Proposition: Life decisions should not be made when emotions are high. How many people have echoed the following? “Would of, could of, and should of” Let’s have faith that God is able to help us through all of our difficulties, and let’s patiently endure whatever comes our way.
Introduction: The Poem Titled "The Dash" Written by Linda Ellis
When a person's life is summarized, there is a birth date, a dash, and a death date. What does the dash in between those two dates represent?
Have we thought of the totality of our "dash"?
I. Afflicted by People and Problems
A. What are we afflicted by?
- The world
- The Jobs we have
- The abuse of power (Both civil an private)
- Those who don't like us
- Our loved ones
- When we are betrayed by our loved ones
- When we are hurt by our loved ones
B. What are our expectations for justice?
- To what extent do we expect justice?
- How timely do we expect justice?
II. Abiding In spite of Pain
A. Why we abide (Therefore...)
- This current world will be brought to nothing
- We will not have to suffer sickness always
- Our hope should be to "gain a brother" rather than see our loved ones suffer
B. How we abide (Long suffering)
- God's long suffering as an example
- God has been long suffering towards us
- Strong in Faith (Don’t waver)
- With-out Grumbling or Complaining
III. Awaiting God's Power
A. The illustration of the Farmer
- What he waits for (the Precious Fruit of the Earth)
- How he waits (Patiently)
- If the farmer were to quit, then all his work up to that point would be useless
- The famer must act to help the process, if he expects to receive a harvest
- How long he waits. (Until he receives the Early and Later Rains)
- The rain is not in the farmer’s control
- The early rain was to prepare ground for sowing. This rain was in autumn
- The latter rain was to prepare the crops for harvest. This rain was in spring
B. The Application for Our Lives
- What we wait for (God to act on our behalf)
- How are we waiting?
- How long should we wait? (Until the Day of the Lord)
- The Day of the Lord is close. We don’t know how long it will be, but we know it’s closer than it was yesterday
Conclusion: Some Historic Examples of Long Suffering
How the prophets endured their suffering
How Job persevered through his suffering
Will we be able to say that you held on inspite of your suffering?