Evil and trouble are realities. These things God uses to fashion us to maturity. See the lives of Job and Paul. After all the suffering that Job endured, he celebrated his daughters. Brokenness came to him and softened his heart. This process also came to Paul who had 38 different sufferings. Grace is our sufficiency and true glory shines through weaknesses. (Job 42:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:14-19; 12:9-11)

Speaker: Thomas Schaller
Sermon 12709
Date: 2024-04-28
Time: Sun 6:30 pm

P. Schaller –

yes, great. Thank you, P. Jon. P. Jon teaches physics and science in our high school and his wife are great
servants. And he’s a musician obviously and author, too. Author. And a blessing to us in the
Body. I kind of felt that part of that like it just took off, didn’t it? Like that was like oh, that’s the
Lord. The Lord is at his fingertips doing this work. Beautiful.

Praise the Lord! We had a beautiful morning. I think some folks in Fed Hill also had just a good
time. Right, Geo? And Samantha I think. Yeah. Others here. How about in Edgewood with some
of the students? It’s great to hear the good news from different places. On Tuesday, a couple of
us fly to India and we have two conferences. Can I put this here? Okay. Two conferences there.
One in Mumbai and none in Bangalore and for about eight days or so.

So, thank you for the Body. For the love and the Spirit moving and working with us here in
Baltimore. It means a lot to people in different places as they follow together. We follow
together. I talked to P. Teplov in Moscow and they just listen to the messages and translate
them into Russian and are just sharing the message and ministering. It’s great to hear from
different places and believing that God is in what we do and he’s speaking to our hearts.
Tonight, I’d like you to turn with me to 2 Corinthians  3 and we’ll look at the book of Corinthians from a
certain perspective. I want to, I don’t know. If the pulpit is in the right place. Is it? Does it seem
right to you? Forward. Backward. Okay. So, I don’t know. Wherever the Spirit leads you! Okay.
Okay.

Um. Suffering. But grace. Grace first. The God of all grace in 1 Peter 5:10. The God of all grace
after you have suffered a while. After you have suffered a while. The God of all grace. After you
have suffered a while make you perfect or mature. So that often happens in the Scripture you
see trouble and then you see, you may see maturity. We should see maturity. But we don’t
always see that. We see bitterness. We see unbelief and words like this, “how could God do this
to me?” How could God do this to me? He told me I would be a millionaire and I am not. How
could God do this to me? Okay.

Or he told me my life would be a smooth ride. It’s not. So, how come this happened to me? So
we have two things that people struggle with in the natural that just happens to us and that is
the presence of evil in the world and then trouble. You have both. You have evil and trouble in
life. And how we relate to those things are important. That’s important.

How do we look at our life? How do we process it? How do we think biblically? Doctrinally?
Many of our teachings are rooted in the understand that we have objective truth revealed to us
in the Bible. This gives us the mind, the mind that is able to suffer. A good example is Job where
God shows us exactly what he means. There is trouble in Job’s life. There is suffering in Job’s life
And there’s Job processing it and trusting God and then he is mature. He becomes mature.

A little point on that. If you turn to Job, the last chapter and this is why you are in church
tonight because you’re going to pick up a nugget. You’re going to get a nugget. This is, you
know, it’s amazing to get little pieces. Okay. (Prayer). Job 42, trouble results – this should be
that this results in maturity. This is the direction. Maturity.

Then, you are saved. We are saved. Let’s grow. Let’s become mature. Let’s learn what that
means. We are in the midst of a group of people here. We’ve been here a long time. I mean a
long time. Many of us go back many years and we have seen and know as our friends and many
people we are very much believing that our lives are about us. Not only getting saved by grace
but growing in the grace. Being changed. Growing in grace. Learning how to think. How to
process life.

