PRELUDE: Acts 5:41: the premature summation of this entire message is within this
verse: "...rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
June 9th, 2002, Sunday Evening
"Enduring with Joy"
Being happy in your time of trouble
OPENING: Hebrews 10:32-39
Peter and those persecuted (which carries and applies to us today) are to remember certain events:
- Remembering is always important in our Christian walk
- John 15:20: The servant is not greater than his master. Therefore, if the
master (Christ) be persecuted, so shall the servant (the believers of past and present).
However, to those who will listen to the master will also listen to the servant
- Acts 11:16: We are not to forget (as many today do) that baptism by water
is only a symbol--it is baptism by the Holy Spirit that counts
- 2 Timothy 2:8: That Christ is risen -- he was resurrected. It was not
a fake death as some believe today.
- Hebrews 10:32: And remember what happened right after you were
- The enlightening knowledge gained immediately caused internal conflict with the evil, sinful
pleasures of the world you enjoyed before being saved.
- The event of being shamed in public (Acts 5:41) for publicly standing for
Christ and His teachings had a great impact
- PARTLY ... because they were made public spectacles
- Hebrews 11:26: REPROACHED: No one likes to be reproached
but it's worth it considering "the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt..."
- Revelation 1:9: John suffered shipwreck and was isolated on the island Patmos
but knew he was there to be a testimony for Christ
- Colossians 1:24: We should rejoice in our sufferings rather than ask the
common question: "why me?"
- PARTLY ... becoming sharers with those who were treated so badly
- Showing sympathy to prisoners (i.e., Paul asking Timothy to join him in suffering for
the gospel when everyone else abandons him--like all of Asia (2 Timothy 1:15))
- Accepting joyfully the seizure (plundering) of personal property
- James 1:2-3: Consider it joy when you're put to trail or temptation because
the more you successfully resist, the greater your patience builds
- Matthew 5:12: To summarize, we should rejoice and be glad for being
oppressed for the sake of Christ as this increases our reward in Heaven. Even the prophets of
yesterday were persecuted.
- Psalm 63:6: Remembering Christ at bedtime, nightly
- Psalm 77:6: Search not with your eyes but with your heart (faith) --
"I commune with mine own heart..."
- Remember He delivers us from all difficulty
- Remember the promises He has made for us
Remembering keeps us from throwing in the towel during the tough fights of life
- Philippians 1:20: Don't ever be ashamed of a single thing that Christ
has done. Rather, "with all boldness", be proud of Christ
- Sometimes we feel we are broken down to the point we want to give up Christ because the
lifelong fight is not worth it
- Confidence in Christ has great value to us
- Rather than ask "how much more do I have to face?" consider "what does God have waiting
for those who are faithful at the end?"
- Hebrews 10:35: The Lord's answer to that question:
"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."
- There will always be the person within us that wants to "throw in the towel" when something
becomes too difficult
- However, its also true that "nothing worthwhile comes easy"
- KEY: Just remember the recompence of the Lord for not "throwing in the towel"
At the moment we are about to "throw in the towel" is when we have to take a deep
breath, collect our thoughts, and continue on
- You have need for ENDURANCE: the more
you continue to work and serve GOD, the more you rejoice, love, and continue to build testimonies to
- Even during the difficult times we are still do to the will of GOD
- Hebrews 10:36: GOD's directive when things get tough: "ye have need of patience..."
- Matthew 26:39: Even the Son of GOD wanted a troubling time to pass from Him
yet He asked for GOD's will and not His own
- Consider how Habakkuk (from the book of Habakkuk) complained about the Chaldean people:
- Habakkuk 1:2: He cried out asking for justice to violence and even claimed
GOD was not responding
- Habakkuk 2:3-4: But Habakkuk is advised to wait for GOD's perfect timetable
of events to happen
- The Chaldeans will be dealt with--in GOD's time, not man's
- The age-old term "The just shall live by faith" is a way of saying "you believe GOD will
answer your prayer in His time (even if it be years from today)--not when you want it answered"
- GOD's plan is at work--his perfect plan is unfolding--and he does not need your help/support
for Him to be successful.
- Notice it's written NEED not WANT because GOD wants you to be an enduring part of His plan but
if you do not, His plan will be successful, regardless
- Trust GOD to answer your prayers in His due time and know that He is aware of
the injustices of this world and your pain ... and whether or not you choose to endure it all
The saved in Christ are those not expected to shrink back
- Remember that almost everyone around you will but that does not give you the right to
join because Jesus said in his sermon on the mount that a majority of this world is going to
Hell (Matthew 7:13)
The saved are of those who are expected to have faith (endure)
- We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ
- We believe we have a better possession waiting for us in Heaven than anything ever on Earth
- We trust in the promises of GOD (i.e., waiting on His answers and action to our prayers)
Romans 5:3-4: We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that
suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; character, hope.