Is this your greatest ever trial?

Is this your greatest ever trial? March 13, 2020

Last Sunday R.T. Kendall preached a message on suffering. He said it was targeted for those who were going through the worst period of suffering of their whole life. After what Prime Minister Boris Johnson said later this week, I now suspect that RT’s message might be a hugely relevant and timely message for rather more people than you might think:

“This is the worst public health crisis for a generation … I must level with you many more families are going lose loved ones before their time” Boris Johnson

Last Sunday I attended Jubilee Church for what might be the last time for a few weeks or months. And though as of yet no recommendation had been made to that effect, I must admit I was considering that as I sat there listening to surely one of the great living fathers of our Faith preach.

Somehow each day the news about Coronavirus seems to get more concerning.   And indeed the UK Blood Cancer charities are now advising people with the kind of condition I have to now consider social distancing measures. Brits with other relevant conditions and the elderly will also be formally advised to stay home at some point in the coming weeks.

Some people are beginning to feel fear like they have never before. I recently filmed an interview which touched on one way Christians can learn to handle such anxiety: Christian meditation.

I am very sure that the video and transcript of R.T.s sermon will be of great challenge and comfort to many of us. God’s word gives us strength, courage, and hope. It doesn’t give us false promises or fake news.

You can both watch this sermon and read the transcript below. You might need this truth sooner than you think you will.

 

Transcript (auto generated with Descript)

I’ve thought long and hard what to preach. This could be my last time. We never know. God has given us good health. But our days coming to England might be approaching the end. And, so I wanted to be sure to have a word that God wanted for you. And you may find it strange, that I would preach on this subject, which I will call. “Mysterious reasons for suffering.

 

Now, not everybody will need this today, but someone will, I wouldn’t be led to speak on this. You say, well, really, would the Lord lead you just to reach one person. Yes. He’s like that. He would single you out, if you’re in a severe trial right now.

 

And I wonder, I don’t have any information, but I wonder if there’s someone here. You’re in the greatest trial of your whole life right now. You’re right in the middle of it. Well, this is a word for you, and if you’re not that, you should evesdrop because you may need it later. This the word I feel you need to hear.

 

I want to turn your attention to Colossians 1: 24

“now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in Christ afflictions for the sake of his body. That is the church.”

 

May God be pleased to bless the reading and the preaching of this is most Holy and in fallible word. A brief, word of prayer.

 

Heavenly father. I asked now for the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus by your spirit, to rest upon every mind in this place in order that their perception of what I say will be heard as you intend. Cleanse my tongue, that I will be your transparent vehicle to convey everything that needs to be said and nothing that doesn’t need to be said. Help me to be very, very clear, very, very simple. I pray that this will be a life changing word and a word that brings great honor and glory to your name. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.

 

If you received a letter from a prisoner that you’d never met and he wanted to tell you how to do your life, would you listen to him? Well, that’s what we have in the letter to the Colossians. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but Colossians is the only letter written by Paul to people that he never met.

 

How he knew the Galatians. We have Galatians. He had founded a church in Corinth. We have one and two Corinthians. It founded a church in Ephesus. We’ve got Ephesians, he founded a church in Thessaloniki. We’ve got one and two Thessalonians, but. He had nothing to do with the beginning of the church in Colossi.

 

Paul, who happens to be in prison, hears about this church and he decides to say he is their apostle. He uses his apostolic authority and gives us an amazing epistle. Colossians is actually, in my opinion, the most difficult, epistle in the new Testament.

 

And this verse is part of the reason it’s a strange verse. There’s no other verse that’s equivalent. Let me read it to you again. “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ for the sake of his body.” That is the church.

Well, now being a prisoner doesn’t come as a good recommendation. Why would you believe him. And Paul is self-conscious that he is a prisoner. He wrote to Timothy who he knew, who knew him and said, don’t be ashamed of me. His prisoner. Well, it is painful to want to be listened to when people have said things about you that make you look bad. But Paul accepted his sufferings.