So, here we have a nugget here. Job 42, Job is blessed, vs. 12. So, you have those numbers are
double what he had in the beginning of the story in chapter 1 and chapter 2. And he had seven
sons and three daughters. Now, in Jewish life, the sons are important, you know. Sons are
important. You would give the names of the sons typically, but he doesn’t. He gives the names
of the daughters. That’s in vs. 14. I think that means “eye shadow.” I think it does. Does it?
It says child of beauty. Handsome as the day. Okay.

My Bible has some other but anyway, here’s the – that’s beautiful. Great names. Why does he give the names of his girls? Why does he give the names of the girls? Because he has matured. He has grown. ‘Cause he’s learned the
value of who God is. ‘Cause he understands better what weakness is. What is weakness. What is
beautiful. Not what is strong and powerful, but he’s learning God. He’s learning God and he
loves his girls. And God gives the names of the girls not the names of the sons.

So, think about it. That’s the nugget. Something for you to meditate on. The way it usually goes
is the men’s names are given. This touches my heart. I think when you suffer and learn God in
your suffering, then you mature. Not like in the world. The world doesn’t have the maturity.
They stay on the surface. You can just hear it. You can hear it in sidewalk conversations, in the
cafes, in television. You see that people don’t go deep. They don’t have love. They can’t suffer.
They don’t suffer well. So, that’s our text here. I mean a little introduction.

2 Corinthians is the text I want to speak about. Corinthians a bit. So, Corinthians is a book about
this subject. Paul in 1 Corinthians He smells out their immaturity and he writes about their immaturity.
He calls them carnal, chapter 3:1-2. He realizes that they’re misunderstanding the depth of
what it is to walk with God. He writes about that in 1 Corinthians 4. The chapters. Chapters 4:9-
11, those verses. He says you are wise but we are fools. You are strong but we are weak. You
are going for the popularity but we are the offscouring of all things. We don’t have the
credentials. You want the credentials. We don’t have them. We have other kinds of credentials.

We have something else going on in our hearts. I want you to have that. That’s why he wrote to
them. I want you to have it.

So, 1 Corinthians show us their immaturity. And 2 Corinthians he’s very concerned that the
church would have the wisdom to discern that Paul is an apostle. That you can trust him. That
Paul understands God. That Paul understands what’s happening. Because in a way, this is a very
general picture but in the Corinthian church there was a segment who didn’t believe that the
Apostle Paul was a real apostle.

But instead, there were a segment that believed that they were the apostles. They were called
false apostles. They were affecting the church and they had certain claims that they were like
the original apostles that walked with Jesus. They were the ones. Also, they had certain
privileges that they had the right to collect money. They had uh, they felt they had the
credentials from the original apostles, and they were like in a place of privilege in the
government in the way that it works.

It goes like this. In an organization, you have like a pyramid and then the leader is on the top.
That leader has privilege. These false apostles were people that wanted that. They wanted to
be on the top. And so, one thing they did was they said Paul’s wrong. Paul’s not the real thing.
Paul’s a phony. You can’t trust him. Paul’s not the real thing. Paul writes 2 Corinthians and he
writes it this way. This is what he says.

This is interesting. Very profound that I am not like that.
I am more like this. This is my diagram. I’m more like this. I am serving. I am carrying the load. I
am not asking for money. I have a job so I can give money. I am an apostle. But I’m not an
apostle like on top. I’m an apostle who is a servant and suffer and my suffering is an evidence.
Cuz I embrace my suffering. I’m able to take my suffering and know God in my suffering.
When I suffer, I’m looking to Jesus in my suffering and he’s giving me the strength so that I am
maturing as a person. I’m growing up. I’m becoming like Jesus. He didn’t write it like that but
this is what he’s saying actually. We can look at it. We definitely will but this is where the
message is going. This is what I want to say tonight.

