Surviving Common Suffering
All Christians suffer, but it is never the will of God. The Lord Jesus warned, "In this world you will have tribulation," but He continued and insisted, "Cheer up, I have overcome the world!" By doing so, the obvious inference is that Jesus expects those who follow him to survive times of suffering and be victorious.
At times however, it is impossible to come through suffering with physical, earthly victory. Some sufferings will require death and the ultimate victory will be eternal, but not all suffering. In the vast majority of situations, the suffering that Christians endure will not be catastrophic. Rather, they are best described as common sufferings. This is not to minimize common suffering which can be devastating and extremely difficult to endure. Nor is it to deny that dealing with common suffering will require a radical faithfulness and obedience to the will of the Lord Jesus. It is to recognize that common suffering can and should be overcome by the Christian.
I. The Reality of Common Suffering… Ruth 1:5
- Loss of Love, Protection, Provision, Peace, Purpose, Place, etc, etc..
II. The Radical Choices in Suffering…
- Go beyond the present… Ruth 1:16-17
- Reject the negativity of others… Ruth 1:19-21
- Do the necessary… Ruth 2:2-3
- Boldly follow new instructions…
- Obeyed Boaz… Ruth 2:8-9
- Obeyed Naomi… Ruth 3:1-6
III. The Remarkable Conclusions to faithfulness in Suffering… Ruth 4:9-10, 13-17