 

He says, I rejoice in my sufferings. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but he was told on the day of his conversion that he would suffer. Ananias was given a vision and God said, “I will tell him what he must suffer for my sake”. How’s that for a start in your Christian walk to be told, right? That you’re going to suffer.

 

Well, that’s what happened. And it’s a strange comment that he would make. I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake. Why? Well, it was a challenge that he himself had taken on board and for him and others, and he gave them an opportunity to embrace a further stigma. Now I want to share things that come into the category of suffering.

 

If you are a Christian, there’s three things I want us to see. First, predestination and suffering. Second, the purpose of suffering, and third, the privilege of. Suffering.

 

Now the word predestination, lot of people are afraid of that word, but you don’t need to be afraid of it. You ought to thank God for it. You would not be here right now if it weren’t for predestination. for example, how many Jews do we have here today? Could I see your hand? Jewish people? Would you raise your hands? All right. I don’t see any. How many Gentiles do we have here today? Would you raise your hands. Look, it’s everybody here.

 

There’s a Gentile. Well, in Acts 13:48 Luke who wrote acts, explains how the Gentiles had been brought into the covenant of grace and then makes a theological comment. Luke says it “as many as were appointed to eternalize believed”. In other words, it wasn’t by accident. Those Gentiles who were saved according to Luke, this is his point, as many as were ordained to eternal life, believe.

 

Well, there are a lot of people who don’t like that, and they say, well, what Paul meant, or what Luke meant was that, as many as believed were ordained to eternal life, and that would be true had he said that. But that’s not what he said. He wants you to know. That is by the sheer grace of God. It is no accident that you are saved as many as were appointed to eternal life, believed.

 

So we know that we have been predestined, but now a different question. Predestination to suffering. Yes. Read it. 1 Thessalonians 3:3 “Do not be upset by these trials. You know, you were destined for them.” Well, it shouldn’t surprise you. Paul said in, Philippians 1:30 “it is not only given to you to believe on the on behalf of Christ, but to suffer for him.”

 

Well, these Philippians might say, well, thanks a lot for telling us now, why didn’t you tell us that before we became Christians? Well, Paul would say, you can get out of it. It’s all right if you don’t want to go along with this and it might interest you to know that the first word, it could be said written in the New Testament.That says you should count it pure joy when you fall into all kinds of trials. The reason I say it’s the first word of the new Testament, the book of James was the first written. It was probably around in the late forties and he’s not first in the Canon of scripture,  it starts with. Matthew Mark Luke and John. James is toward the end, but this was written first. And why is it put there? I don’t know. But I do know that his opening comment was, he’s speaking probably to Jews, mainly in the Jerusalem church, but to all Jews. Count it joy that you fall. Now, when he said, count it, it’s the same Greek word is Paul uses in Romans four. we are counted righteousness by our faith.

 

In other words, in order to become a Christian, you must give up all hope in your good works. And trust only in what Jesus did for you on the cross and for those who transfer the trust that they had on their good works to what Jesus did for them on the cross. In that moment, you are counted. Righteous is the way God sees you and this is the reason you’re going to go to heaven.

 

Well, it’s the same word that James says. Count it pure joy when you fall in a diver’s trials. Some say if you face trials, but the Greek means fall. Here’s this is important. You see, when you’re told that, having a trial, you should count it. Pure joy. If it’s a good thing, how someone might say, well, I must go out and look for a trial because it’s going to be good for me. Don’t be a fool. It will come soon enough. But the point is if you fall into it, you didn’t ask for it. It just happened to you. You qualify, says James to count it. Consider it pure joy. You know, why do that? Well, look, the reason he would say, count it pure joy, he said, it’s not the natural reaction.

