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In this teaching, Pastor Blunt starts our series on “How to Respond to Suffering”. We learned about the reasons for suffering and about some tools to use as we go through suffering. We believe as you read these notes, God's Word is working in and through you.
-    God is not behind any tragedies or suffering.
-    Definition of suffering in the Bible dictionary is Trouble.
-    Jesus redeemed us (gave us power over) from the curse of the law (sickness, poverty) when He went to the cross. But He didn’t free us from trouble, suffering, pain, and trials.
-    There are suffering and trouble on Earth because of the troublemaker (Satan).
-    When we are in the world we only have one enemy (God), which is a good enemy. But when we are in Christ we have 3 enemies (flesh, devil, and the world system).
-    The devil is the god of this world system. That’s why there is suffering and pain.
-    The suffering we face is not poverty or sickness but is the suffering we face for being Christians (persecution, temptation, opposition, pressure, trials, and tests).

Job’s Story:
•    He lost everything, and his friends told him it was God.
•    It was the devil who took everything from him.
•    When God talked to him, He didn’t answer Job’s questions. He made him see how good He is. When Job saw it, he was restored of everything and received more.
•    When trouble comes to our life we need to resist the devil and look at God’s qualities.

God is not behind tornadoes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. The devil is the god of this world.

1 Peter 1:6 AMPC
[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations.

•    Everything we are going through will be for a little while.
•    The average person responds to suffering with anger. That’s why most people walk away from God when they go through different stuff. But God wants to walk through the fiery furnace with us like He did with Daniel’s friends.

1 Peter 1:7 AMPC
So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

•    What is being tested is our faith. The devil doesn’t want us to be in God’s community.
•    For whenever we are tested, and we are victorious, we will receive rewards in heaven.

1 Peter 1:8 AMPC
Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.

•    Don’t let your sufferings steal you of your Joy. Count it all joy!

1 Peter 4:1-2 AMPC
1So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having [c] the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],
2 So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.

•    We need to be equipped to face suffering, so we can please God with our faith and receive favor from God in our life.
•    We are not Christians to please people but God.

1 Peter 2:19-21 AMPC
19For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering. 20 [After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God. 21For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps.

•    The secret to overcome suffering is endurance.
•    We are called to do God’s will, and enduring pain is part of that will.
•    Inner strength comes from knowing God is with us.

1.    Change the way you think about suffering.
2.    Look at His goodness and greatness as often as you can.
3.    Stop questioning and start trusting.

I am a God pleaser, not a people pleaser.
•    We will be able to overcome suffering when we are able to look at God’s goodness and greatness.
•    God is not behind any tragedy or suffering.
•    The devil is behind every pain, but God will walk through the fire with us.


In this teaching, Pastor Blunt continues his teaching on suffering. Last week we learned a new perspective on what suffering is and this week Pastor equipped us to face it. We believe as you read these notes, God is working in and through you.
C.S. Lewis is a Christian who used to be an atheist because he couldn’t understand how a good God could allow suffering. God is going to stop all suffering, all evil, all sorrow. Why does He allow it? Why doesn’t He do it now? He doesn’t want to take our freedom. He doesn’t want us to serve Him as a robot. But instead, we choose to serve Him.
The New Testament defines suffering as trouble, tests, trials, and temptations - not sickness.
God is a good God.
Jesus did 2 kinds of suffering for us:

1.    Substitutionary: He took our place - He is our suffering servant - so that we could have the blessings of Abraham in our life.
2.    He freed us from the curse of the law (sickness, poverty).
3.    He suffered as an example.
4.    He learned obedience through suffering. He was tempted daily.
5.    We must face daily suffering. He said we will have tribulation.
2 Timothy 3:12 AMPC
•    The suffering we are facing is over our Christian stand (persecution, treated unfairly, etc.).
2 Peter 2:10 AMPC
•    The key to getting through suffering is sheer endurance (inner strength, steadfastness, and patience).
•    The reward - behind all glory there is a story. Behind a price, there is a prize. Out of great suffering comes greater faith.
2 Peter 2:12 AMPC
•    Endurance - (the key) refuses to quit. You’ll succeed if you just don’t quit. Just keep showing up.
•    If you deny the suffering, you will lose the battle (the suffering/test is over our faith).
Hebrews 5:8 AMPC
•    Life-long learners.
•    You won’t get stuck in suffering if you keep learning.
•    He learned through suffering (His daily opposition).
•    I am a life-long learner.
•    Crushing: God Turns Pressure into Power by T.D. Jakes
•    There’s no success without suffering.
•    Behind every success there is greatness.
•    The greater the suffering, the greater the faith.

