(Small Group 12th August 2010)
Without understanding sufferings, one can never go into the depths of the spiritual dimensions.
Understand the meaning of sufferings, not afraid of sufferings -> can bless self, bless people -> receive 7 times blessings crown.
Marathon / OCS go through -> main character won’t feel paiseh, plus people will look up to you just by hearing your stories == lifetime is just like that = 70 years to get eternal crown, bless this era saints.
For the sake to achieve the final goal, appropriate challenges, contradictions, sufferings, lessons, refinement are the conditions necessary.
Not for sake of good things, dream world of utopia, fantasy do not match with reality and spiritual environment. However, till one understand thoroughly about this <Ecc>, understanding the meaing of sufferings -> willing to know born again, sanctification, crown -> perfect will in all things -> for having fun in lifestyle. All these when gone through in the spirit, we will praise God <Is 60:20> = marathon crown. Shall we continue to remain in fantasies all our lifetime?
All peace and good things are always with us from God. Yet we stay in the state of unsatisfaction, sorrows, fears. Why? Because of our motives, own purposes, greed, anxiousness, discouragements. Therefore, we must understand and see sufferings from on top, so that we will not fear but receive all the good things from sufferings.
Sufferings: good or bad?
Paul wrote about sufferings, not for the sake of delimiting himself. When he said, “I need you”, it does not mean he is trying to be humble. But all this to make known that he himself is nothing without God = blessed <Ps 39>; purposed in covenant else an alien on earth <Ps 40>; loving laws and the Spirit of God, else silenced by all men on earth <Ps 41>; rejoicing in more intercession topics and answers, else undermined by sufferings <Ps 42>. All these not in defensive mode for himself as apostleship why he experienced so much sufferings, but for the sake of believers, to make all stay in the Cross of Jesus Christ.
After you experienced [anything], stamp on your heart what lessons of the Spirit God wants you, as a main character, to learn.
Blessings come from understanding that targets of blessings are blessed. Therefore, we must know peace blessings come to us, and we have authority to bless.
Seek and you will see the blessings in disguise
ALL sufferings, not just some; by believing Word and relying on Spirit; all for necessary brethrens’ benefit/edification and for my crown
The more sufferings, the more comfort, as the title says.
We can receive comfort because others have suffered for us; we must understand saints are together one.
When we see “together” sufferings and comfort, we can acquire who is travelmates.
Mystery of how to see through sufferings to get comfort = through Word and Spirit to seek hidden disciples = His Kingdom
The name of “Christians” are formed thus, through sufferings and comfort!
Grace through Word and Holy Spirit – emphasis
Teaching must (1) Bible, (2) Emmanuel, to understand meaning of sufferings
Sufferings and crown – no need to say, is very much connected; and especially so between brethrens.
1. Where are sufferings from?
Not to condemn, but it is to know how to get perfect will. Sometimes it is others’ fault, but if we can discern these 2 reasons, then we will be able to know how to react and live.
1) From sin
Contrite, silence, only prayers of awaiting on God, and interceding for others.
2) For sake of brethrens
(1) Adam <Gen 3> <Eph 2:1-3>
(2) Jesus Christ: life, heartbeat, purpose, content, perspective, method = completely different from the world
(3) Best example of Christ: prayers and sufferings for all people, uniting all world under Him
(4) Therefore world hates us, because persecute JX Who is greater, will persecute us
(5) Sufferings all for heavenly kingdom, sanctification, crown. Why some people continue to prosper? Psalmist in <Ps 73> say, “Thank God, I almost slipped!” -> to greatly rejoice if character are moulded <Ja 1:2-4> -> = spirit refined like GOLD! <Peter>
(6) Especially in evangelism -> doors to discern only through understanding through sufferings -> therefore can easily understand and see through sufferings to enjoy and have fun in every stage of living -> All for the sake of filling up the afflictions of Christ’s body <Col 1:24>
2. To receive greater grace!
1) All things (sins) solved
(1) Received Eternity -> No more death, illness, poverty, disaster
(2) Discipline -> confess, repent, submit willingly = immediately solved
all “cannot see through sufferings” within sufferings because of (a) not understanding perfect will (belief system: sins solved, righteousness, reconciled, bold and courageous heart -> voice of God), (b) disbelief, (c) still don’t want to submit
2) Understood already transmuted into Christ’s Body but receiveed yet sufferings -> Look up to the Lord = immedaitely see comfort and victory
(1) Promise = Definitely <1Co 10:13> protect, comfort, guide and anoint us
<Ps 23:4-5> -> Joseph (process to build “can see Emmanuel” so that he can see reason of him being prime minister) -> Paul already seen promise of deliverance at sufferings <Ac 26:17> -> Paul then see fulfillment of the promise -> therefore he can boast after that <Ac 26:22>
(2) Process = Deny self, test approve submit rely -> then can see Lord’s protection, guidance, accomplishments
Absolute -> relative => conditions -> Spirit revealed => receive perfect will -> spirit strengthened => totally entrust submit rely -> see Lord’s actual help guidance open doors wisdom power accomplish state
=> Alternate more -> can grasp this mystery of testing and approving -> more foundational and rooted -> assurance in all things
(3) Learn Emmanuel of Moment-> The moment of seeing Lord’s grace, love -> enemies gates broken = great sufferings already ended
If continue (2), will easily quickly go into [only willing -> solved already].
3) After sufferings, life power all different
(1) No more past temptations, sufferings not that difficult, perspective different, peace joy power different level.
(2) Instead see double grace, so sufferings no more sufferings.
(3) Realized: past sufferings not sufferings actually, but actually terror, floating anxious heart, simple things become sufferings
=> See Joseph: why no more sufferings!
4) My sufferings will become blessings of all those I love
Jesus Christ -> unlimited agape love
Joseph -> Israel
=> Don’t think that sufferings are because of my weakness anymore, but that because of Christ’s gospel -> today suffering is to redeem those I love.
3. Together suffer, together consoled
1) One body to suffer
(1) History of saints, (2) same enemy and war, (3) Same Father Lord Spirit victory glory inheritance (4) Wonderful testimonies (5) Become the next era’s comfort and strength
2) Especially in the same era of travelmates (same vision, inheritance, ministry) -> Together communications, consolation, power = power exemplified is especially great, daily same inheritance
(1) Same suffering will happen, become whole unit’s sufferings; same with consolation, testimonies, boast.
(2) Moses, Joshua, Caleb;
(3) Every church fellowship ministry of same era
(4) Emmanuel series: called, suffered, consoled
3) Therefore, when we someone suffering -> will see preparations, blessings, expectations -> how consolations and rewards will come to us!
Paul’s assurance <Php 1:6> -> testimonies in our ministries especially our reaction in gospel ministries -> will know the future of such people one = 8 beatitudes <Mt 5:10-12> Great reward in heaeven!
=> therefore, will be better!
=> when interceding, must believe WILL accomplish -> when converse comfort them, must believe with assured faith = HS convictions and consolations. Must grab this mystery as Paul grabbed = great Holy Spirit’s power!