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Equipped for Suffering in the Kingdom of God
November 25, 2017      |     By: Sam McVay, Jr.      |      Category: Sermons

Trials and suffering are part of life on planet earth.  Any equipping ministry would fall short if it does not prepare and equip disciples to endure these common situations in a way that glorifies Jesus and brings forth growth.  Sam discusses Paul's example of how to steward sufferings - understanding God's divine plan.

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Acts 14:19-22 (ESV)
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.
20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,
22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Any teaching on the Kingdom of God would not be complete without addressing the reality of suffering and tribulations.

Any Equipping Ministry would fall short if it does not Equip disciples to suffer.

The apostles revelationally and experientially testify about the place and the purpose of suffering.

Paul lists his sufferings:
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (ESV)
23 “Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.
24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned.
25 Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea;
26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;
27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”

Physical, relational, & emotional suffering:
2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (ESV)
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.
8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Many, many forms of suffering:
James 1:2 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Clearly life in the Kingdom of God involves many forms of suffering.

How do we then steward sufferings?
1. Arm your thinking.

1 Peter 4:1 (ESV)
1 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

2. Reject the deception of a trial-free life.

3. Honestly ache while faithfully rejoicing.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

James 1:2 (ESV)
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

4. Go for kingdom of God breakthrough while enduring kingdom of Satan kickback.

5. Suffer with the Hope of Reward.

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

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Encouragements : Suffering, Tribulation and Affliction are Normal
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