Life Doesn't Work on a Balance Sheet (Part One)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

Our response to God's call has not removed all of our suffering. However, responding to God changes the reason for suffering and what it can accomplish.


No Pain, No Gain

Sermonette by Mike Ford

Mike Ford, ruminating on the folk maxim, "When you're up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to remember that your goal was to drain the swamp," draws the corollary "When you're up to your neck in trials, it's easy to forget you are in training to be a member of the God family." The antidote to forgetting …


Life Doesn't Work on a Balance Sheet (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

As we saw in Part One, Hebrews 5:7-10 describes a facet of Christ's suffering: "... who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications ..."


Joy and Trial

'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford

What does the Bible mean when it says we should count it all joy when you fall into various trials? What is this joy we must experience, and how do we come by it?


God's Tools

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Clyde Finklea, reminding us that spiritual maturity does not come about without difficulty, asserts that suffering is one of the tools God uses to perfect us. Suffering is part of a process to refine endurance and character. At the onset of a trial, we must quickly ask God for what we need to learn from this episode. Though we …


Why Do Bad Things Happen to Christians?

Article by Staff

Of all people, one might think, Christians should be the most blessed, yet they often fall under heavy trials. However, the reality is that God is putting us through the paces, correcting us and refining us, to bring us to salvation.


Running God's Marathon With Christ

Sermon by Mark Schindler

Christ endured many more than three temptations; rather, He was tested continuously, and perhaps the intensity increased as He neared the end of His life.


Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins discusses the apostle Paul's epistle to the Thessalonians, a group of dispirited, despairing Christians who had been bombarded by false teachings that the Day of the Lord had already come, prompting many to quit their employment, rest on their laurels, and become busy-bodies, as well as leading the leaders to …


Why is Life So Hard?

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

David Grabbe, assessing the impact of struggles, pressures, and tribulations of our spiritual journey, reveals that Christ's followers will have to endure afflictions and fiery trials as He prepares them for His Kingdom. Some detractors have tried to preach that "godliness is a means of gain," implying that if we were …


Becoming Fearless

Sermon by Mark Schindler

When Job was afflicted with physical problems, he learned that God was using them to perfect him. Afflictions are intended to bind us together.


The Providence of God (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, defining providence as the protective care of God, suggests that the providence of God also touches on the pains and sufferings of persecution. To the elect whom God foreknew, all things- pleasant or unpleasant- happen for ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Tragic things, calamities, trials, anxiety, evil, and curses …


Trials: Much Needed Experiences

Sermon by John O. Reid (1930-2016)

God uses trials to test our hearts, but He never places a trial before us to tempt us. God uses trials we bring on ourselves to draw us closer to Him.


Faith to Face Our Trials

'Ready Answer' by Pat Higgins

Life seems to be one trial after another. However, God has revealed an astounding facet of God's love that should give us the faith to soldier on.


Why Are We Afflicted?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Affliction is a necessary aspect of life, yielding strength of character, while ease and comfort weaken us. Christ was perfected as High Priest through suffering.


Assurance (Part Three): Glory and Hope

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reiterating that Romans 8 provides assurance that we are of God, asks us to consider that the sufferings we go through now are miniscule compared to the glory which we will later receive, completely eclipsing the glory of Adam and Eve before their fall. Our suffering is temporal, fleeting, and momentary, as …


Wilderness Wandering (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on the analogy or metaphor of wilderness wanderings, focuses on the role of suffering or persecution (pressure) in perfecting the saints. God the Father perfected Jesus Christ (our Elder Brother, High Priest, and Mediator) through suffering. Likewise, God the Father has determined that His called-out …


The Christian Fight (Part One)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Despite the many blessings God bestows upon His saints, real Christianity more resembles a running battle against persistent, hostile forces than a leisurely stroll down the path of life. John Ritenbaugh uses the example of ancient Israel in the wilderness to illustrate that God prepares us for spiritual war against the enemies …


The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part One)

Bible Study by Martin G. Collins

Only John records Jesus' healing of the man born blind, which shows Christ calling a people for Himself despite the efforts of the Jewish leaders to deter Him.


Trial by Fire

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like a loving parent, God brings just the right pressures to bear to bring about necessary change in His children. Each trial has a place in His purpose.


Day By Day

Sermonette by Clyde Finklea

Clyde Finklea, acknowledging that life is full of good and bad times, directs us to learn the lesson of Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, to rejoice when times are good and to reflect soberly when times are bad, realizing that adversity or suffering is a tool that God uses to create something beautiful in us. Suffering always hurts, just as …


Assurance (Part Two): Of the Path to Glory

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, realizing that most people, both outside and inside the church, crave assurance , avers that we can have assurance that we are God's heirs and offspring if we are led by the spirit, remaining on the sanctified path of fellowship, growing continually in grace and knowledge. When we receive God's calling, God's …


A Time for Thanksgiving (2008)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Solomon's appraisal of money in Ecclesiastes 10:19, suggests that modern Israel seems to have great difficulty managing money because of an addiction to greed. Wealth, without a powerful character, is a destructive drug. Unfortunately, our people's greed has put them on the verge of the greatest …


Philippians (Part 3)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the Apostle Paul, in this prison epistle, conveyed to the Philippians his optimism that the apparent misfortune was actually a blessing, actually enabling Paul to magnify his effectiveness, enabling more fruit to be borne. Paul, looking far beyond his prison experience, would be contented no …


Hebrews, Love, and the Ephesian Church

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh warns that the sheer variety of choices (distractions) available to us today (with their potential accompanying temptations and enervating time-wasting diversions) is extremely stressful because it automatically increases sin and lawlessness, automatically decreasing love, zeal, and affection. Like our society, …


Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.


Wilderness Wandering (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh reminds us that if we do not know who we are and where we are going, we are destined to undergo continuous stress. If we yield to God's manipulation of our lives, we will handle stress constructively, developing a relationship with Him, bearing spiritual fruit. As our forebears followed the pillar of cloud and …


Knowing Christ (Part 2)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Christ's sacrifice was not merely substitutionary, but representative, with Christ giving us a pattern for life - mortifying our flesh and putting out sin.


Thankfulness

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that our national holiday Thanksgiving may be a parody of what God intended should be our understanding of thankfulness. Rather than something we do annually, we should be returning thanks several times daily. Thankfulness equips us to endure hard times. We need to give thanks for everything, …


Lamentations (Part Six)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Richard Ritenbaugh, asking why Christians should ruminate about sorrow and grief instead of focusing on happy thoughts, reminds us that death and suffering are staple features of the human condition and that we need to learn how to handle grief and loss, thereby becoming a witness for those who do not yet know the truth. Isaiah …


How God Deals With Conscience (Part Five)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, reiterating that Joseph is a type of Jesus Christ, moves to the climactic point of the narrative in Genesis 45, in which Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph knew and recognized his brothers before they knew him. God knows our guiltiest secret sins which we think we have effectively hid. All things are …


Whom the Lord Loves He Chastens (Part One)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

If we are not receiving God's correction or chastisement, we should be concerned! God's chastening is what He uses to sanctify His spiritual children.