Pastor Mac Hammond | March 28, 2021

Some people assume God’s protection over godly people means that suffering should not be a part of godly people’s lives. However, that is not the case. As Pastor Mac pointed out this past weekend, godliness is a mystery and it does involve suffering. Jesus exemplified this mystery by leaving heaven to come to earth and display both God’s royalty and majesty, as the people praised Him for on Palm Sunday, as well as the suffering that enabled Him to mature into His calling: Our Redeemer. Suffering is a part of the godly life, and we must understand how to handle the suffering life brings.

Dive Deeper:
Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s a question that has been prevalent for centuries. People have trouble reconciling the idea that God is a loving God who takes care of His people and God allows suffering to happen—but just because it’s hard to understand doesn’t mean that it is true.

You see, suffering is one of the mysteries of godliness. Suffering involves pain, but it is what will make you mature. Just as suffering matured Jesus into His calling as our Redeemer, we too will mature into God’s calling on our lives through suffering.

Suffering should never be attributed to the judgment or chastisement of the Lord. Suffering is not something God inflicts, but it is something He allows. It is His permissive will. Put it this way: God made you an overcomer, not so you can float along on a puffy faith cloud unharmed by life. God made you an overcomer so you could overcome whatever comes your way! Your faith will be tested through suffering, but praise God, your faith can grow stronger and become better on the other side of what you’re going through.

Read More:
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 Timothy 3:16 Msg.
This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough: He appeared in a human body, was proved right by the invisible Spirit, was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among all kinds of peoples, believed in all over the world, taken up into heavenly glory.

Matthew 21:6-10 KJV
And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

Matthew 21:10 Msg.
As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?”

Hebrews 5:8-9 KJV
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

1 Peter 5:10 KJV
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 KJV
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Discussion Questions:
1.    How do our choices create or eliminate the suffering we face?

2.    How should we handle adversity we can’t control, such as adversity we’re in because of our family or adversity that is created by our leaders?

3.    When have you seen God show you a way of escape out of adversity?

4.    What’s one way you can endure suffering well? Do you know someone who is a good role model in this area?

5.    How does joy play a part in dealing with adversity? How can you be joyful when you’re facing a sad situation? What does God’s joy look like in the middle of adversity?

Recent Sermon Notes

At Wit’s End | Jim Hammond

Have you ever been “at your wit’s end?” When you’ve exhausted all your emotional and physical resources and have nothing left to give, what do you do? When the Apostle Paul was at his wit’s end, the Lord gave him direction saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Pastor Jim went on to expound on when we are at our wit’s end, how we can lean on His grace.

Grace Unveiled, #9: Established in the Gift of Righteousness | Jim Hammond

This past weekend, Pastor Jim taught his 9th installment in his series on the book of Romans entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The first three and a half chapters of Romans, Paul talked extensively, driving home the point, on how no one can make himself righteous in God’s eyes. The Apostle Paul didn’t leave anyone out. He listed the Pagans in the secular world, people just trying to do good, and the zealous disciplined Jews… he made sure they knew that none of them measured up in God’s eyes. No matter what they did, they would never be able to escape God’s wrath… unless there is something that appeases that judgment. That was Paul’s way of working up to a point. Paul then introduced the righteousness of God through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.

The Principle of Connection | Mac Hammond

Pastor Mac taught a message entitled, “The Principle of Connection.” Oftentimes, we struggle with obedience to the Word, where our obedience to the Word is not done in faith but out of legalism. We don’t do it from our heart, but we do it out of obligation. However, as Pastor Mac pointed out, if the Word is going to work for you, it has to come from our heart. There is a remedy that puts an end to legalistic obedience: once you understand the principle behind a particular mandate, obedience to the Word becomes exciting. Pastor Mac goes on to discuss the Principle of Connection.

A Faith-Building Weekend With Nancy Dufresne

What a weekend we had with guest minister Nancy Dufresne. She shared on the power of faith and reminded us that God and the Holy Spirit should always remain our focus. That means when we face difficulty, listening to the Holy Spirit, our guide on the inside, is the best thing that we can do. You can walk in faith toward your miracle!

GRACE UNVEILED: “All Under Sin,” #7 | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim delivered his seventh installment in his series on the book of Romans, entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The first three chapters of Romans focuses explicitly on the definition of sin. “Because,” as Pastor Jim says, “if you don’t understand what sin is, you will not understand the solution to the sin problem.” Paul wanted them to understand that all of mankind has a sin problem, and no matter who you are, you will never, ever be able to achieve righteousness through your own merit. If doesn’t matter if you’re a secular pagan who worships Zeus or a religious Jew who strictly follows the law, God will never see you as righteous through your own effort. Pastor Jim has much more to say in this message subtitled, “All Under Sin.”