Sermon: Peace and Courage in a Troubled World

Peace and Courage in a Troubled World
John 16:32-33
March 22, 2020

This is an odd morning.  I have preached to this church body almost 1400 times, by my count.  I have never preached with music recorded by our musicians ahead of time, and I have never preached to an empty auditorium.  There have been Sundays where attendance was low; there has never been a Sunday when the sanctuary was completely empty (except for the sound engineer and the live stream operator).

We often acknowledge that there is trouble in this world.  Life is hard.  There are tough times.  There are burdens.  Most of us have seen other events classified as pandemics.  None of us has lived through a time when churches voluntarily closed their doors for worship in an attempt to stop a pandemic.  Every single person (and that’s not an overstatement) has been impacted in some way by this event.  We are all feeling the weight of the trouble of these days.

Perhaps these days are leading you to ask questions like the one an 11-year-old boy gave John Piper one Sunday morning:  “If God promises to meet all our needs, why are we hungry?”  In other words, is God still good and what is God doing in our circumstance and will He provide for us?

There are enough stories of suffering in this world (even apart from Coronavirus) that it might be tempting for us to say, “Life is not as good as what we thought Christ promised us.  Life is not just hard — life is unreasonably hard.”  I suspect that there are many Americans and many believers who feel that way this morning, even if they won’t say it that way.

Where will we turn in our trouble and trial?  What will we do in this circumstance?  Beginning this morning — and for the next eight weeks or more (as long as the Coronavirus persists) — I want to take some time to think with you about a number of truths to help us endure in these days.  We want to keep things looking as normal as possible and worship like we usually do, but it’s obvious that things aren’t normal, and frankly, to continue in Romans as if everything is normal is to ignore the elephant in the room.  So today I begin this series with the words of our Savior from John 16 and the truth and provision for our suffering.  What should we think about suffering?  Listen to what Jesus says in John 16:32-33 —

We live in a trouble-filled world.
But Christ has given us everything we need to be at peace and have courage in this trouble-filled world.

  1. The Reality of the Believer’s Trouble (v. 32)
  2. The Provision of the Believer’s Peace (v. 33a)
  3. The Command for the Believer’s Courage (v. 33b)

Download the rest of this sermon on John 16:32-33.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.

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