Sermons

Home > Sermons

Successful Suffering

We all have pain in our lives—but where do we look for comfort?

Introduction

Give me an S.
Give me a U.
Give me a C.
Give me a C.
Give me an E.
Give me an S.
Give me an S.

What does that spell? "SUCCESS."

Success—that's what many of us strive for. Success—that's what the world values.

We remember winners, not losers. We remember gold medal Olympians like Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt. We don't remember the 10,000-plus Olympians who failed to receive a medal. We remember champions, valedictorians, CEOs, celebrities, the rich and the famous, those at the top—not those on the bottom.

We live and breathe in a culture that celebrates success.

And sometimes, if we're honest, even in the church what we secretly value is success over faithfulness. I was thinking about the most recent National Preaching Conference held here on our campus this fall. What if we advertised Pastor George as the headliner: a rural pastor in a small town in Texas whom nobody has ever heard of but who has faithfully served his congregation of 127 members for 20 years? Would anyone still sign up for the conference? It's a sobering thought, isn't it?

We love winners. We scorn losers. We love success.

But how do we feel about that word that also begins with an S? It begins with the first two letters in "success" but then it takes a drastic turn: S-U-F-F-E-R.

"Suffer." Ugh. We don't like that word very much. We often speak to each other about our successes, but how often do we share our sufferings?

The truth is that many, if not all of us, are suffering. My wife took counseling classes at Denver Seminary while I was a pastor there. In one of her classes, the professor told her a profound truth: "People's pain is people's pain." Everyone has pain in their lives, whether we consider that particular pain painful ...

sermon Preview

This sermon is available to purchase a la carte or
for PreachingToday.com subscribers at no additional cost.

To continue reading:

Matthew D. Kim is Associate Professor of preaching and ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and the author of Preaching with Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Your Sermons (Baker Academic, 2017).

Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments

Romeo Pelle

October 16, 2017  9:34am

Great topic; great approach!

Report Abuse

Please to rate and review this sermon. Or subscribe now for full access.

Related sermons

Unbreakable?

We demonstrate the power of Christ by enduring hardship.

Beyond Comfort

God gives comfort enough to share.

More sermons ...

Related videos

Comforting Spirit Comfort Still | Playback Media | Preaching Today Media

Comforting Spirit Comfort Still | Playback Media

This still features a beautiful expanse of clouds spread around through the sky. Light is also spread around the whole background in an abstract pattern. The warm hues help set a peaceful serene feeling. In the center are the words, “Holy Spirit Comforter to all”. This is a gorgeous background to help set a calm meditative mood for any setting and is a great background for any time of the year! [ Read More ]
Comforting Spirit Comfort Motion | Playback Media | Preaching Today Media

Comforting Spirit Comfort Motion | Playback Media

This motion features a beautiful expanse of clouds slowly drifting through the sky. Light slowly shifts around the whole background in an abstract pattern. The warm hues help set a peaceful serene feeling. In the center are the words, “Holy Spirit Comforter to all”. This is a gorgeous background to help set a calm meditative mood for any setting and is a great background for any time of the year! [ Read More ]

More videos ...

Print this pageShopping CartHelpMy Account
  • Type:
  • sermon
  • Format:
  • PDF
  • Price:
  • $4.99

Average Rating:  [see ratings/reviews]

Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. Praise the God of all comfort

II. Put your hope in God and receive his comfort

III. Comfort all with the hope you have received from the God of all comfort

Conclusion