Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sermon by Rich Richardson on Romans 5:3-5

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

Why do we suffer? If we have peace with God, why does life feel like war?

1. How are we to face suffering?
It is a lie that Christians are not supposed to suffer. It is not for lack of faith that you are suffering.
Christians: Suffering is not proof that God is against you. It is proof that God is working in you.
Rejoicing in our suffering seems outrageous.

2. Why are we to boast in suffering?
Suffering is the way God works in our lives. He transforms the weak into the steadfast, through endurance of suffering. Suffering always produces something better in Christians.
Mature Christians have character, strength, and hope.

3. Is that all our suffering does?
No. We know that God loves us because He gives us Himself in the midst of suffering. Not only did Christ die for us, but also the Spirit lives within us. We have right now a never ending forever flowing stream of love from God. He's not just working in us to build something - He loves us.  Suffering is the sign of His work. The Spirit is the sign of His love.

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