Thursday, February 25, 2010

some thoughts on Sunday's message: 'An Unpopular Message'

(from Matt) 

Justin continued his Genuine sermon in the Book of James speaking on the text from Chapter 5 verse 7 to 11 about patience in suffering, which correctly was entitled the "Unpopular Message". 
It was correctly named this not because it's truth that no one wants to hear, it's a truth that must be heard. 
Often times we can easily praise the Lord on top of our hills, but when we are in the valleys we often time ask, why me? or why know? We can even go so far as to think, or say, HEY I'm a Christian we shouldn't have to suffer! We believe in Jesus, things should be offered up on a golden platter! 
Well, we all know this isn't the truth, but often times in our suffering do we truly look to God for answers? When cancer is diagnosed, when a friend dies too early in a car accident, when we miss a bill, or when we stub our toe who do we look too? At times it is easier said then done. Yes I prayed for healing, yes I gave that to the Lord, yes I find patience in my suffering. Did we? 
Let's look back at the text for what our Christian brothers and sisters were exposed to: James 5:10-11 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Think for a second other examples of suffering that was later brought to light after the fact. 
The people of Israel, brought out Egypt, 
Noah was mocked as he was building the Ark,
Daniel and the Lion's Den,
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 
and of course Jesus Christ. 

Often times, at the time of these aforementioned folks & actions, they had faith during their suffering, but didn't know what the Lord was going to do(Jesus even prayed to have the burden taken away from him)?
Luke 22:39-43
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives.
39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. Reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Having said all this, again the charge is to have patience and faith through the suffering for the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. Also keep in mind we have no idea how God will receive glory through it, which HE WILL! 

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