is suffering like you and yet is not holding on to Jesus? Even in great suffering serving others in pain (in Jesus’ name) can be a balm of healing for your own.                                                                                                                                       2.  Finally keep your perspective on the eternal and not the temporal. No one or no thing can separate us from the love of Christ or the eternal promises we have in him.  In all these things (suffering) we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  (Romans 8:35-39)

Blessed be Your name, on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering , blessed be Your name                                                       Every blessing You pour out I’ll  turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say                                                               Blessed be the name of the Lord — Beth & Matt Redman                                               BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD



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