As we reach our last bible study in this school year’s bible study, Living Out God’s Grace, I hope and pray that it will bear fruit in all of our lives to be transformed into Christ’s likeness more every day.
This last study about suffering as a channel of God’s grace to grow and mature us will be difficult and challenging in many ways. But it will also be a comfort as we study Paul and his “un-plucked thorn.” (The bible study is on this website under the heading of 2017-2018 Living Out God’s Grace Bible Study and Notes. It can also be picked up in hard copy at CBC and COTG Churches.)
We should not be surprised at our suffering and thorns, for it is the pattern set by our Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Eddie Larkman says it like this:
“Being weak and feeling weak is not in itself fun. But it’s how God makes gospel followers look like the gospel message of the cross – because the truth revealed at the cross is not that we’re mighty but that we’re needy; not that we’re strong and self-sufficient, but that we need rescuing. And God’s rescue comes through the weakness of the cross. So Paul’s weakness, and God’s power working through his weakness, perfectly displays the cross.”
The Apostle Paul also encourages us in Romans 5:3-5 “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,(HOPE AND RELIANCE ON GOD) and hope does not put us to shame(WILL NOT FADE), because God’s LOVE, has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Be encouraged sisters. Our suffering is never wasted. Our God is an awesome Father who can be trusted to fulfil His purpose in and through His daughters…through HIS LOVE for us and for His glory.