And the reason why is because there is two kinds of leadership. There is the kind of leadership
that is privilege. And this we can put is King Saul. And Saul has an army. He has a palace. And he
has a palace and he has privilege and he’s the king. And then you have the other one of David
who is a shepherd boy who kills Goliath and just disappears and says don’t worry about it. I just
did what God wanted me to do. And I’m not, I’m not the king. I’m not. I’m not looking for that.
I’m walking with God. I’m getting to know God. I’m not hiding from God. I’m open to God.
Now this relates to us because we have both natures here. And you might say I’m not looking
for any privilege or anything but I want to tell you directly, you have a sin nature, an old sin nature.

And your old sin nature is not good. Your old sin nature is about yourself, myself. Our
old sin nature is about preserving ourself, protecting ourself, enjoying ourselves. Having life my
way. My way.

So suffering comes into your life and trouble and evil. Here it goes back to this one. This one.
Evil and trouble comes into your life in the plan of God. It happens in the plan of God. Read the
Book of Job. That evil was from the devil and it was allowed by God because God uses it to
make a saint. He uses the trouble so that we trust God and search for God. Seek God. Rely on
God.

Have you noticed that in your life when you have trouble in your family, what do you do? You
go to prayer. When you have trouble in a marriage, what do you do? You seek God. You have
trouble with a child or in our country or in our neighborhood. When evil is there and trouble
comes this is fine because we are told that God would not give us anything more than we can
handle in 1 Corinthians 10:13. But gives us the grace and the wisdom but we have to make decisions in
our hearts.

So, turn to 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 and then we have vs. 14. Because of time and the message is
principle, we want the text to speak for itself. And it will, but I also am going in a certain
direction to help us think about it and process it. I think we should hear a lot about this subject
but to be honest, we relate to these two things like I don’t want them and that’s a good thing. I
don’t want it in my life.

Stay way from me. the best life is to stay away from these two things. I
don’t want any evil. And I don’t want any evil. I pray deliver me from evil in the prayer. Amen.
However, when God’s hand is in our life, we are not promised an easy life. We are promised
God. There you go. That’s what we look for. I’m not promised that things will go smooth, and
don’t even get that orientation because that’s what your flesh wants. Your flesh wants privilege
and benefits but do I have to learn to be a servant? Do I have to learn to – all right. Here we go.
Chapter 3:14, the context is the Jewish people which veil is done away in Christ.

So, they read the Bible but they can’t see very well. They can see it but don’t really see it. I understand that
because we all can do that. That can happen to all of us. And it is happening. Many believers
they read the Bible and they are struggling. They want to see what it is saying. They want to
understand it. We say we need not the letter of the Word. I need the spirit of it. I want the Holy
Spirit to speak to me and show me what it is saying.

Vs. 15. Now, literally it’s about the Jewish people in context but it can mean me also. I have
seen Christians fall away from the faith. They have a veil on their heart. They don’t want to hear
it. They are troubled. They are hurt. They are wounded. They are lonely. They are isolated. They
are negative. They are bitter. They are angry in their hearts. That poisons their whole
perspective of life. It affects their whole life how they look at things and their mind is blinded.

It’s in chapter 4:4. The god of this world. That means Satan has blinded their minds, but if they
will turn to the Lord, he can take the veil away.

Let me say it this way here. We have my self-life. There’s many elements to the self-life. You get
hurt. You are jealous. You are mistreated. You compare yourself to other people. You get hurt.
That bothers you and so you go more in the direction of fear and loneliness and isolation and
you get angry about your life. You get angry about it so I medicate myself. I medicate myself
because I’m depressed. I’m lonely and I’m afraid and I’m worried. I’m very troubled. I got
material I could read about it to you, but you don’t need to hear it I think.

You get the idea. If that person, that person – humility is a big thing here. If that person would turn to God, the
veil is taken away. The veil on their heart. And they say I have been foolish. I have been foolish.
It’s a real word in our Bible. Foolish. In our Greek language MOROS. Moron is coming from that.
IDIOTES is another one. I’ve been an idiot. Okay. AFRON. I’ve been without understanding.
Greek word AFRON. No understanding.

