Sermons and Talks

Afflictions of the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:8)

Merlin Mast, August 11, 2013
Part of the Sermon series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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Be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. II Timothy 1:8
There is this story of Bob being on a ship that wrecked. He was the only survivor and was washed up on an
island. He cried to God for help. Several days passed, he made himself a hut for protection. He went to search for
food but when he returned his hut was in flames. He was engulfed with disbelief, grief and anger. Story
concluded laterThere are three types of suffering:
1. Choices and wrong decisions we have made by our own stupidity.
2. Trials and temptations brought to us by Satan. Another story: The devil was selling tools. His one tool, the
wedge of discouragement, was priced high. When asked why, he said he uses that tool when all else fails. Paul’s
thorn in the flesh kept him humble, and he did not allow discouragement to set in. Satan and God are at work in
many circumstances we face. A quote: God never uses a man in a great way until God has afflicted him greatly.
3. Suffering that glorifies God. In John 9 the blind man suffered blindness simply so God could receive glory. God
and Satan discussed Job’s life. Job’s suffering glorified God.
Some things suffering will do for us:
Suffering brings us to the end of ourselves. Pain and suffering bring up the weak points in our life. Job said “I
heard about God, now I know God”. Waiting is hard in suffering and in those times we get to know God. We
want to see God’s power move and He says “WAIT”. We have to be empty of ourselves. Gideon was faithful in
doing the tough things at home, then when he went to battle with 300 men, it was only by God’s power that they
won the victory.
Isaiah 61:3—God takes the ashes and makes something beautiful.
Back to Bob on the island: He could not believe God allowed his hut to burn. He spent the night in anger and
disbelief. The next morning a ship arrived. He asked the crew how they knew he was there. “Oh, we saw your
smoke signal”. His loss was what saved him.
Mary Magdalene found fulfillment in serving her Master. When she recognized Him after He rose from the grave
she said “Rabboni”. If we are willing to say Rabboni and do whatever work He has for us, we will find fulfillment.
-Mary Ellen Hershberger

2 Timothy 1:8

8Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (KJV)

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