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Even the briefest church history survey can leave the modern Christian amazed at how many Christians have died for their faith. It seems as if every story of early gospel declaration ends with burning at the stake, crucifixion, or some other gruesome death. It only took 7 chapters of Acts before Stephen was martyred and tradition holds that all the apostles except John were killed for their faith. It is a humble reminder of the reality of spiritual warfare. It should not surprise us that suffering comes when fighting against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers over this present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

God has preserved these stories of incredible faith lived out in history for His glory and for our good. We can look back on them and be reminded that they were ordinary sinners graciously given enduring faith by God, just like us. We can see how God’s global mission was spread, not in spite of suffering, but through suffering. Our faith can be made stronger realizing that we have the same opportunity to participate in the declaration of the gospel. We should be grateful for all the gifts that God gives us. If we were to swing too far to one side and say, “I can not enjoy anything in this life because God has called all Christians to suffer” we would be ungrateful for the blessings God delights in giving us. If we were to swing the other way and say, “The life of God is supposed to be fun and easy” then we would be practicing selfishness and only accepting the gifts from God that we determine to be best, not what He considers best for us. A good practice is that if God has blessed you with prosperity, be thankful and give praise to God. If God has blessed you with the opportunity to suffer as Christ suffered, be thankful and give praise to God. Suffering does not always mean that something is wrong. Jesus lived the only holy life in history and died on the cross. If you are suffering now, rejoice and do not be afraid! Your Savior knows fully well the suffering you are going through and will strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand upheld by His righteous omnipotent hand.

THE WORD

Scripture: Colossians 1:24-2:5
Sermon: Rejoicing in Our Suffering

SONGS

Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman)
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Whate’er My God Ordains Is Right (arr. Indelible Grace)
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It Is Well With My Soul
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Song of Preparation: Beauty of a Broken Heart (Michael Van Patter)
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Song for the Supper: At the Table  (arr. Ordinary Time)
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Song of Response: Jesus I My Cross Have Taken (Indelible Grace)
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Written by : uptowndemo

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