Pastor Joel Conti
Main Point: During times of great suffering, God will still be glorified and He will use times of suffering to produce a hopeful future.
Suffering glorifies God
20Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
- Jesus explains the reason HE must suffer…the reason He must suffer is MULTIPLICATION
- Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds
- Through the “death” of wheat, life is produced…each seed has a ‘resurrection’ of sorts
- In fact, all seeds die (not completely), but in many ways, the shell of every seed dies, once it serves it’s purpose
- Was the suffering of Jesus necessary? Absolutely, He was the buried seed…if He didn’t die, we couldn’t live
- Jesus goes on to say another reason that suffering was necessary:
27“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
- Jesus is troubled- in His emotions, He is troubled…He doesn’t WANT TO DIE but He knows HE MUST DIE…so that we might live and so that the Father may be glorified
“I have glorified it and will glorify it again”-
- God did not send Jesus to the earth to die, He sent Jesus to the earth to multiply
- We are the harvest…we are the result of the suffering of Jesus
- What about us? Will we suffer?
- I don’t know WHY we suffer but I do know this:
- the results of suffering can be used for good
- I also know that suffering reveals weakness
- Suffering makes us appreciate the most important things in life
Paul points out what suffering produces:
Romans 5: 3-8
3Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- To “glory” in suffering is not to “enjoy,” it is to produce
God wants to turn the manure in our life into fertilizer!
That is what Paul saying in these verses:
3…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope.
- This ‘decomposition’ that happens in our soul is GOOD DEATH- it’s a burial of your old self, to make room for your new self to emerge…without death, there can be no resurrection
- Because, I guarantee two things: Manure Happens and that Manure can become some of the best fertilizer for next season’s growth
Questions to ponder this week:
- Read John 12: 23-26: what stands out in these verses and what is God saying to me personally in these verses?
- What kind of person were you when you became a Christian? How have you changed since that time? How does this relate to the sermon?
- In my life, have I suffered in one season only to discover that God used it for His glory in the next season?