"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but
Do Christians suffer? Why and how do they suffer? Can Christian suffering be avoided? These questions, and many more, are sure to parade back and forth through the mind of the Christian. There are many questions, concerning our pilgrimage here as Christians, that are unanswered at the present time and may never be made clear during our stay here on earth. But, from the heavenly city, we will one day look back and praise God for everything that has happened to us- - Including our suffering. Remember that Christians:
1. SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED OF THEIR SUFFERING
Suffering Is humiliating. Being taken from the public to be thrust upon the sickbed is no uplifting experience. The body is pained, the personal appearance is not maintained, personal hygiene Is lost, and even self-respect declines. Satan Is sure to take advantage of this time to make one feel ashamed and guilty, as though God were venting His anger toward him for some wrong he had done. But, the text says here, "Let him not be ashamed."
2. SHOULD GLORIFY GOD IN THEIR SUFFERING
Our key verse says to "glorify God on this behalf." Many times when we suffer as Christians, our attitude is one of anger, because we feel that God is doing us wrong. Instead, we are to exalt God in our suffering. We can do this by staying in close fellowshIp with Him, by not becoming bitter toward Him or other people, and by lifting our voice up to Him in prayer and praise.
3. SHOULD TRUST GOD IN THEIR SUFFERING
One of the fIrst thoughts to come to the suffering Christian Is that God has forsaken him and now he is left to make it alone. It Is then, however, that he most needs to believe God. Jesus says, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5). Jesus suffered Just as we do while here on this earth. He can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (see Heb. 4:15). Commit the keeping of your soul to Him in times of suffering. He will never forsake you.
Sermon Outline From Billy Bryant