They are preaching through the passages to the seven churches in the book of Revelation. This week was Revelation 3:7-13 to the church in Philadelphia, what they called the "enduring church." The title of the message was "Suffering Faithfully."
Point one was: There is a difference between suffering and suffering well. All of us are going to suffer, and we have to choose if we are going to turn away from God, or to God. As the pastor said, "You never understand that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have."
Point two was: Suffering can either be a greenhouse where faith grows, or a desert where faith dies. This followed the train of thought of the first point.
Point three was: God can send a message out of a mess; and God can give a testimony out of a test. The pastor posed the question, "What if our greatest platform to testify to God's grace is when we lose (or when things go wrong), rather than when we win (or things go well)?"
Point four was: What you stand to gain as you endure suffering will far eclipse whatever you might have lost.
Three quotes I wrote down at the end were:
- From v.11, and something a man shared with him during a personal struggle once... "Never let anybody steal your crown."
- A quote from A.W. Tozer: "It is doubtful that God can use a man greatly until he hurts him deeply."
- And... "Hold on." Rather than telling people things will get better, or that "everything happens for a reason" and things like that... We need to simply come alongside one another and encourage one another to "hold on." We're all going to suffer, but not forever.