Big Idea

You do not face the trials of this world alone.

Scene Setup

: In order to put an end to the unlawful scare tactics and intimidation used to keep blacks from voting in the city of Selma, Martin Luther King Jr. organizes a peaceful protest on the steps of the Selma courthouse to draw the attention of the rest of the nation. After Selma's bullying sheriff breaks up the protest, he jails King and his friends, leaving King's wife, Coretta, to worry about what will become of her husband and her family. Coretta must seek out the advice of black rights militant, Malcolm X.

Topics

Suffering, Trials, Perseverance, Steadfastness, Tribulation

Scene

ladies get out of the car, and Coretta takes a deep breath. She's nervous. “Are you alright?” Mrs. Boynton asks. Coretta tells her that she wishes she had more time to prepare. She likes being able to help the cause, but she doesn't have enough experience to make her entirely comfortable. Coretta turns to Mrs. Boynton and tells her, “I admire you. I do. Sometimes I wish I was out there in the trenches.” “You do more than you know, Mrs. King,” Mrs. Boynton assures her. Coretta's nerves are still not settled. She sighs and shakes her head. Mrs. Boynton goes on encouraging her. “I'll tell you what I know to be true. It helps me in times when I'm feeling unsure, if you'd like.” “Oh, please do, Mrs. Boynton,” Coretta replies. “I know that we are descendants of a mighty people,” Mrs. Boynton tells her, “who gave civilization to the world. People who survived the hulls of slave ships across vast oceans. People who innovate, and create, and love, despite pressures and torture unimaginable. They are in our blood stream, pumping our hearts every second. They've prepared you. You are already prepared.”

Application

Today in America, the amount of persecution and hardship that the church faces is minimal in comparison to the rest of the world. While Christians in North Korea, Iraq, Kenya, and other places in the world face threats like oppressive governments, or Islamic extremists such as ISIS, Christians in America enjoy the safety of religious freedom. Because of this freedom from persecution in the United States, the Christian life has become casual and relaxing. For some of us, even talking about what we believe in the work place could be challenging because we're afraid of what other people may think of us. Many of us look at our brothers and sisters in Christ in places like China, and while we pray for them from afar, we cannot imagine going through the sorts of things that they do. Many of us feel like Coretta King. When we're put on the spot for our faith, we feel like we aren't prepared, like we do not have what it takes. We look at those who have been “out in the trenches” for our faith, and admire them, but we don't have their experience. How can we be expected to stand up for what we believe in when we do not have the experience to prepare us? Just like Mrs. Boynton and Coretta King, we have a heritage of suffering, pain, and death, but beyond that, we also have a heritage of love and triumph. “They are in our blood stream, pumping our hearts every second,” Mrs. Boynton says. We have a different kind of power pumping our hearts, one that is even more mighty and awesome. Our heritage of suffering begins with Jesus Christ. He bled for us. He died for us. He rose again on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Through his pain, through his suffering, Christ triumphed over death, and over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). The Bible says that many will hate us and even try to kill us for what we believe and for following Christ (Matthew 10:22), and though they can harm our physical body, they cannot touch our souls (Matthew 10:28). The battle for the world has already been won, so we need not fear what they can do to our physical body. Jesus warned his disciples that there would be pain and suffering in this world (Matthew 24:9), but he has left each and every one of us with a helper (John 14:16), the Holy Spirit, who will aid us in time of need. Though trials and tribulations may come, God is with us. He prepares us, just like generations of Christians before, to face the world and stand strong in the name of Christ. The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can endure because we are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses" who have preceded us. If they could endure, so can we. So the next time that you are feeling unprepared to share your faith, or stand up for what you believe in during a negative situation, like Coretta King, remember the generations of Christians before you that helped shape the world, but more importantly, remember who is by your side through every step. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28:20, that he will never leave us, nor forsake us.

 

Where To Find


Scriptures

Matthew 28:20

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Matthew 10:22-28

Hebrews 12:1-3

1 Corinthians 15:3-4


Video Times

Start: 0:41:00

End: 0:42:22


Keywords

Suffer, Suffering, Trials, Tribulation, Persevere, Perseverance, Steadfast, Steadfastness, Tribulation, Trial, Overcome


Illustration Sermon General Warning

None for this scene.

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