 

You have to make a decision. You’re in a trial. You don’t know why you don’t know the purpose, but you are to consider it. You impute to it a pure joy. It’s only a matter of time that you will look back and say, I wish I did because I see now is the best thing that ever happened to me. I can tell you the greatest trial of our lives, I’m speaking of Louisa and me. We lived long enough to say thank God for it. In fact, when we came to what was the worst trial of our lives, and you’ve heard me talk about it when the first time I came, this is my fourth visit. The first time, I’m pretty sure I preached on total forgiveness. When Joseph’s son said to me, RT, you must totally forgive them.

 

It was a worst moment ever. I can tell you now, you can put me under a lie detector. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. And you see, James knows this about all trials. Our first reaction, Oh no, why me? Surely not please. Oh God, help man. But he says, count it pure joy, because you’re going to see down the road.

 

It’s what God did. And you will thank him for it one day. So start now. You see. One day you’ll be able to say all things work together for good, but considered in advance. That’s the way you are going to look at it. Well, that’s what I mean by predestination and suffering, but I want to come now to the purpose of suffering.

 

Why would God do this? Oh, you say, are you saying God does it? Yup. That’s exactly what I’m saying. If he didn’t, it’d be no reason to count it pure joy. Now, I feel you have three reasons you should regard this as a good thing. If you’re in trial, the first is that you might come into your inheritance. Now, don’t have time to unfold all that I mean by that. It would be worthy of a whole sermon. Let me try to make it simple and brief. Every Christian is called to come into his or her inheritance. Some do, some don’t. Those who do will find that they get a reward at the judgment seat of Christ. Those who don’t, according to Paul will be saved by fire. They won’t be lost. They won’t go to hell, but they’ll be saved by fire. And so God has an inheritance for you. And in order not to miss that inheritance, one of the ways is to accept the trial he gives you. Don’t complain, don’t shake your fist at God and see how could you do this to me? Just say, Lord, I don’t understand it. I can’t say that I particularly like it, but your word says I should count it pure joy, and I’m going to do just that. God will honor you and you will come into your inheritance.

 

I will say this inheritance is external and internal. External. It’s what you do in life. A quick way to explain what I mean by that. I’m a Bible teacher. That’s what I do. I’m not a physicist. I’m not a physician. I’m not a banker. I’m a Bible teacher and you do something and this is what God has laid out for you. Whether you’re a secretary, lawyer, banker position, that’s your external inheritance.

 

But then there is your internal inheritance. That is the way you walk in the light that God gives you, and you do what Paul is saying here now to learn to rejoice in your sufferings and by living an obedient life, God will. Bless you. Now, don’t ask, what is my external inheritance? Ask what is my internal inheritance? And God wants you to get to know him.

 

It has been said, and I believe it’s true. You can have as much of God as you want, and those who want, all of God they can get. That’s your inner inner inheritance internal where your relationship with God walking in the light. Don’t ask, what is my external ask? Am I following through with what God wants me to do?

 

The external will take care of itself as long as you obey him. And so your internal inheritance that is when you accept, for example, the suffering you might be going through at the moment. Well, that’s the first reason.

 

Now, as for trial. There are levels of trials. if you could picture a pyramid at the bottom, a simple trial, you’re disappointed with the things went today. Disappointment. Next level, someone betrays you and that hurts, then higher level physical suffering, then  higher than that is  Financial reverse, but the peak, the most glorious kind of suffering is when you are persecuted for the gospel. I don’t know how many go through that, but it’s only a matter of time that all Christians who make the claim that Jesus is the only way you’re going to suffer persecution right at the top.

