“The promises of God are what give us hope in the midst of affliction. . .” Pastor Thorn
As we approach Easter, I understand that many people are feeling it hard to rejoice. If God is love and cares about us, why are we going through such physical pain and other hardships?
I recently came across a sermon at entitled “Trials (Part 1)” given by Pastor Joe Thorn at Redeemer Fellowship. It looked like a good one and I asked Debbi Farmer if she would listen and let me know her thoughts. Below is her review on this podcast sermon that you can listen to here on Trials. It is an MP3 file.
If you hear a fantastic sermon on suffering, illness, pain, etc. that is available to listen to online, feel free to write up what it is about and why it touched you in a couple of paragraphs and we will consider sharing it!
Redeemer Fellowship is in St. Charles, IL and it is a gospel-centered church. Their web site states, “we believe Christianity is better than a list of rules, and more than believing the right things. The Christian life is a life transformed by the gospel, experienced in community, and lived out for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors.”
Pastor Joe Thorn’s sermon “Trials” (Part 1), is based on James 1 and in it he talks about suffering.
His key points about trials and suffering are:
1. It strengthens our faith
2. It deepens our relationship with Christ
3. It makes us mature as we trust in Him
James 1:2-8 says,
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Most all of us have endured severe trials, suffering, pain and affliction in our lives.
What kind of questions do you ask yourself about your pain and suffering?
1. “What is God doing in my life?”
2. How can we find joy in our trials?
3. Can our inflictions be used in our lives?
4. Is my suffering in my life for a divine purpose?
5. Do we take all our trials to the Lord in prayer?
6. Is sin the reason I am going through this trial?
7. If we are to by joyous in our trails than what is joy?
What is this sermon about?
I believe you will find his speaking style easy to listen to and encouraging, regardless of what you are going through today. Here are some of the highlights by Pastor Thorn.
- Did you know that our trials aren’t meant to test our discipline, but our dependency on Christ?
- Trials are like storms and we have to weather that storm. It is the wind in that storm that will ultimately drive you to where you need to go!
- We are to be joyous in trials. . . but what is joy?
- Joy is not happy, bubbly, or smiling through suffering. Joy is the “Holy Hopeful Happiness” that we have in God and His promises! We look to God as our redeemer and trust him to make it all work together for our good.
- Joy is theological not superficial. Joy is hopeful; it is embracing the promises of God.
- God will not leave you or forsake you and He will cause you to grow in your faith.
- Your interaction through the trial can get you to the joy of the Lord.
- Testing of your faith through trials produces steadfastness and leads you to maturity.
- Every child longs to grow up! As children of the Lord, we strive to persevere without falling, but growing up takes time and maturity.
- You will face trials in your life! Trials are the school that God uses to test your faith! Trials prove your dependency on Christ.
- Can you rejoice in grief?
- Your faith is the most precious thing to hold onto in this life!
- You will not be defeated by the circumstances of your life! You cannot go on, on your own, but you can in Christ!
- You need to rest in Christ! We need to continue to grow in Christ. The whole body of Christ needs to grow in maturity.
- The church must become mature and complete. How can we do this? We need wisdom (insight from God)! If you lack wisdom ask God.
- How do I make sense of my life right now? Are you shouting because this trial was not in our plan for life? Remember we are to seek God’s will!
- God is our father and ready to give all good things to his children. Don’t be surprise by the manner that God gives you His wisdom! So if you pray for rain, carry an umbrella! Believe it! Expect an answer when you pray. Everyone is called to believe in Jesus! Trust Him. Pray!
Why I enjoyed this sermon
This sermon helped me discover how to have joy in the trials of my life. I hope that it will do the same for you! Why don’t you tune in and see if you discover why your trials are so important in your growing faith in Christ? The sermon was a blessing in my life today!
Interested in listening to Part 2, the pastor’s second sermon on trials? You can find it here.
Debbi Farmer is a part-time writer, mother and wife and loves to read! She is praying for all today to persevere through their trials as they learn to lean on Jesus!