As COVID-19 continues to ravage the country, Pastor John Piper reminded a group of young adults the importance of living out their faith in trying times.
The truth is, while young adults are bombarded with the message of “do what makes you happy,” very few are taught how to suffer well for the glory of God.
But as Christians, we know it isn’t a matter of if we will suffer, but when. And Piper’s practical message on how to respond when trials and tribulations come serves as an important reminder to us all.
How many of us go through hard times and let them consume us?
Whether it’s the loss of a job or a loved one, our natural flesh reaction is to become overwhelmed with despair and hopelessness, even sometimes anger or bitterness.
It can feel like God is distant during our suffering – but Pastor John Piper reminds us of the truth of God’s Word.
From The Christian Post:
“In the Bible, God often teaches His people to glorify Him through their experience of suffering, Piper said. Stephen, the first martyr of the New Testament, saw God’s glory in his moments of greatest suffering.
“God creates proclaimers of the Word through suffering. That’s one of the means that He uses,” Piper said at the conference on Tuesday which is available to watch on YouTube. “One of the gifts that God has for His people through suffering is to show them things in the Bible about Himself that they had never seen.”
When they experience suffering, Christians can proclaim God’s holiness, he said.”
Piper spoke these words during Cross For The Nations, a conference geared towards young adults ages 18-25 and their leaders to help them discern their role in the Great Commission.
The conference teaches that while some are called to physically serve overseas as missionaries, and others are called to encourage and send missionaries – all are called to partake in the Great Commission.
But during a pandemic, it can be hard to remember why we’re really here.
We get so distracted with the temporary circumstances of life that, if we’re not careful, we can lose the eternal perspective of our calling.
But learning to know deep in one’s soul that God is holy and He is sovereign can help us rest in His truth when the suffering comes.
God often uses suffering to mold and shape His people – including moving one’s heart to serve Him in a radical way.
And while no one knows when this pandemic will end, our mission as Christians still remains the same – to make disciples of all nations.
As is often true in moments of deep despair and darkness, people often look for something (or someone) that helps them make sense of what is happening.
And God has already shown us during these dark times that He is still on His throne as a record number of Christians have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord!
During moments of suffering, God makes His power known.
As John Piper famously said:
“We don’t want to make your life easy, but to make your life count.”
What an important reminder to us all. During this pandemic, may we embrace our suffering and let God mold our hearts to do His will.
And on judgement day, my prayer is that we all finish the race and are greeted into the hands of our loving Father who will proclaim:
“‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25:23
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