 

But doesn’t matter which kind, it could be a marriage problem. It could be a physical problem, but whatever level, just learn to accept it. Well, now that’s the first reason that you might come into your inheritance and receive a reward at the judgment seat of Christ. But then there is a second reason and Paul calls it filling up what is lacking. Now, my friend Joseph zone, the same one that God used to turn my life around. I sometimes die a thousand deaths when I think of the possibility, I had never met that man. I could tell you I would be here today humanly speaking. There’s no way. And to think that God used that man in our darkest hour, that’s the same Joseph’s zone. I invited him to preach at Westminster chapel and he chose. For his text this verse, and in book of job, and I’m borrowing his title, I’m indebted to him to preach this today. Mysterious reasons for suffering, and we learn here that. So much suffering has been allocated to the body of Christ. You could say a quota. A certain quality is this strange comment. He says, in my flesh, I’m filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body. That in the church you see such suffering is called Christ afflictions. There is a quota. A certain amount of suffering. God is looking for people who will suffer and not complain. And I can announce this morning that there is space available because most people complain and they miss what would have been glorious.

 

So Paul is saying, I’m, I’m filling up. He, he knows what he’s doing. And if we could reach that place, you would consider it a such an honor. So that’s part of the mysterious reasons for suffering. There’s a quota, but then there’s a second reason behind the scenes, and that is the angels are watching. And we learned from the book of job that God said to Satan, have you considered my servant job?

 

Well, Satan said, huh, I’ll tell you what. You take away what you’ve given him and he’ll curse you to your face. Well, the angels were watching to see what would happen to a man. Or a woman  who had everything and lost it, what would they do then? How fun would their faith be? And we also learned from the book of job, this may surprise you, but that God was the architect of all that happened.

 

You see, some people say, this is what the devil did. Remember, God started it. God said to Satan. Have you considered my servant job? And if you are in a trial right now, I want you to know that before the trial began, God had you in mind and he called your name and said, have you considered my servant whatever your name is. And you think, well, God wouldn’t do that to me goes, I’m not up to it. Yes you are. Or he would not have allowed it. No trial is given to what is common to man. God will with the trial or temptation, just a Greek word that means suffering or being tested. It will always be according to what God allows and he will not allow you to be tested beyond what you are able.

And you say what? RT, I’m in over my head and I can’t cope with this. This is horrible, but just know this. God singled you out, and at the moment you may feel it’s unfair, but if you will dignify this trial and not complain and enter into how job later would feel, though he slay me, yet will I trust him?

 

This is what brings honor and glory to God. Well, here’s the thing. Paul is not complaining. He says, I rejoice. You say, well, I can’t do that. RT, I understand. When I’ve been in my worst trials, I found it almost impossible to rejoice, but it may be after a while you begin to know God’s ways and he’s on your case, and he’s got a special work for you to do.

 

By the way, sometimes God gives an extreme kind of suffering. The apostle Paul called it thorn in the flesh. It’s a metaphor. the word thorn comes from a Greek word. It’s, it’s like a fish hook. If you ever been fishing and have a fish hook. enter in your hand. It’s, it hurts and you, if you try to take it out, it hurts more and you just have to leave it and it’s going to be painful.

 

Well, a thorn in the flesh, Paul doesn’t tell us what his thorn is. I’ve actually re written a book called Thorn in the Flesh. I happen to know there’ve been over 50 views in church history. Nobody knows what Paul’s thorn was. it’s an umbrella term. So, but we can all get under it. And Paul said, because God had dealt with me so wonderfully, I needed this thorn in the flesh to humble me and keep me from being conceited. You say, Oh, Paul wouldn’t have that problem. Oh yes, he would. And so would you. We all, if we says that God is blessing us, if we’re not careful, we begin to think, look at what I’ve done or I’m special. Well, a thorn in the flesh is extreme suffering. in my book, a thorn of the flesh. I gave about 10 possibilities, and one of them, I just now thought of is unhappy marriage.

 

I’ll never forget. I was in Northern Ireland and a man came up to me and said, RT, can your wife be your enemy? I said, Yes. Well, he said, I want you to know I love your book on unhappy marriage. I said, I’ve written a book on an unhappy marriage. He says, you have. It’s changed my life that I remembered in my book, Thorn in the Flesh, there’s a chapter on happy marriage, so sometimes God allows things like this to drive you to your knees and to get the wife to submit as it as to Christ to get the man to love like Christ loved the church.

