Evening Vespers 2010 Portland Area BS Convention Meditations on The Secret of Suffering
The Secret of Suffering But what suffering are we talking about? - Not suffering as chastisement! - Not suffering over losses in the stock market! - Not suffering because of a speeding ticket!!!
The Secret of Suffering “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.” - 1 Peter 4:15,16
The Secret of Suffering R4767 - “To be fitted for the priestly office to which he was called our Lord must be proved beyond all peradventure…. Thus, through suffering, he learned obedience to the perfect will of God, down to the lowest depths of self-abnegation and God permitted it so to be, because such proving was necessary….”
The Secret of Suffering “….And so we also must suffer if we would be footstep-followers of the Lamb. Character cannot be developed wholly without trial….. Thus we learn to realize that "All things work together for good...to the called according to his purpose," to those who are to be members of his Body.— Ro 8:28.” - R4767
The Secret of Suffering The suffering we wish to meditate on tonight is: Christ-like Suffering Suffering we endure because of our pursuing a Christ-like life of consecration.
Judge not: the workings of the brain And of the heart thou canst not see! What looks to thy dim eye a stain In God’s pure light may only be A scar, brought from some well-known field, Where thou wouldst only faint and yield
The look, the air that frets thy sight May be a token that below The soul hath closed in deadly fight With some internal, fiery foe, Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace And cast thee, shuddering, on thy face.
1 Corinthians 12:26 “And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
Hymn #23 - Christian Fellowship Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love. The Fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above. Blest are the sons of peace Whose hearts and hopes are one, Whose kind designs to server and please, Thro’ all their actions run
Before our Father’s throne, We pour our ardent prayers Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts and our cares. We share our mutual woes; Our mutual burdens bear; And often for each other flows, The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part, O may this mutual love. Encourage every fainting heart, His zeal and faith to prove. Our glorious hope revives Our courage every day, While each in expectation strives To run the heav’nly way.
What does suffering teach us? 1. Suffering teaches us about God.
He’s helping me now this moment, Though I may not see it or hear, Perhaps by a friend far distant, Perhaps by a stranger near, Perhaps by a spoken message, Perhaps by a printed word; In ways that I know and know not, I have the help of the Lord.
He’s keeping me now – this moment, However I need it most Perhaps by a single angel, Perhaps by a mighty host, Perhaps by the chain that frets me, Or the walls that shut me in; In ways that I know and know not, He keeps me from harm and sin.
He was better to me than all my hopes; He was better than all my fears; He made a bridge of my broken works, And a rainbow of my tears.
If all were easy, if all were bright, Where would the cross be - where would the fight? But in the hard place God gives to you Chances for proving what he can do! The Theater at Ephesus
“When you have nothing left but God, then for the first time you become aware that God is enough.”
Sometimes I walk in the shadow, Sometimes in sunlight clear; But whether in gloom or brightness, The Lord is very near.
Sometimes I walk in the valley, Sometimes on the mountain’s crest; But whether on low or highland, The Lord is manifest.
Sometimes I walk in the desert, Sometimes in waters cold; But whether by sands or streamlets, The Lord doth me enfold.
Sometimes I walk in green pastures, Sometimes on barren land; But whether in peace or danger, The Lord hold fast my hand.
What does suffering teach us? 1. Suffering teaches us about God. 2. Suffering teaches us about Sin.
Psalm 119:67 “Before I was afflicted I went astray.”
It is God’s will that I should cast, My care on Him each day, He also asks me not to cast My confidence away. But, oh, how stupidly I act When taken unaware, I cast away my confidence And carry all my care.
Psalms 51:5: “ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”
Our hearts are fastened to the world With strong and various ties, But every trouble cuts a string, And urges us to rise.
What does suffering teach us? 1. Suffering teaches us about God. 2. Suffering teaches us about Sin. 3. Suffering teaches us about the need and means of character development.
I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chattered all the way; But left me none the wiser For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow. And ne’er a word said she; But, oh, the things I learned from her When Sorrow walked with me.
It’s easy enough to be pleasant, When life goes along like a song. But the man worthwhile is the man who can smile, When everything seems to go wrong.
Take Time to be Holy Take time to be holy, Speak oft with thy Lord; Abide in Him always, And feed on His Word. Make friends of God’s children; Help those who are weak; Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.
Take Time to be Holy Take time to be holy, The world rushes on; Spend much time in secret With Jesus alone; By looking to Jesus, Like Him thou shalt be; Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
Take Time to be Holy Take time to be holy, Let Him be thy Guide, And run not before Him, What-ever be-tide; In joy or in sorrow, Still follow thy Lord, And, looking to Jesus, Still trust in His Word.
Take Time to be Holy Take time to be holy, Be calm in thy soul; Each tho’t and each motive Beneath His control; Thus led by His Spirit To fountains of love, Thou soon shalt be fitted, For service above.
Disappointment – His appointment Change one letter and I see That the thwarting of my purpose Is God’s better choice for me.
Disappointment – His appointment Whose? The Lord who loves me best. Understands and knows me fully, Who my faith and love would test.
For, like loving earthly parents, He rejoices when He knows That His child accepts unquestioned All that from His wisdom flows.
Why dost Thou dim these eyes of mine? “To help you see” Why bind these eager limbs? “To set you free” Why dull these ears of mine? “That you may hear” And thus shut out these loving friends? “To bring them near”
Why check these thoughts of mine? “That you may think” And parchest thus these thirsty lips? “Of Me to drink” Why break this earthly house of mine? “To dwell therein” And endest thus this throbbing life? “New to begin”
Psalm 103:13, 14 - “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”
How does the character grow? Not all in a minute; Now it may lose ground, now it may win it, Now it resolves again the will faileth, Now it rejoices, now it bewaileth, Now its hopes bring fruit, now they are blighted, Now it walks suddenly, now gropes benighted. Fed by discouragements, taught by disasters, So it goes forward, slower, and faster; Till, all the pain past, failure made whole, It is full grown, and the Lord rules the soul.
What does suffering teach us? 1. Suffering teaches us about God. 2. Suffering teaches us about Sin. 3. Suffering teaches us about the need and means of character development. 4. Suffering is communal.
James 1:27: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
If I had known your heart was aching so With lonliness and yearning for a friend, And known what road, alone, you had to go, Had dreamed what bit of gladness I might lend, I would have been the help I meant to be If I had really known you needed me.
Had I but known God led you there that day, To wait for me, that I might ease your pain And walk with you a mile along the way, Until you felt your load grow light again, Then would my blinded eyes be made to see, If I had known you counted so on me.
What does suffering teach us? 1. Suffering teaches us about God. 2. Suffering teaches us about Sin. 3. Suffering teaches us about the need and means of character development. 4. Suffering is communal. 5. Suffering is unto death.
Afraid? Of what? To feel the spirit’s glad release? To pass from pain to perfect peace? The strife and strain of life to cease? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? Afraid to see the Savior’s face, To hear His welcome, and to trace The glory gleam from wounds of grace? Afraid? Of that?
Afraid? Of what? To enter into Heaven’s rest, And yet to serve the Master blest, From service good to service best? Afraid? Of that?