So, when I’m hurt in my life by what happens by my job or education or my family or something
in my childhood. I’m hurt in my life and I get blinded and I go in a direction and it doesn’t let up.
That goes on and on and I am immature. I am carnal. I immature. Paul is an example of the
opposite because in his life he learned to turn to the Lord and it increased his capacity. So, he
could suffer very much.

When you turn to the Lord, you are able. This is 2 Corinthians 4. If you read to the end of chapter 3, you
see if you when you shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away in vs. 16. The Lord is that
Spirit. Where the Spirit of that Lord is, there is liberty. One of the effects of the maturity is your
liberty. Your liberty. You’ve got liberty. One of the effects of your relationship with God is that
you’re free. You love. You love. You could see anybody at any time with love. You have
forgiveness. You have mercy. You have the Spirit of God. You have liberty. You’re not afraid.
You have liberty.

This is maturity. This is the direction that God wants you to take in your life.
Not the other one where you just stay shallow. You can read on social media platforms the
shallowness, the anger, the hatred. You can read jealousy. You can read comparison. You can
say you know, I don’t like that. I don’t like that. It’s like oh really? Okay. You know. It’s like,
wow. The universe revolves around you, you know. The whole thing is about what you like or
don’t like. I mean the immaturity and shallowness of people’s lives is so destructive cuz it’s not
a matter of like when. It’s not a matter of what will happen. It’s just a matter of when they
discover they are totally bankrupt. They don’t have much.

When you don’t have God, you don’t have much. When you have God, you have an increase.
Okay. Let’s read 2 Corinthians 4. We’re almost done here, but this is – I could go on and on a long time
about it. This is chapter 4:1. Why? Because in chapter 3:18, we are seeing the glory of the Lord

and we are changed into his image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. You say to the
Apostle Paul, have you suffered? This is 2 Corinthians 11:16 through to 12:20. You have his sufferings.
He is making a case and he apologizes because he doesn’t want to be so foolish as to address
the foolishness of the false apostles. But he’s saying for the sake of the church, I’m going to tell
you guys something. I have suffered enormously. I asked P. Scibelli how many things he
counted. He said 38 different sufferings.

Now, notice the sufferings. Some of them, one of them could kill you. One of them because he
was beaten with stripes by the Jews many times and in the Mishna, it says if a man dies when
he’s beaten with the 30 stripes, the man executing the penalty is not liable. So, he could die and
I think Paul had it done to him five times. He was beaten with rods three times. He was
shipwrecked three times. One of them we read in Acts 27.

Any of these sufferings – imprisonments, persecutions, perils by robbers, malaria probably,
other diseases – that he almost died. 2 Corinthians Chapter 1. Why is he saying these things about
suffering? Why? ‘Cause he is making a point that suffering in the eyes of people generally is not a
badge of honor. It kind of smacks of where’s God in your life? You suffer? What kind of God do
you have? You are poor? What happened to you in your relationship with God? You’re a poor
man? You have no place to sleep, no resting place? Certain resting place. Why is he saying this?
Cuz he’s saying even though this is happening to me, I am very capable to serve you. I am very
willing to love you. The more I love, the less I’m loved but that’s okay because I know God. I do.
This is his point. I know God.

Now, we cannot, I cannot say that I know this message in the sense where we are learning, but I
am saying this. Don’t be so small and so petty that you can’t suffer. Don’t be a little person
nitpicking and critical and crying and whining about your life. Be thankful. Be a worshipper. Let
us not take our sin nature and let it govern our life and make us small, shallow people. Let us
learn what grace is and how grace helps us in our suffering so we can see him. That he’ll give us
grace.

So, am I making this up? No, it’s right there in 2 Corinthians 11. Let’s finish up with that. Chapter 11:29,
Watch this picture here. This one. This is the one, right? This picture. Who is weak and I am also
weak. I am with you. Who is offended and I feel that offense, too. I burn also. I understand the
offense but I plead with you like find the grace of God the nature of God in it.

