The theme for these messages was Buried in Suffering, Risen in Joy. This message is called Gethsemene to the Cross - Road of Suffering
On Saturday morning, Mary Heather continued the theme by speaking more about suffering. We read Matthew 26 beginning in verse 36 about Jesus in Gethsemane praying alone while his disciples slept. We learned that:
Because God wants our holiness even more than our happiness, we need to change our right to happiness to a right to holiness
We are not put here to get from God, we're not spiritual consumers. God may have suffering in store for us. We are here to serve and glorify God
Suffering has the ability to make us holy. We have the choice though of anger and bitterness instead, but let God move you from anger to embrace suffering (Phil 3:10). To know Christ, there are seasons of suffering.
God wants us to look like him, not like unbelievers. So, God uses all things for our good (which is for our holiness) Ro. 8:28
Suffering is a place of loneliness (Matt 26:40). It's an OK place to be. God tells us to make Him our husband, that he will satisfy us in our suffering (Psalm 142). We do need the church body. It's not that we're to always keep our suffering to ourselves, but lower your expectations of people. They don't know what you're going through, especially if you don't tell them . God can satisfy you in suffering.
Jesus has experienced that utter loneliness. Withhold judgement on someone elses suffering. Speak carefully to that person so you don't become like Job's friends and increase their suffering.
Suffering can come from loss or physical death or even the death of a dream.
Ps 34: I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise will always be on my lips. Mourning is a part of suffering and we must go through it for as long as it takes (Eccl 3)
If you are suffering and you know that you have sinned, repent and move on. If you don't think it is due to sin, don't entertain Satan's accusations, wait on God.
In your suffering, make it your goal to know Him (Phil 3:10)