In this teaching, Pastor Blunt continues his teaching on suffering. This week we learn 4 ways we can develop our endurance. We believe as you read these notes God is working in and through you.
Suffering comes from evil, not from God. He will stop suffering in the new world.
Jesus suffered in two ways as a suffering servant. The first way was as a substitution so we don’t have to suffer from sickness, lack, or spiritual death. The second way was in everyday trials and we all have to face these over our Christian witness. This suffering is trials, temptations, and tragedies.
How to develop our endurance:
1. Daily scriptures.
2. Get to know God because He is the giver of endurance.
3. Knowing God is working on my character.
4. Looking to Jesus.
-The key to overcoming suffering is endurance.
-We will not quit every time life gets hard, but we will finish with joy.
-Daily we should be putting on the armor of God.
-Endurance is an inner strength, steadfastness, patiently waiting while under a hardship.
-God gives His best to those who wait on Him.

 Romans 15:4
For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
Endurance and encouragement comes from (drawn from) reading the scriptures. The more I study the Word, the more endurance.
Romans 15:5
5 Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
-We want to daily focus on putting on the armor - put the Word in when you don’t need it, so when you do need it, it can come out.
-What I focus on I will get rewards from.
-We need to look to God for endurance.
Joseph’s Story
-Through all the hardships he went through he never had a bitter attitude.
Romans 5:3 AMP
 Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
-It has to be now.
-We need revelation, a Word from God.
-Your character will grow.
-If we lost our appetite for God we are spiritually unhealthy.
Hebrews 12:4
4 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
Be thinking of Jesus.
Endurance is made of Joy and Hope.

-We need to work on our joy and hope level so we can have more endurance. 
-Hope is a dream of our future.  We bring our future to the present through our expectations.
I am a life-long learner.
Crushing- T.D. Jakes
-The key to overcoming suffering is endurance.
-All change begins with believing.
-Our future is hidden in our daily routine.

In this teaching, Pastor Blunt continues his teaching on suffering. This week we learn three things we can implement to develop our endurance. We believe as you read these notes God is working in and through you.

3 Ways To Build Our Endurance:
1.    Focus on your relationship with Christ.         
       a.    Everything we do should flow out of that relationship.
       b.    What we focus on gets bigger.
       c.    Colossians  1 AMP

Verse 3
We continually give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), as we are praying for you,

Verse 4
For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, (the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God’s consecrated ones).
-Focus on God’s power, goodness and wisdom.
          -Don’t focus on your pain but on His power.

Verse 10
That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].
          -Increasing in the knowledge of God is growing in a relationship with Him.
          -We will never have complete victory until our desires change.
Verse 11
11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy.
         -We need joy to finish our race. We need cheerful endurance.
         -Endurance is not enough. We need cheerful endurance. 
Hebrews 11:25
25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
•    He was focusing on the invisible (God.)
•    Knowing your purpose will get you through.
•    Clarity of purpose builds endurance.
James 1
2. Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.                                
3. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.
4. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

         -We need to choose joy.
5. If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
         -You respond to suffering with joy and then you ask God for wisdom.
         -Then you take authority and then you speak to the mountain. 
2.    Focusing on God’s good plan.
         a.    Joseph had to endure so much and he never complained because he had clarity on his dream and visión.
         b.    Romans 8:28  God will turn all things for your good.
3.    Focus on the end result
James 5:11
11 You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.
         -Focus on the rewards.
         -We don’t quit in the middle because in the end there is a blessing.
•    Crushing - T.D. Jakes
-The key to overcoming suffering is endurance.
-Endurance grows out of our relationship with God.
-Our future is hidden in our daily routines.