Responding to God in Times of Suffering and Hardship – Comforted to Comfort

Sermon on July 29 by Hansie Breedt, OM Belgium

CS Lewis – ‘no one ever told me that grief felt so like fear’

When preaching about suffering and hardship ….

Gregory Scott-Peck ‘Life is difficult’ – depression / broken relationships / having, or caring for people with disabilities / cancer / abuse / loneliness / anxiety / divorce / singleness / neglect …

2 Normal responses: where’s God / what did I do to deserve this?

• The need for a personal Theology of suffering

2 Corinthians 1:3-11

  1. (3) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
  2. (4) who comforts us in all our troubles …

− Paul’s life of hardship and suffering 2 Cor 12:7-9 Thorn in his flesh / 2Cor 6 / 2 Cor 11)
− God comes ‘alongside’

3. … so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we our-selves receive from God.

− Epahroditus Philippians 2:30he came close to death, not regarding his life” to care for Paul
− ‘paraboloni’ – one who exposes himself to danger for the sake of others

Suffering and Transformation – asking “how” instead of “why”

There is a wiser question to ask than why—it is how? “How do you want me to walk with you in this, God?” That question leads us down entirely different paths, paths that are relational and wise.
Scott Shaum

What if we lose hope?

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Photo credit Skalstad