I recently preached the last message in our church’s series on the book of Hebrews. My assignment was the question, “What do we learn about suffering from this book?” If you are interested, you can access that message here:
We saw in our second installment Principle #2 – God used suffering to perfect the Pioneer of our salvation! (2:10). There we read, “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” We then asked the question, “How dare I resist His using suffering to perfect me?!”
The third principle I see in the book of Hebrews is simply this: Principle #3: Remembering our sufferings brings believers together to support & encourage each other! This principle comes out of Hebrews, chapter 10: “32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.” The question we would ask is: How dare I waste my suffering by forgetting the past or not standing with those suffering in the present?!
Let me ask you to do three things this morning:
(1) Reflect on some suffering in your past — and thank God for His seeing you through that time. Perhaps you would describe that time as “a great conflict full of suffering” (v. 32).
(2) Have you recently been insulted or persecuted for your living for Jesus? I think those days are coming when there will be more and more public scorning of God’s people and the truths which they hold (v. 33).
(3) With whom are you standing “side by side” in their being so treated? The church is not a social club for sanctified saints, but a hospital for suffering, redeemed sinners! As one American revolutionary put it (I think it was Patrick Henry), “If we do not hang together, we will hang separately!”