 

Well, now the question is, have you ever thought about it? Why be a Christian? What? Why do you think a person should be a Christian? Do you think they should? should your neighbor be a Christian? Should they be saved? You pray for your loved ones.

 

Why? You think the person you work with, you see, do you think they should be saved? Why? What’s the point? What if you wrote on the sheet of paper reason you think a person should be a Christian? What would you say? First we said, well, it’ll help their marriage. Well, I can only say don’t count on it because this distinctly shows that 50% in Britain who were married in a church, ended up in divorce, 50%. Those married by in a, by justice of a piece or in a lawyer’s office ended up in divorce. So you can’t say Christianity is going to help you. Well, you say, hi, tell you why you should be a Christian. You will be happy. Really.

 

The first person I baptized at Westminster chapel, many years ago was a man by the name of Jay Michaels. He was a Los Angeles Jew businessman, had an office in London, and on his way to not Moscow, while in London, his secretary invited him to come to Westminster chapel and he came one Sunday night. I didn’t know about it for months, but that night, Jay Michaels was gloriously saved.

 

And later on, I baptized him and it turns out that he, we actually became friends when we were in America. He joined us on holiday. We went fishing together and we were great friends. Jay Michaels one day in a key Largo restaurant. He looked at me and said, before I became a Christian, I was a happy man. How’s that for a testimony? Let’s have evangelists rally and just before the preacher Jay Michael’s come up. Tell us what Christianity has done for you. Well, I will say that before I became a Christian, I was happy. Everybody gonna say, Oh, I want to be a Christian now. This is wonderful. How would you like if Paul tells you what Christianity has done for him, it’s possible.

 

Suppose he answered the question, what has Christianity done for you, Paul? We actually gives us the answer. it’s in three places which says much the same thing.. Two Corinthians 11. He said, imprisonment, countless beatings, often near death. Really? Paul? Where do I sign up? I can’t wait. I want to be saved five times. I received at the hands of the Jews, the 40 lashes save one three times. I was beaten with rods. Whoa. I can’t wait. Oh, thank you, Paul. I want to be saved three times. I was shipwrecked. I mean, then it just keeps on going many sleepless nights, Paul, you have trouble sleeping. Surely you’re so close to God. You just say, God help me to sleep. He says, not me. God just lets me know all night, don’t sleep. So if you ever wonder why in the middle of the night you can’t sleep, Paul would say the same thing. He said, I’ve gone hunger and thirst without food. This is what Christianity has done for you.

 

And by the way. Since I raised the question, why should you be a Christian? Well, in Romans one Paul says, I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, the power of God and his salvation. That’s what it’s for. He could’ve said this power of God for signs and wonders. Paul believed in signs and wonders, but that’s not what he said.

 

He could have said is the power of God for healing. Paul believed in healing, but that’s not what he said. He said, it’s the power of God for salvation. To the Jew first and also to the Greek, and then he says, the righteousness of God is revealed from face to face. Maybe the faith of Jesus must be ratified by our faith that we won’t be saved.

 

And then he gives the reason because of the wrath of God. Verse 18 Romans one 18 two verses later, this is why you should be a say a Christian. The wrath of God is revealed. The first message of the new Testament. The very first, Matthew three verse six John the Baptist said, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

 

This is why you’re a Christian. It’s not because it’s going to make you happy. It’s not because it’s going to solve your marriage. Well, Paul understands this, and he has said these sufferings and chases. It’s God way of preparing you. All right, predestination and suffering, the purpose of suffering, but now the privilege of sufferings.

