Embracing Suffering

This is the fourth post in the Passion 2013 series. These are my notes from John Pipers’s message on January 3, 2013 at the Passion Conference entitled “ Immeasurably More.”

Key Text: Revelation 5

Jesus is the key that unlocks the mystery of history. Once unlocked, it is clear He’s the center of the story. The reason is worthy to unlock the story is because He is the Lamb that was slain and now reigns as a Lion. He is a lion-like lamb and a lamb-like lion. His death purchased the redemption of people from every nation and people group on the planet. Jesus is infinitely worthy of eternal admiration. The universe exists to display the glory of God in the white hot worship of angels and believers for eternity. The immensity of His worth is reflected in the intensity of our worship. Our worship is the subjective echo of God’s objective worth. 

Admiration is the highest and rarest of pleasures. This is because God made the world and our souls so that we would only be completely satisfied in the enjoyment and magnification of Him. God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. There will be no obstacles in eternity to our enjoyment of the immensity of God. There will be an abundance of new creative outlets to cultivate and experience our joy in God.

Satan wants you and God wants you. The first with sadistic hate. The other with sacrificial love. Pursuing joy here on earth will lead to suffering. The foundation of our satisfaction in God allows us to endure and embrace suffering when it happens in our lives. Embrace suffering in the cause of love on the path to liberation. If you walk in the path of love, compassion, and righteousness, you will suffer.

The Pattern of Embracing Suffering (Hebrews 10:32-34; 11:24-26; 12:1-2)

  • Pervasive soul-satisfaction in the promises of a grace-filled future
  • Freedom from self-protection into the power of God
  • Freedom from self-focused fear

Freedom from from self-focused fear frees you to embrace suffering for others in the cause of love. The greatest act of liberation in the world: Jesus’ sacrifice and willing choice to endure suffering on our behalf to pay our sin debt so that we might live. Focusing on the rewards of heaven free us to love others on earth. It isn’t selfish to love others for our own reward in Jesus because that is the very power that is motivating us to love them so that they can be included in that reward (Romans 8).

Learn It. Love It. Live It.

Want more Passion content? See my notes from Passion 2011 and Passion 2012

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About Lawson Hembree
Lawson is an entrepreneur, ministry leader, and outdoors enthusiast who also enjoys blogging about business, ideas, and theology. Want to continue the discussion or write a guest post? Let's Connect!

One Response to Embracing Suffering

  1. Pingback: Quotes from Passion 2013 « Lawson Hembree's Blog

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