Hope in Suffering

March 31, 2013 Pastor: Dustin Blumer Series: Easter 2013

Passage: Job 19:23–19:27

Happy Easter! A special welcome to everyone gathered at Amazing Love. A quick
question who’s having ham today, and who’s going out to eat, and who’s going to eat some
bacon? Everything is better with bacon Easter too. Glad you are here.

I’m Pastor Dustin I’m not sure if I will have bacon, but Easter is always good. And
because some of you are new, and you’re wondering right now about me can I trust him, is this
going to be good, why are his side burns so long. All sorts of questions about a new speaker. I
thought I would tell you a little about me and my story. Well, it was in West Philadelphia born
and raised, on a playground is where I spent most of my days. Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all
cool and play some __________. No sorry, that’s the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I grew up as a
pastor’s kid. Always knew Jesus and loved Jesus. I have no huge conversion story to tell you
about. Sometimes wish I did, like a guy had a bazooka pointed at my face and I prayed if you
help me dodge the bazooka - nah. Mine is simple - just that God brought me in when I was
baptized at a YMCA where our church met. I was able to see from a young age that the church
isn’t a perfect thing, but because of Jesus it is powerful. I’m hear today preaching because I
firmly believe there is no one greater than Jesus and the hope he offers.

But through all of my life I have sensed something isn’t right. Call it a glitch in the
matrix or a kink in the works or whatever you call it: houston, there is a problem. In fact, my
perception of the world reminds me of a Taylor Swift song I saw on Youtube. Can I share it with
you? Have you seen that with the goat. My life can be like that at times. I’m cruising along
system normal, and then out of a no where a goat bleats. What is that! Like driving home from
work this week. Just filled up, on my way home, and someone doing a uhy blocks both lanes for
what feels like 30 seconds. I figure they will eventually complete the turn, they don’t, we almost
hit. Emotions riled up. BLEAT! The goat is bleating during my Taylor Swift type of life. The
goat is suffering, disruption or disappointment. And some times I have moments where that goat
is bleating like with the car, sometimes days, sometimes seasons of life where it seems the song has stopped playing in my life and there is a goat screaming out.

Now I don’t know your story. I hope someday I do get to know it. I honor you and your
story. And though I don’t know the details of your life - I believe we have this in common. That
somewhere in your story between going to school and going off to work there was a disruption.
Somewhere in your story you wondered why something happened. Somewhere in your story
you experienced pain and suffering. And this is what I believe we have in common, and if it is
ok what we want to talk about. And I believe that if you hang with me and don’t clock out there
is a source of hope that just may speak to your life today. Alright?

So on this Easter Sunday at Amazing Love we are going to consider the story of a man
who can relate to suffering and disruption. A man named Job. Can I tell you about him? Job
was it. He was on every celebrity reality show, and a dancing with the stars all star. People who
didn’t like Job, liked Job. He had 10 children, 7 sons and 3 daughters, he was rich beyond
imagination. They considered money in terms of animals of which he had 10s of thousands - but
let just say his 401k was bigger than anybody else’s. And the Bible says he was “the greatest
man among all the people of the East.” (1:3) So if I compared our lives are compared to a Taylor
Swift song, his life should be compared to a masterpiece like Beethoven’s 9th.

But then came the goat, or more like a T. Rex roaring through the song of his life. In a
day, within hours he lost everything. All his children died, all his possessions were taken. A
couple days later he experiences painful sores that came all over his body - head to toe
everywhere in between that were so bad - he scratched himself with broken pottery to feel better. (Now I’ve used a loofah, but that’s something else) And Job wasn’t it anymore. He went from Dancing with the Stars all-star to where even the producers of Splash didn’t even want him. And it is this same Job who experienced such a cataclysmic disruption and suffering who spoke the words we consider this Easter. Now I invite you to hear from Job. Say it again Job. Yes my Redeemer lives. And let’s talk about the hope a living Redeemer brings to suffering people this Easter.

Anyone here enjoy carnival games? Got one for you this morning. It involves these cups
and three easter eggs. And I’m looking for a volunteer, someone maybe a pitcher, who thinks
they can throw the easter egg to knock down these cups. I didn’t glue them don’t worry, they
will fall down. But who thinks. What’s your name give a hand. Are you feeling lucky this
Easter. Come a little closer. He Got it, starbucks gift card. Happy Easter - Thank you!

What I have set up is no mere carnival game, but a picture of the what the world was and
what it became. At Amazing Love, and if you’re new and not a Christian we’re so glad you’re
here, but we believe God put the world together. And yeah it was way better than a stack of
cups. God looked and saw it was good. (But then Nick threw an Easter Egg and it all changed.)
No but then something changed it, not an easter egg, but sin. (Sin is the evil you and I do, and
confessed before) And the world was changed forever, not because God had made it unstable,
but because sin was that destructive. Sin did this to the world. That’s why we see destruction
and chaos and a follower of Paul said about the world the whole world is groaning.

