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Sermon Notes – Suffering


Yesterday morning we had a guest Pastor speak at our church. Steve Smith, Assistant Pastor/Youth at Lindworth Baptist Church (not the wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers), spoke on the subject of “Suffering” from the text in Romans 8:17-28. While Romans 8:28 is one of the most quoted verses, suffering is something that none of us want to talk about. Ever.

Below are my notes from the service and the personal application (my take-away).

1. Suffering will be worth it all for our inheritance.

A. New glorified bodies

B. We will rule with Christ

C. We will be with God himself

2. We are not alone in our suffering.

A. Not alone in as the world

B. Not alone as individuals

C. Not alone as Christ (intercedes for us verse 27)

3. God causes all things to work together for good.

A. All believers

B. All things

C. “Good” means forming you into the image of Jesus Christ

Final thought: “God is doing SOMETHING with your suffering”


I marvel at how so often the timing of these things happens. I noted yesterday that there was “not a dry eye in the house” by the end of Steve’s message. A video clip he showed of a story out of Boston might have caused some of that emotion, but the reality is that there were several misty eyes before the video ever rolled. Pain and suffering hit home with every single person I know. Some show it more than others, but while we’re in this world there will be trouble. People are hurting and, dare I say, searching for the promise? It’s there, it just doesn’t appear as we would draw it up.

A year ago I sat with a friend as he fought the terrible disease of cancer. If I am honest, it is so hard to quote Romans 8:28 at times like that. When we’re knee deep in the storm, that is not often the first words that come to mind. Maybe it’s just me but my guess is I am not alone in that. Maybe that is why the Steven Curtis Chapman CD was on constant rotation for me last week too. “Beauty Will Rise” is a collection of 12 songs from a man that knows what suffering is all about. Each song is a journey from pain to ultimate resolution that God is in control. It helped me as the anniversary of my dear friends passing nears.

I included the video above because it has been my prayer for a year. While there are so many stories to come from my friends passing (like the people that accepted Christ as his funeral), one thing I learned was to pray for Gods will…no matter how painful. I am resigned to the fact that I am a finite man trying to understand an infinite God. Trust, faith, understand and surrender are not words that top my list, but that is all a part of this journey. I pray that I am growing stronger in each one every day.

For more, check out the “Video of the Week” posted in the sidebar. It’s a song by Kutless called “I’m Still Yours”.


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Comments · 2

  • Nate L · November 10, 2009

    Interesting… the message at our church this Sunday (and really the last few weeks) was on this same topic.

    One thing stuck with me was Psalm 62. It’s a great reminder of who God is, and that we are not alone in our suffering.

  • Aaron Conrad · November 10, 2009

    Thanks Nathan. Good to hear from you! Hope all is well. It is also good to know that what our churches are teaching is relevant. Pain and suffering are high on the list right now and hit home with so many people. As sad as that is to say. It challenges us all to hold on to the promise.

    Our Small Group discussed last week how it is in those moments that our faith really shows. As someone said, when you are squeezed, what comes out of you? I thought of Dungy and his son and Steven Curtis Chapman and his daughter. They are both models of faith in that they didn’t act like everything was okay, but at the end they pointed to God. I don’t know that I can say I would be able to, but it’s the goal at the end of this journey.

    Hope your family is well. When are we going to run a race together? Well, when are we going to start and you’ll be waiting on me at the finish?

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