Suffering

Today we will be discussing 2 Corinthians 1:3-11, Matthew 25:33-46

When was the last time you suffered?  Chances are you don’t have to think back very far.  Especially if you’re a Christian.  Following Christ is not a comfy and cozy life.  We battle temptations and persecution daily.  Now when was the last time you comforted someone who was suffering?   Chances are you might have to think back a little further for that.  Suffering is all over the world; take a look over seas at the terrorism and religious persecution.  Look here in our own land.  Look at the divorce rates, bankruptcy, and hunger, loss of loved ones, poverty, and job loss.  People are hurting.  Most are looking for comfort in all the wrong places.  Where is the true source of comfort?

Christ uses you and me through the Holy Spirit!  Problem is we are too busy for that.  Can’t someone else do it?  After all I have to buy food, pay MY mortgage, buy MY wife a gift, and after all don’t you know that MY favorite TV show is on tonight?!  I just don’t have the time.  Is it no time or just excuses?  Jesus tells us just where our excuses will take us.

Read Matthew 25:33-46

Wait you mean Jesus commands us to do this?  Yep!  Why is Jesus so serious about this?  There are many reasons.  One reason is that we all make up the church and Christ died for the church.  This is also a way that unbelievers see the love of Christ through the Holy Spirit working through us.  However let’s get deeper.  A Christian’s comfort comes through reconciliation with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Our suffering reflects Christ’s suffering.  Not only in the earthly sense by the fact that He was a man and suffered as we have.  His friends deserted him, others considered him and outcast.  He also felt hunger, thirst, He wept, and He grew tired.  There is also a much deeper sense, Christ’s suffering engulfs and overcomes our suffering.  His suffering is the source for all strength.  For we know that our sin, suffering, and even death are nothing but brief sidetracks from eternal life.  The phrase “life is short”, is certainly true.  Which means our suffering is short, our pain is short, our loneliness is short, and our grieving is short.  However the eternal life in heaven is forever!  Sadness tears and pain all cease to exist.  Place your comfort in Christ’s work upon the cross and in the life to come.

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