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Preparing for Suffering

Mark 8:34-38

Stephen Johns

on 2 March 2014

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Transcript of Preparing for Suffering

1. the state of undergoing pain, distress, or hardship
Preparing for
Mark 8:34-38
Thinking about suffering
apart from Christianity
Moralistic View
Suffering is the result of bad decisions
Fatalistic View
"Life is tough, so get over it"
Suffering reveals more areas for us to overcome, transcend, and suppress
Suffering is the result of a cosmic battle of good vs. evil and sufferers are the victims of this warfare
Secularist Philosophy
Suffering is the necessary by-product of pursuing your pleasure. It is an economy of trading acceptable suffering for desired pleasure.
Experiences of suffering need to be evaluated so those decisions can be avoided
"What goes around comes around"
Some suffering is unjust, undeserved, and waits ultimate justice from God.

The sufferings of Job, Christ, and Paul all point to this reality.
Suffering is the result of the unstoppable force of the universe
"Life is tough, so deal with it"
Suffering is something to be endured and dealt with in honor and strength
While Christianity calls for endurance it does so through drops of bloody sweat in the Garden, cries of the Forsaken One from the cross, and anguish at the death of Lazarus.
Suffering is the result of your own desires and pleasures
"If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him." - Buddha
Suffering is real and not imagined. It cannot be avoided by removing desires. Christ suffered for us by entering into our suffering.

We are also to purge idols and sinful passions.
Suffering is a badge of honor as a 'victim' and your are part of the future hope of victory by the forces of good.
Prior to salvation we are all bad.

After salvation we are positionally righteous but still do wicked things. We are a mixed bag. Any good is from grace and unearned.
Suffering is always bad and to be avoided as much as is possible
Christianity declares that personal pleasure is not the highest ideal and that suffering is not to be avoided at all costs; "take up your cross."

However, we should work to overthrow unnecessary suffering.
“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life's joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world's sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”
Thinking about suffering like a Follower of Christ
Our suffering is part of following Christ
Our suffering should be like Christ
Our suffering should show Christ
In Obedience
"Not my will but thine"
In Endurance
Hebrews 12:2

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
With right valuation
Mark 10:29-39

" 29 Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”
Colossians 1:24

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church”
The Lost
The Redeemed
Like the Centurion

Like the Philippian Jailor

Like the Roman soldiers chained to Paul
John 15:13

Full transcript