"Praying in the Darkest Hour" (Mark 14:32-42)

Sermon Date: 
Mar 25 2018
Sermon Audio: 

SERMON NOTES - The below is a summary for your spiritual reflection and further study.

HEARING FROM GOD
Read Psalm 55:1-5,16-17; Mark 14:32-42
How is God speaking to you through these verses? (Write it down)

WHEN LIFE STINKS!
Let’s be brutally honest, sometimes life just stinks. And I believe God’s Word allows some room for us to express and lament over this! We journey through some pretty painful things; whether being victimized by the evil acts of others, fighting some type of tormenting disease or cancer, being faced with immense pressure from society to fit-in, or enduring life feeling isolated and alone, life is painful – we suffer – we hurt...

When faced with such trialing pain-staking circumstances, we could find ourselves drawn into great despair, hopelessness, and that frightening dark-night in our soul when God seems so distant or ignorant of our circumstances.

WHERE IS GOD IN MY SUFFERING?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, "God is weak and powerless in the world, and that is exactly the way, the only way in which he can be with us and help us. Matthew 8:17 makes it crystal clear that it is not by his omnipotence that Christ helps us, but by his weakness and his suffering…only a suffering God can help.”

John Swinton comments further,“Bonhoeffer’s point is not that suffering is a good thing or that the suffering God is merely a helpless companion on our journeys of pain. Rather, his point is that recognizing the dimension of vulnerability and suffering within the person of God enables us to see new strands of a providential understanding of life and God’s action within that life. It challenges us to think about the possibility that a genuinely Christ-like response to evil, suffering, and forgiveness may be very different from what we might assume. God’s power is revealed in the midst of suffering and evil, not as a triumphalistic conquering power that strives to annihilate evil, but rather as a suffering presence that transforms evil not with force and might, but with practice of persistence, vulnerable love.”

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FOR JESUS' SUFFERING?
1. Jesus learned obedience (Hebrews 5:7-9).
2. Jesus fell face down in prayer to understand His Heavenly Father's will.
3. Jesus's moved confidently forward to bring glory and honor to His Heavenly Father (John 12:23,27-28).
4. Jesus warned His disciples to keep watch and in prayer or otherwise be tempted to fall away.

PRAYER, as witnessed by Christ, PREPARES and STRENGTHENS us to FAITHFULLY walk OBEDIENTLY with God even in our most brutal trials we suffer in.

GOD IS IN THE SUFFERING TO HELP TRANSFORM SITUATIONS THAT WORKS FOR OUR GOODNESS AND ULTIMATELY FOR HIS GLORY!

Let us trust in the Lord in trialing times,
Pastor Trevor