 

I don’t know if you realize it, but it’s only a matter of time to think that you’ve not only been chosen and you’re saved, but God has chosen certain sufferings for you because you are special. Should we be? It ought to be obvious. It is a privilege. You see, as we saw so much suffering has been allocated to the body of Christ. What if, so much money has been allocated to you, and you’re told by your bank, NatWest or Barclays come in Monday morning and there’s money allocated to you? Would you go and claim it. I think you would. Well, so much suffering has been allocated to the body of Christ and why should it be given to someone else because you won’t claim it.

 

So here, God has determined that so much suffering is allocated to the body of Christ there. So those who reject it, they say no thank you. No thank you. No thank you. Some get more than others. And if you get more this. Jesus said, to whom much is given shall much be required. The greater the suffering, the greater the anointing.

 

And if you’re wanting more anointing, you want more power. You want God to use you. I’m sorry, but he just chooses suffering. Now, you know, I believe in the laying on of hands, and I, I’ve had people praying for me, the most famous of the faith healers. I mean, I’ve had Billy Graham pray for me. I’ve had Martin Lloyd Jones lay hands on me and I can name 50 more. I don’t rule out that God heard their prayers, but I never felt there was any direct connection and I never fell. I never felt power. But in my case, if I have that anointing It’s come through suffering. That’s the way he’s chosen in my case. And it might be, you should reevaluate the opportunities you’ve had for suffering, and you rejected them because you said, no, thank you. I don’t think I can do this.  Paul is not complaining. in other words, he says, I rejoice.

 

Here’s a verse. Acts 5:41 it’s when Peter and John left the Sanhedrin. You say the ruling council of the Jews, they are mostly Sadducees and they hated Christianity. Pharisees did too, but the Sadducees hated it because they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead. And of course   the Christian said Jesus had been raised from the dead and the Sadducees just went ballistic. And they ruled must most of the Sanhedrin. And they call in Peter and John and they tell them, don’t you dare speak in this name anymore. And then they were beaten.

 

And as they leave the council, it says, Peter and John rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for his name. Inside of this, I can imagine all the Sanhedrin who say, well, we’ve taught them Alyssa, we won’t have to worry about them anymore. They couldn’t have known Peter and John couldn’t believe their luck that they got to suffer. You see, they realized, especially Peter, that six weeks before Peter denied even knowing Jesus. It was in my Bible reading this morning. I have a Bible really plan today. I was in Luke 22 and it tells how Peter denied knowing the Lord, and he heard the crowing of the rooster. And remember the Jesus said, you will deny me. Peter said, never, but it did. And he wept his heart out. He was so sorry. And I am sure. Peter felt so bad that he let God down. He said, Lord, is there any possibility I could show where I stand? And so when they left the council and they were beaten, they had to pinch themselves. Look, what God has done is let us do. What a privilege.

 

And I wonder, I wonder anyone here today. You have let the Lord down and you know it and you’re ashamed that you did it. And what if God gives you a second chance to testify and to let those know that you’re not ashamed to be a Christian and just say, God, thank you all. In the case of Peter and John, they couldn’t believe their luck. They rejoiced and so they knew they would be chosen for a greater anointing. And by the way, the greater the anointing, the greater the suffering. There’s a price to pay. God wants to know how much you honor him.

 

And so Satan said to God, as for job, start taking away this good stuff you’ve given him. He’ll curse you to your face. And the angels are watching to see. Whether there was ever a person who had everything and lost it, and the angels are watching to see how they’d turn out and just maybe the angels are watching you to see whether what you do is predictable or you want to show that you are so devoted to God. And that if he does these things, he takes away good things.

 

You lose the promotion, you lose a friend, you’re persecuted for the gospel, financial reverse, flat on your back up to now you’ve said, why me, Lord? God says, well, why not you? I’m looking for those who will fill up sufferings and God is big, especially good to you. You know, I have a theory. We’ll get to know one day, whether I’m right, my theory is he goes something like this.

