Because our righteous God holds us for eternity, we can trust Him in our suffering

Blessed be the name of the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised!

Psalm 113:2-3


Teach us to trust You


God is faithful to those who suffer

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 4:12-13
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:10-12

God purifies us in our suffering

Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver.
Malachi 3:2-3a
We see God cutting away, cutting away things that aren’t pleasing to Him, and it’s painful. . . . He begins to define us, and we become more and more beautiful because we come to reflect Him more and more. . . . He is in our suffering. He’s purifying us. He’s cleaning us, and He calls on us to trust Him even in the hardest moments. He calls on us to glorify Him. Our suffering is to bring Him glory because we suffer in Christ’s name.
morning sermon, Rev. Tim Rackley, August 20, 2023

God allows our suffering

Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 4:19
As God refines us with suffering, He calls us to cling to Him. As we cling to Him, we let the things of the old man go. Our desires and purposes in life are changed. . . . God is in control of our suffering, and He is using it for His good and holy purposes even though we may not understand them in this lifetime. It is our job to entrust ourselves to Him and to continue to do what is right even in the hardest times.
morning sermon, Rev. Tim Rackley, August 20, 2023
Father, we come before Your throne to worship.
We are here to lift up Your name
and to give You glory and honor,
yet we know we so often usurp Your throne in our lives.
We have an incessant desire to be our own gods.
We often live within the facade that we know all,
and we know best.
We perceive ourselves to be wise and self-determining.
When trials and suffering come,
this facade is broken.
It is crushed.
Our illusions are destroyed,
and we see our own weakness
and are unnerved.
Help us to understand that we are finite,
and You alone are God.
Forgive us when we place ourselves on Your throne.
Help us to trust in Your goodness
that is expressed to us in Christ.
May we see Your faithfulness to us.
Teach us to recount Your mighty acts in our lives,
to recount Your faithfulness to us over the years.
Remind us that Your plans and purposes for us
are good and for our best.
Give us the grace to embrace them.
Develop in us a love for our Savior
that changes our fleshly perspective on suffering
and overwhelms our desire for sin.
Pour out Your grace on us
so that we may stand strong
in the battle that rages for our very souls.
Remind us that it is Your hand,
Your grace,
Your faithfulness,
Your forgiveness,
and Your power
that keeps us from the evil one.
morning service, Rev. Tim Rackley, August 20, 2023

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