San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word to The Little Flock Part Eleven

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I do feel for you, dear hearts. Some of you have been dealing with loneliness, some with joblessness, some with a sense of worthlessness as COVID-19 persists. The trials of us all continue, but what a blessing it is that those who believe in God will never be led to say, “Is that all there is?” As we endure some level of suffering, let us, by God’s grace stubbornly hold on, the crown awaits the overcomer.

A bar of steel is worth five dollars. When it is wrought into horseshoes, it is worth ten dollars. If made into needles, it is worth three hundred and fifty dollars. If wrought into penknife blades, it is worth thirty-two thousand dollars. And if it is wrought into springs for watches, it is worth two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.
What a drilling the poor bar must undergo to be worth a higher value. But the more it is manipulated, the more it is hammered, and passed through the fire, and beaten and pounded and polished, the greater the value.
Those who suffer most are capable of yielding most; and it is through pain that God can get the most out of us.

When we endure suffering as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we have a powerful testimony to carry to this world. Adoniram Judson, the renowned missionary to Burma, endured untold hardships trying to reach the lost for Christ. For 7 heartbreaking years he suffered hunger and privation. During this time he was thrown into Ava Prison, and for 17 months was subjected to almost incredible mistreatment. As a result, for the rest of his life he carried the ugly marks made by the chains and iron shackles which had cruelly bound him.
Undaunted, upon his release he asked for permission to enter another province where he might resume preaching the Gospel. The godless ruler indignantly denied his request, saying, "My people are not fools enough to listen to anything a missionary might SAY, but I fear they might be impressed by your SCARS and turn to your religion!"

Christians are like tea; their real strength is not drawn out until they get into hot water.

And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation. (2 Corinthians 1:7 NKJV)
Y nuestra esperanza de vosotros es firme; estando ciertos que como sois compañeros de las aflicciones, así también lo sois de la consolación. (2 Corintios 1:7 SRV)

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; (Philippians 3:10 KJV)
A fin de conocerle, y la virtud de su resurrección, y la participación de sus padecimientos, en conformidad á su muerte, (Filipenses 3:10 SRV)

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 KJV)
Tanto, que nosotros mismos nos gloriamos de vosotros en las iglesias de Dios, de vuestra paciencia y en todas vuestras persecuciones y tribulaciones que sufrís: Una demostración del justo juicio de Dios, para que seáis tenidos por dignos del reino de Dios, por el cual asimismo padecéis. (2 Tesalonicenses 1:4-5 SRV)

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (1 Peter 5:10 KJV)
Mas el Dios de toda gracia, que nos ha llamado á su gloria eterna por Jesucristo, después que hubiereis un poco de tiempo padecido, él mismo os perfeccione, coforme, corrobore y establezca. (1 Pedro 5:10 SRV)

“He who took humanity upon Himself knows how to sympathize with the sufferings of humanity. Not only does Christ know every soul, and the peculiar needs and trials of that soul, but He knows all the circumstances that chafe and perplex the spirit. His hand is outstretched in pitying tenderness to every suffering child. Those who suffer most have most of His sympathy and pity. He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and He desires us to lay our perplexities and troubles at His feet and leave them there.” {The Ministry of Healing, 249}

“Every sacrifice made for Christ enriches the giver, and every suffering and privation endured for His dear sake increases the overcomer's final joy in heaven.” {Testimonies for the Church,  4:219}    

“God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him. Not Enoch, who was translated to heaven, not Elijah, who ascended in a chariot of fire, was greater or more honored than John the Baptist, who perished alone in the dungeon. "Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29. And of all the gifts that Heaven can bestow upon men, fellowship with Christ in His sufferings is the most weighty trust and the highest honor.” {The Desire of Ages, 224, 225}

“It is a mistake to entertain the thought that God is pleased to see His children suffer. All heaven is interested in the happiness of man. Our heavenly Father does not close the avenues of joy to any of His creatures.” {Steps to Christ, 46}

“Fellow pilgrim, we are still amid the shadows and turmoil of earthly activities; but soon our Saviour is to appear to bring deliverance and rest. Let us by faith behold the blessed hereafter as pictured by the hand of God. He who died for the sins of the world is opening wide the gates of Paradise to all who believe on Him. Soon the battle will have been fought, the victory won. Soon we shall see Him in whom our hopes of eternal life are centered. And in His presence the trials and sufferings of this life will seem as nothingness.” {Prophets and Kings, 731}

“Suffering has been the portion of the people of God from the days of the martyr Abel. The patriarchs suffered for being true to God and obedient to His commandments. The great Head of the church suffered for our sake; His first apostles and the primitive church suffered; the millions of martyrs suffered, and the Reformers suffered. And why should we, who have the blessed hope of immortality, to be consummated at the soon appearing of Christ, shrink from a life of suffering? Were it possible to reach the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God without suffering, we would not enjoy so rich a reward for which we had not suffered. We would shrink back from the glory; shame would seize us in the presence of those who had fought the good fight, had run the race with patience, and had laid hold on eternal life. But none will be there who have not, like Moses, chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God. The prophet John saw the multitude of the redeemed, and inquired who they were. The prompt answer came: "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."” {Testimonies for the Church, 1:78}    

“I was shown the saints' reward, the immortal inheritance. Then I was shown how much God's people had endured for the truth's sake, and that they would count heaven cheap enough. They reckoned that the sufferings of this present time were not worthy to be compared with the glory which should be revealed in them. The people of God in these last days will be tried. But soon their last trial will come, and then they will receive the gift of eternal life.” {Testimonies for the Church, 1:432}  

By God’s grace, I expect each of you to keep pressing forward in the battle raging between the forces of good and evil. Maranatha!

Pastor Richard Parent


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