Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
We all know that as human beings, we are finite (limited in terms of time, space and power). We’re even limited in terms of knowledge and understanding. Added to that is our moral corruption. For example, we lie and are often fickle-minded, not keeping our word. But the God of the Bible is not like us. In essence, He is infinite (in terms of His presence, power and knowledge), He is unchangeable and He is eternal (not limited by time). In this sermon, we learn how these glorious truths, the attributes of God help us in our Christian life, especially in times of trouble and uncertainty.
As Christians we often misunderstand mission as going only to foreign lands, but overlook the immediate context where the Lord has put us. We change careers, places and take major decisions either because of external pressure or because of our internal desires. We’re prone to make too many changes without really understanding God’s will for our lives. In this passage we learn how God calls us to be faithful in our calling wherever he has placed us.
Jesus commanded his people to make disciples of all nations. The prerequisite for making disciples is sharing and preaching the gospel wherever they are, that’s the starting point. God doesn’t require His followers to have great eloquence in their speech, they just need to share the gospel – that Christ died as substitute for sinners on the cross and therefore offered the forgiveness for their sins. This is a simple message of hope we’re asked to share and allow God the Holy Spirit to work wonders, because the gospel is the power of God. In this message, we learn how the gospel proclamation is a community project and not one man’s show from the pulpit. Sharing the gospel unashamedly is the only way to see the nations and cultures redeemed for a life of hope.