Isaiah 53, a very familiar chapter for some, and it’s going to be our text today for the third week of our Advent Series that we’ve called “More Than a Holiday.” The title of today’s message may surprise you. It doesn’t sound all that Christmasy: “Persevering Through Suffering.” But this is exactly why Christmas is much more than a holiday. It’s more than a season during the year where we decorate the tree, send cards, and give gifts. The truth of the Incarnation has important implications for our everyday lives. We’re going to see how the Incarnation, how God becoming a man, helps us to persevere through suffering.
All of us here live in a beautiful world. It’s a wonderful world, but it’s also a world of great suffering, pain, sorrow, and loss. What I want us to consider together today is how to face suffering where we’re not just surviving it but persevering through it with faith and joy in our hearts. Is that even possible? The Bible teaches us that it is. So how do we do it?
[Read Isaiah 53]
Suffering is a normal part of life. It’s not an illusion. It’s an unfortunate everyday reality. From the common cold to terminal cancer, from losing your keys to losing a loved one, we all face various forms of suffering in life. What is suffering? Suffering comes to us primarily in two ways—losing something you had (having something you loved be taken away from you) or missing out on something you wanted. And as I said, we all face various forms of these in our lives.
The question is how will we get through it? How will we face it? How do we persevere through suffering with peace in our hearts? That’s what we’re seeking ...
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