SOURCE: Taken from a sermon by Pastor Mark Driscoll
I Am Afflicted: Sermon Recap
1. A third of the Psalms are laments. All of the Old Testament prophets except one include a lament. The Bible doesn’t avoid suffering. You won’t avoid suffering.
2. Don’t believe false teaching that says you won’t suffer if you really love Jesus. Jesus will end all suffering eventually, but on earth he suffered more than anyone.
3. When it comes to suffering, don’t ask “Why” ask “Who am I in Christ?” Your affliction doesn’t establish your identity, but your identity can get you through your affliction, if your identity is in Christ.
4. Suffering will cost you a lot of time and energy, so I encourage you to invest it. If you’ve suffered, you have powerful credibility to lead others to the genuine hope found in Jesus.
5. It’s not wonderful that suffering happens, but it’s wonderful that God can use it to help, bless, and encourage others.
6. How are you suffering? What is God teaching you? How can you use it to bless others?
7. If one of the great goals of your life is to be more like Jesus, the most horrible seasons can also be wonderful opportunities for growth.
8. God can use the most painful parts of our story to be the most encouraging to others.
9. Addiction, self-medication, debt…much of life is spent trying to figure out how to go on after we have lost heart. Jesus says, “Take heart!”
10. Some don’t talk about their suffering because it somehow feels more righteous to bear it quietly and avoid burdening others. But the apostle Paul was open about his suffering, and none of us are more godly than him.
11. God usually doesn’t give us an answer for our suffering, but he provides us with his presence: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
12. If you minister to hurting people you will have a growing ministry.