1. A very uplifting section of Scripture begins at vs.18 and continues through the end of this chapter. 2. Vs.18 mentions the subject we are studying -- "the sufferings of this present time." 3. Quite often we hear people question why a loving God will allow people to suffer. 4. Some go so far as to say that suffering proves that God does not exist. 5. This illustrates why we need to study "the sufferings of this present time." 6. The first point we need to make is that . . . Discussion: I. THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT TIME MAY OCCUR FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS
A. It is possible for a person to suffer because of his own actions. 1. To illustrate, Solomon discussed the effects of alcohol in Proverbs 23:29-30. 2. Let us remember the law of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7). B. It is possible for a person to suffer because of the actions of other people. 1. To illustrate, Abel died because Cain killed him (Genesis 4:8). 2. The Golden Rule will take care of this problem (Matthew 7:12). C. It is possible for a person to suffer because of an accident (Luke 13:4). D. It is possible for a person to suffer from natural causes such as sickness and disease (John 9:1-3a). E. It is possible for a person to suffer as a result of doing the Lord's will. 1. Paul suffered greatly for the cause of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:24-28). 2. Godly living is sometimes accompanied by persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). F. Although suffering may occur for a variety of reasons, . . . II. THE BIBLE CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT WILL HELP US FACE THE SUFFERINGS OF THIS PRESENT TIME
A. Let us understand that affliction can be beneficial (Psalm 119:67, 71). B. Let us use caution when speaking to people who are suffering (Proverbs 25:11). C. Let us remember that God will not allow His people to be tested above what we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). D. We learn from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 that suffering can lead us to depend upon God for strength. E. Let us remember that the suffering of other people may provide opportunities for us to do God's work (Galatians 6:2; John 9:3-4). F. Let us receive encouragement from positive examples (James 5:10-11). G. Let us remember to pray (James 5:13a). H. Let us strive to maintain a positive outlook (1 Peter 4:16). Conclusion:
1. In closing, let us consider Romans 8:18 again. 2. We have studied a number of passages that relate to "the sufferings of this present time" mentioned in the first part of this verse. 3. This verse continues by stating that the sufferings of this present time "are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." 4. This message of hope is for God's children. 5. We learn from Galatians 3:26-27 how to become His children.