God transforms our character to make us more like Christ. This week’s message is about the purpose behind our pain and suffering, and what we should do to get through those tough times. Pain motivates us to action like nothing else.

 

YOUR PROBLEMS HAVE A PURPOSE

Message by Todd Lester – March 12, 2017

Romans 8:29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.

Ephesians 4:15 Growing in every way more and more like Christ.

Genesis 1:26 Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.

  • Sanctification (definition): To make holy,
  • The way God produces the fruit of the spirit in your life is to put you in the exact opposite situations. To illustrate this, click here to watch this clip from the movie Evan Almighty; a conversation between God and Joan Baxter who is puzzled by her husband Evan as he builds an ark in his backyard.

 

WHAT GOD USES TO MAKE ME MORE LIKE JESUS

  1. God uses His Holy Spirit
  2. God uses the Word of God
  3. God uses other people
  4. God uses pain and suffering

 

GOD’S PURPOSE FOR PAIN

1. GOD USES PAIN TO MOTIVATE ME

Luke 15:16-18 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you.”

2. GOD USES PAIN TO MEASURE ME

James 1:2-3 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.

3. GOD USES PAIN TO MATURE ME

Isaiah 48:10 I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.

Hebrews 12:7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father?

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That is why we never give up … For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

 

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND?

1. I REMEMBER THAT GOD’S PLAN IS GOOD

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.

2. I REJOICE AND GIVE THANKS

1 Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances.

Philippians 4:4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!

3. I REFUSE TO GIVE UP

James 1:3-4 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

For Sermon discussion resources click here:    Mar 12 Sermon Resources

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