Encounter @ the Chapel
Pastor Joshua Goodin
“What Happens After This?”
1 Peter 5:10-11 (NKJV)
*There is a crisis of suffering taking place. You may not be suffering, but you have at least one friend that is suffering. Somebody that is going through, struggling, or dealing with something. Sometimes suffering just to live from day-to-day, to find peace of mind, in the family, in friendships, in relationships, in the workplace, or in ministry. Suffering doesn’t have any picks, it comes at any time, to whoever it wants to come to, by permission from God.
*Are you a candidate for suffering? Can God trust you with suffering? Everybody can’t handle suffering, and that’s why it seems like some people suffer more than others. God can’t trust everyone with suffering. Everyone can handle blessings, but not everyone can handle suffering. Suffering to get out of bed, to speak to people that you know are praying for your downfall, but you still have to say hello and good morning at work, or getting along with neighbors that don’t consider you when they park their cars. Sometimes you suffer and wonder God, why is it that I find myself in this place again. God reminds you that there is hope in suffering because there’s always an after this. Hold on to your after this.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is on the way. If you can see it you don’t have to hope for it. Hope that is seen is not hope. If you can’t see it don’t worry about it, because it’s still in reach, You can’t see it because your suffering has blinded you.
*When you’re suffering it’s hard to maintain your faith, it’s hard to find comfort, and hope is not seen. It seems like hope is not around. Suffering has a way of sucking the life out of you, and making you question, if God has placed you here, then why do I feel God has abandoned me? What do you feel like when God places you in a place where you feel like you’re abandoned? You go through suffering feeling like you’re target practice for the enemy. In your suffering, you experience some of your most vulnerable moments. Suffering pushes you to a place of vulnerability and weakness, and if you’re around the wrong people or persons during this time, they can take anything from you. You have given more away in your suffering than any other time.
*Walking with the Lord your good days will outweigh your bad days, but you don’t know how long your bad days will last. Sometimes being in a place of suffering, lingers and lasts, because crises are necessary for your development. You’re wondering how long you will suffer but learn how to stop asking how long. Change your vernacular and ask the Lord what he is trying to do in you that he has allowed this suffering to come into your life. Where is he trying to take you, and who is he trying to distance you from? When you don’t want to move you extend your suffering longer than God intended, because God is allowing you to go through this and experience a crisis of suffering, because he’s trying to get some things off of you. He puts you in a place where no one else can understand what you’re going through and no one else can help you except God and God alone. God wants you to come to him and him alone, stop talking to the people you keep talking to about your suffering and learn how to have a little talk with Jesus. This crisis is needed in order for you to grow, and even your best friend can’t comprehend it. Doesn’t mean he or she is a bad friend, but there are some things that you can only work out with you and God. You’re trying to do business with people you shouldn’t be doing business with because of some stuff you can only do with God in business.
*After you suffer a while, your trials are only for a season. Isn’t it amazing that suffering comes into your life at the most inopportune moments? Just when you thought you were up, here come financial problems. You get over losing a loved one, and then you lose another. You get done dealing with one health issue along comes another health issue. You get over one disappointment, here comes another disappointment. If you keep walking with the Lord, you will want to say, “Lord, I don’t want another thing. If my blessings are tied to my suffering, then keep them, because I’m good. You’ve blessed me enough.” Don’t say it, because God has a way of when you say you can’t take one more thing, he allows one more thing to happen in your life. Crisis are necessary, they have a time limit, but they are intended because they are a part of the grand scheme of things in God’s design. Uncomfortable, unwanted, but necessary. When God gave you an opportunity to conform yourself on your own to his plan and will, you didn’t do it. Sometimes the cause of your suffering is because of your disobedience, and sometimes your suffering is because God is trying to show you off. God will allow you to suffer so you can be a model to your friends and family of what strength in God looks like. He’s going to use you to bring people to him.
*Can God trust you with suffering or does he know the moment suffering comes into your life you’re going to tuck tail and run? You didn’t ask for it, you don’t want it, it doesn’t feel good, but if God wants to put you on display, let him do it. If you have to be the one to go through it for your children, friends, or family go through it. You are complaining but God says stop complaining because he’s using you and when he’s done he’s going to put you on the shelf for display. There are some people in your life that need to see everything that you went through so they can understand that God is able to do what he said he would do. He is able to turn dark situations around, he can build you up when you’re weak, he can provide for you when you’ve lost everything, and he can give you peace when it seems like your mind has been all over the place. God can restore your hope when you feel like throwing in the towel. Testify, “Lord whatever you have to do in me and through me, here I am use me for your service.” You may have to shed some tears, lose some sleep, or some weight but God will use you for his glory, whatever he has to do in you, he will do it. It’s not about you, it’s about what God wants to do in and through you. You may think God could have gone another route, but he had to do it this way. There are some things you wouldn’t have shaken off if God had done it another way.
*Your suffering is not in vain. You’re suffering is a sign that you’re still connected. If God did not care about you and you still were not connected to him, he would not allow you to go through anything, because those who are not connected to him he cuts off.
*His grace is inexhaustible. God has enough favor even in your temporary inconvenience to allow you to get through some things. After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, the source of grace, God does not run out of grace. What makes you think in your time of suffering God can’t give you grace? He can speak over your situation and immediately things change. God will you give you grace that what you should have been disqualified for, he’ll allow you to stay qualified., and not only will he allow you to stay qualified but he’ll give you a promotion. You don’t deserve his grace, but you’ll accept it. God has eternal glory waiting for you after you suffer. You’re working down here because there’s something waiting for you over there. God has enough grace to meet all your human needs. Stop limiting God’s grace to what you can comprehend. Move from a place where what you can’t comprehend, you can’t accept. The reason you’re stuck where you are is that if you can’t comprehend it then you won’t accept it. God says you don’t have to comprehend it, because your ways are not his ways and your thoughts are not His thoughts, so you will never be able to grasp all that he is and can do. You don’t have to be able to comprehend it, all you have to do is accept it.
*God will do things to make the people around you scratch their heads. God will allow you to look your best, so he can show your haters how good he is and how much he can do. There are people who don’t want to see you when and you have to keep showing up. There’s power in showing up, keep showing up. When you don’t feel like it put your best outfit on and show up, you will have people confused and messed up in their head, because they can’t get it. You’re supposed to be down, defeated, and looking a mess, but no every time you show up even in your season of suffering you show up like a boss. Don’t allow what you’re going through dictate how you appear. You keep showing people your weakness. Don’t allow this temporary moment of suffering to give you over to an enemy that you cannot defeat.
Your freedom is contingent on how you handle the next issue. There are some places God is calling you out of and if you don’t get out now, demise is on the way. You can’t fight this thing by yourself you need God, and you need God in a new way to show up and move in your situation. God is waiting for an invitation because he will not impose himself on your life, but you need to begin to seek the Lord right now because you’re fighting with the wrong weapons.