Because I have found – this is the next part – if I must glory, I will glory in the things which
concern my infirmities. That’s my credential. That’s what my credentials are. I didn’t go to
Dallas Theological Seminary and some do. And they do it through the cross and they find God
and that’s a beautiful thing. But I’m saying the credentials for evangelicalism is partially the
professional side of Christianity. I’m not against that in that way because these are humble people that walk with God and go to those schools and so on. I believe that and I love that and
I’m not saying it that way.

But if I think I have to get my credentials in order without finding this, then I’m shallow. Not
Schaller. Shallow! Sometimes at the door, they call me Pastor Shallow! And I’m very quick to
correct them! No, I’m joking. Okay. Wait a minute. I don’t want to lose you. I want to finish up
here. Listen. I’m thinking about this subject and learning it. and want to get a hold of it in my
heart that you know you don’t have to worry about the suffering or the evil or the pain. It may
happen and the promise is if it happens, you can turn to God and find him. We hope so. This is
what our faith is telling us. It’s also written in Romans 5 that we will find his grace in our
suffering.

Maybe somebody here has lost a loved one. I remember in Hungary many years ago, this
woman came to our meeting brand new and she was very sad and depressed. And she said she
lost her daughter. And so, we were very sympathetic and we spend time with her and talking
and said, when did you lost your daughter? And she said and she the daughter was 17 years old
and so on. And I said, when did that happen? She said 27 years ago.

And I said, oh, no. No. No. This is wrong. This is wrong. You have to, you know, we’re way bit
down the road. I thought it happened just recently. But, no. That can’t happen. There are things
in your life that maybe you kind of cherish the grievance. You cherish the sorrow. You use it as
an excuse. You kind of nurse along the pain. You kind of park in the offense and that develops
into something very bad. A very bad thing. A cancer that works in the heart and it affects my
perspective of the church, my perspective of God, my perspective of life and myself. This is
wrong.

But our society doesn’t have a message for healing people without Jesus Christ. They don’t
have a message. They only have therapies and listening and talking and on and on it goes but
where is the real change? And Paul said the god of this world blinds people’s minds to this
glorious gospel. But if you said to Paul, now did you do it? He would say I went through the
suffering and I found that I gloried in the trouble ’cause then I found him.

Let’s read it. Where are we? Go to 12 and he gives an example in vs. 8-9. There’s your
credentials. That you found God when your mother died. You found God when you lost the job.
You found God when you lost your wife in a divorce. You found God when you lost your health.
You found God when you lost something precious to you and me. I don’t – none of us are like
gloating in that.

We are only saying it as seriously as we can that this is something that many believers fail in
understanding what God wants to give them. And that maturity like Job – and again just to
repeat it – at the end of his life, he got twice back including children and then he gives the names of the girls. I’m thinking that’s beautiful cause like Jesus is teaching us he’s a Lamb. He’s
gentle. He’s perceptive. He’s caring. He’s powerful and he cares for the weakest. He cares for
people and he cares for the sheep and he cares for you. He cares for me and he leads us and
takes care of us.

Then, lastly, vs. 9-10. What? I take pleasure. What? Are you crazy? I take pleasure in infirmities,
vs. 10. I think of an older guy. Paul is getting old and he’s all scarred up and like maybe twisted
and on the outside you could say on the outside he’s kind of ugly. He’s kind of awkward and
everything but he is so beautiful. He is so beautiful. You would love to sit with him all afternoon
and just be with him. He is so rich. He is so wise. He is so kind. He is so gentle. He has such
authority. He is so precious this man.

And he says I glory in the infirmity, the reproaches, the persecutions. The things I discovered in
jail. The things I found with broken hearts. I found him. I found him. And that’s the story of your
life if you choose that road. If you choose. You and I and I’m sure sometimes it’s tough. We
could choose that way and not be ashamed. We’ll find God in that way. Okay. Amen. Would
you pray with me.

 

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