 

The lower the profile here below the higher profile in heaven and at the judgment seat of Christ and the higher the profile here, the lower in heaven. What I want to say is that the people that will be the stars in glory. We’ll be people you’ve never heard of. So I imagine this, we’re at the judgment seat of Christ by the way that’s coming. 2 Corinthians 5 10 . We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of what we did in our bodies, whether good or bad. It’s going to happen, and I wonder just what it will be like. Maybe it’s something like this. They’re all there and we’re standing or waiting or sitting.

 

I don’t know what it’s going to be like. It’d be the scariest day of your life and you’re standing before God. You think, well, I wonder who would be called first? Oh, so someone, it will be Moses, Moses, all it’ll be Abraham. Oh, it’d be the apostle Paul, or it’ll be Billy Graham and we’ll all waiting, and we hear a name, a name that you’ve never heard of, a name that doesn’t ring a bell to you. And that name is called out of a little lady stands up and says. Well, that’s my name. Well, he’s calling for you. Go, go. And so this lady goes and stands before Jesus, who says, we saw you. We saw your tears. We saw your pain and how things were not good at home. We saw how your husband treats you. We saw you when you had the bipolar disease. In Gordon hospital in London and how you were just praising the Lord. Reason I tell that is because that actually happened. My, Verger came to me and said, I’ve been to visit Yvette today. And, how she doing? Well said she’s been in a lot of pain and I went in, she was sitting on the edge of her bed crying.

 

And I said, how are you doing, Yvette? And she said, well, I’m just sitting here praising the Lord because Dr Kendall taught us that when we’re in suffer, we just should praise the Lord and that’s what I’m doing. And so Jesus says, Yvette, you didn’t realize we were watching you. We watched everything and how welcome home, well done, sister.

 

Good. And you see that’s it. You may not have high profile, you may not be the head of the church or minister or one that is looked up to, but in heaven it’d be a big reversal. And those who have suffered and not complained will be the stars. My mother, was born in Springfield, Illinois, and she had, when she was a teenager. An elderly lady, a woman about 90, would, tell stories. And the teenagers would sit on the floor and listened to her 90 year old lady. And she said, one day, boys and girls, I’ve been serving the Lord for so long, but I can hardly tell the difference between a blessing and a trial.

 

You will not have heard of Henry Morrison. The Henry Morrison was a missionary a hundred years ago, a Baptist missionary in Africa.  at the end of 40 years of ministry in Africa. He decided he would retire and he wrote two or three letters to friends to say, I’m coming home. And, he told them when he would be coming into the New York Harbor  it happened as they were coming into the New York Harbor, a band was playing. Okay. And Henry Morrison looked at his wife, he says, you know, they shouldn’t have done that. All my friends have gotten it. I got a band for this. They shouldn’t have done it. And they were all ready to go. They’re going to be first off the ship. And when they’re getting ready to go down the gangplank. A policeman stops him. Stop here, sir. Bow. Oh, it puts his bags down. It turns out that president Theodore Roosevelt was on the same ship. He had been game hunting in Africa for three weeks. The band was for him, the old mission. It turns out it was last off the ship, and when it gets to the bottom of the gangplank and he puts his Briefcase down suitcases and Hey, look, not a soul has come to greet him. They walk over three blocks to a third rate hotel. It’s so discouraged. He falls on the bed and says, Lord, I suffer for you in Africa. For 40 years.

 

Theodore Roosevelt game hunts for three weeks. And when he comes home, a band plays for him. I come home and there’s nobody here. Mm. And then I heard the voice, clear, as a bell:

“But you’re not home yet.”

Paul said, I reckon that the sufferings of this life are not worth compared to the glory that will follow.

 

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Trials will seem so small.

 

Heavenly father, take this word. Apply this word by your Holy spirit. I pray in Jesus name. Amen

 

More Articles about Suffering


Coming soon (God willing) : the rest of the series “Jesus Commands

Jesus said that if you obey him your life will be established on a firm foundation when the storms come.

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