Sunday Preview ~

April 7, 2011

My sermon this Sunday is called “Prepared by Suffering” from Hebrews 5:7-10. I realize that this is not a title that will fill most of you with joyful anticipation; yet this message may help you in the long run, more than anything I have taught in a long time.

This passage contains insights about how Jesus was prepared by God through suffering. He grew in intimacy with his Father because he learned obedience through what he suffered. He did not suffer because he was a sinner, nor do I think this passage is talking about his suffering on the cross. Jesus knew how to pray with great intensity when he faced heart-rending issues in life. He learned how to listen to the Father and gain wisdom through suffering. If we can understand the humanity of Jesus and how he related to his Father in heaven, it can help us as we struggle in the trials we face.

God can seem distant when we are suffering. Yet suffering is part of all of our lives sooner or later. Suffering can be a character-building, teaching tool that produces compassion and wisdom in our lives; or suffering can be a frustrating, confusing, destructive force that alienates people from God.

Jesus suffered in many ways before the passion week that led to the cross. I’m hoping we can learn from these Scriptures how Jesus processed suffering and was prepared by suffering, so that we too can mature as sons and daughters of God.

As the sun shines brightly in our beautiful valley, I hope the Son of God will shine his light brightly in your life.

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