Now what is sin? You know how when you forget to do something or say something and
respond, “well, nobody’s perfect.” At Amazing Love we believe that too. I believe that I’m not
perfect, and I’m going out on a limb to say maybe you’re not perfect. We have things we wish
we wouldn’t have said, thought, or done. And the imperfections are called sin. These things are a big deal to God - they’ve wrecked our relationship with him, and a big deal in our world ‘cause
they have wrecked the world.

And we don’t always deal with the wreck very well. I think we try to stack the cups, not
knowing we’re missing some and don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. We call it picking
up the pieces. Job didn’t deal with the wreck well. When he lost his kids and stuff and body’s
hurting he said this, “May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, ‘A boy is
born!’ (3:3) Basically saying I wish I were never born. If you’ve ever said anything like this
when dealing with disappointment, suffering or heartache in life - you can relate to Job this

But we are here on Easter because hope was found in the midst of wreck, and yuck, and
sin, and suffering. And to talk about this I wanted to bring up vacation.

Anyone going on vacation anytime soon, my kids had spring break so it’s on my mind.
And the anticipation of vacation is something else isn’t it. I remember anticipating going to
Europe. Sister lived in the Czech Republic go visit her all good. But I was in the midst of a very
tough year. 2nd year of Seminary, where they on purpose load you up with more than you
possibly can do at full time school, on top of that you work a job. I was at the time a bill
collector, if I called you sorry I didn’t mean it. But I remember through tough times thinking, it
doesn’t matter I’m going on vacation. I’m going make this call, and they can call me names,
doesn’t matter I’m going on vacation. You can assign me to translate 50 verses from the Bible,
10 page paper, my 2nd sermon, and a test on all the kings of the Bible - doesn’t matter I’m going
on vacation.

You ever have that? You’re in trouble with the boss, the kids don’t like you - but it
doesn’t matter ‘cause in a week I will be laying out by the pool somewhere. Alright.

I think that is kind of where Job is living in this moment. Nothing’s going right, it’s all a
drag right now, his wife even says maybe you curse God and die. (2:9) You know you’re life is
bad when your wife is saying that. But he’s distracted from his current reality by the reality of
what is to come. And what is that. v.25-27. And I believe Job’s the type of guy who says, you
know what you can destroy my body, go the whole way. And it hurts but it doesn’t matter not
because I’m going on vacation. But because I have a Redeemer, and he’s going to raise me up,
and I will see him and be with him. You know what you can take my children, ‘cause I have a
Redeemer, who’s going to raise me up, and my children and we will be with him. You know
what you can take my stuff, ‘cause I have a Redeemer, who’s going to raise me up, and make
more better stuff, and I will be with him. And so for Job it was the hope of a future reality that
helped him cope with the current circumstance.

Friends gathered, I don’t know where you are today, and how this strikes you. But I
know what has gone on, and and I know what is ahead. At some point your current circumstance will get hard. But I believe there is a future reality that can help you through your current circumstance. And this future is about a Redeemer. A redeemer Job spoke of, believed in but never knew.

That Redeemer is Jesus. He is here today, and he is here for you. And let me tell you his
story. We know this Jesus as the one gave up his life for us on a cross. To undo the curse of sin, and release all of us held captive by sin. To provide forgiveness. And we know that this Jesus who many thought to be dead, and gone, and whose disciples even lost faith in him - came back to life on this day we celebrate. And we know that when it comes to you, if you’ve ever wondered what’s after this life, is there something more - those thoughts were written on your hearts by a God who conquered death. And he offers for you this day forgiveness, peace, and thesame thing Job held onto. That no matter how the rest of our life’s story plays out he has in storefor us a much better future reality. That we too will rise and see him with our own eyes.

And what this means is that you can handle and cope and yes be blessed in the midst of
this (cups all over) - when this is there too (the cross). And it means you anticipate a much better existence. A much better structure - that will never collapse.

But in the meantime - because we are in the meantime and we may have years before this
comes true for us. And because I know we love a quick fix, and love solutions right now. There
is something that can benefit you and help you until that happens. It’s this gathering we call the

Great things are happening at Amazing Love. In our children’s ministry fusion, there was
a child came in never heard of the cross. Those teachers Monica and Erin were able to share
what the cross meant, and the hope that it brings. We recently had someone go through a tough
time, and the response we got is that our church and compassionate were able to bring such loveand support that it really helped. When the church is loving and serving as God has directed - oh my goodness is it a beautiful thing.

So we invite you to come back. We’d love to know you’re story. We’d love to give more
support through Women’s and Men’s Groups. Because we are convinced there is hope in
suffering. It comes through a Redeemer who has conquered the grave, and is here for us in a sinwrecked world. Let’s pray:

Dear Jesus, I praise you so much, so much for sharing your victory with me. You have
said that as you conquered death, so I will conquer death and be with you where sin can’t wreck
a thing. Help me to anticipate that life. But help me now. Thank you for your promise that says
you work out all things for my good. Thank you that you have even used my painful
circumstances and my tears for my good. Please don’t let suffering lead me away from you, but
closer to you. Thank you for forgiveness, thank you for your body the church. And bless us on
this Happy Easter. Amen.