When confronted with suffering

Senior Pastor Braam Botha Communique
Table of Contents

When confronted with suffering

Wednesday 6th March 2024

As Christ followers, we are not exempt from suffering, but we are assured that God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). This promise provides us with hope and comfort, knowing that even in the midst of trials and tribulations, God is at work, weaving a beautiful tapestry of redemption and restoration.

When faced with suffering, our first response should mirror that of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prayed,

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39).

In this moment of agony, Jesus exemplified surrender to the will of God, acknowledging his human frailty while entrusting himself entirely to the Father’s goodness, wisdom, and sovereignty. Christ’s pain brought about our salvation. His pain became our gain! Prayer is that personal contact with the ultimate Healer and can be described as the birth canal for all healing:

‘When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.’ 1 Peter 2:23-25 NIV

Similarly, we are called to surrender our desires, fears, and anxieties to God, trusting in His perfect plan and timing which serves as a testimony of His character. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are reminded to

“not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In times of suffering, prayer becomes our lifeline, providing us with a direct line of communication with the One who is our refuge and strength. Through prayer, we can pour out our hearts before God, expressing our deepest concerns and seeking His guidance, comfort, and provision. 

As we lift our petitions to Him with thanksgiving, we are reminded of His faithfulness and goodness, cultivating a spirit of gratitude and trust in His unfailing love.

Ultimately, our approach to handling suffering as Christ’s followers is characterised by faith, surrender, and prayer. We trust in God’s promise to work all things together for our good, even when circumstances may seem dire or hopeless. We surrender our will to His, recognising His sovereignty and wisdom in all things. And we turn to Him in prayer, seeking His peace and presence to sustain us through the trials and tribulations of life. In doing so, we find strength, comfort, and hope in the midst of suffering, knowing that we are held secure in the hands of our loving and faithful Father.

Young Families Camping Weekend | Update

What an awesome bunch of people camped with us at Warburton for our second Young Families Camping Weekend!  Over 120 people plus a bunch of Saturday visitors joined us and loved the water park, floating on the river, taking photos in the stunning Redwood Forest and hanging out around our communal campfires.  The weather was great!  Grateful for loads of wonderful connections and looking forward to doing it all again in 2025!

Fuse Youth | Friday 8th March | 7:00 pm

This week is our third week of our F.U.S.E series and that means we are focusing on what it means to live a supernatural existence! With Annie preaching, live extended worship and more – It will be a night not to miss!! 7-9.30pm, $5.

Sunday Service | 10th March | 10:00 am

We launch the new series “Our Gain from Pain” that will lead us into Easter. In this series we will look at what Jesus taught us about suffering and how God can use our own pain for good. 

We will also look at how we should be praying during painful seasons and how we can use our own experience of suffering for the benefit of others.

Kids Church | Sunday 10th March | 10:00 am

This week at Kids Church…

2 to 4-year-olds | Follow Me | Matthew 9:9-12; Luke 5:1-11
5 to 12-year-olds | Let’s Go (Abram and Lot) | Genesis 13:5-18

Onsite check-in opens at 9:45am and closes at 10:15am. Kids Church finishes at 11:30am.

Room Allocations for 2024
Wonderkids Room – 2 year olds and Kinder 3’s (all 2 year olds are most welcome to be registered after their 2nd birthday). 🙂 
FLC Room 5 – Kinder 4’s and Preps born AFTER 1st July 2018
FLC Room 6 – Grade 1’s and Preps born BEFORE 30th June 2018
FLC Room 1 – Grades 2, 3 and 4
The Youth Shed – Grades 5 & 6 

Kids Church is seeking more volunteers to support the dual service sessions. If you are interested, please complete the Kids Ministry Volunteer Application Form by clicking the link. Contact Glennie for more information. Email: [email protected].

Men's Prayer Group | Sunday 10th March | 5:45 pm

The Men’s Prayer Group is a group of men who regularly meet to pray together. James 5:16 – speaks about the effect of fervent prayer and how it achieves great things! Come along and enjoy fellowship, worship, and prayer as men of faith gather to seek God for mighty breakthroughs. Time: 5.45 pm – 7.30 pm.

Boys Brigade | Monday 11th March | 6:00 pm​

For over 20 years, the Boys’ Brigade has advanced Christ’s Kingdom among boys. We provide a Christian community that supports boys and young men and assists in their Christian growth, physical development, and leadership training while teaching life skills. Come along and be part of the action!

ANCHORS | Grades 1 & 2: 6pm – 7:15pm
JUNIORS | Grades 3 – 6: 7pm – 8:30pm
SENIORS | Grades 7 to 18 years old: 7pm – 9.15pm

Mental Health Support Gathering | Tuesday 12th March | 7:30 pm​

Remeber you are not alone.Mental Health Support Gatherings cater for people who may benefit from mental health support. This may be personally or to assist a friend, family member or carer. This is a safe place to be heard and to share life’s challenges, make friendships and have hope restored. Remember, you are not alone.

In addition, the Gatherings also provide tools to assist people in dealing with life and, on occasion, have specialist speakers addressing relevant topics. The Mental Health Support Gatherings are held on Tuesdays fortnightly during the School Terms from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. If you’re interested in coming along please click the ‘Book Now’ link below and choose: Special Interest Group: Mental Health Support Gatherings.  For more information please contact the Church Office 03 9702 1011. The Mental Health Support Gatherings are a ministry of the Berwick Church of Christ.

Seniors Ministry | Friendship Group | Wednesday 13th March | 1:30 pm

Nathan Holland will bring us up-to-date information from the Open Doors ministry, which exists to strengthen the persecuted Church worldwide. A FREEWILL OFFERING WILL BE TAKEN.

Writers Group | Saturday 23rd March | 9:00 am

Aspiring writers, are you looking for a creative outlet to showcase your writing talents and connect with fellow literary enthusiasts? We are thrilled to invite you to join our Writers Group, where your words will come to life in a community of like-minded individuals.

Whether you write poetry, short stories, essays, or anything in between, we welcome all writing styles and genres. So come join us and ignite your passion for writing! Together, we will inspire each other to reach new heights and unlock our full potential as writers. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to be a part of something truly special.

Join us today and let your creativity soar!

Partners Gathering | Sunday 24th March | 12:30 pm

We’re having a Partners Gathering, and we want YOU to join us! Partners Gatherings are a significant time for us to connect, celebrate, build stronger relationships and to pray together.

We’ve got an action-packed program planned. From inspiring messages that will ignite your faith, to updates about future developments.

So mark your calendar, set your alarm, and get ready for an unforgettable experience. We can’t wait to see you at our Partners Gathering.

Good Friday Service | 29th March | 9:00 am

Our special Good Friday service will be a time of reflection, communion, and worship, focused around the powerful sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ when He paid the penalty for our sins by suffering and dying on the cross.

Good Friday Berwick Church of Christ
Easter Sunday Service | 31st March | 9:00 am & 11:00 am

On Easter Sunday, we will celebrate the triumph of Christ’ resurrected life which has empowered us to live a live of victory. This will be the concluding message in the “Our Gain from Pain” series where we will focus on how God can help us to help others through our own experiences of victory over pain and suffering. Please note that there will be two services on this day at 9 am and at 11 am.

Easter Sunday Berwick Church of Christ 2024
Alpha Marriage Course | Wednesday 17th April | 7:00 pm

The Marriage Course is for married couples who are seeking to strengthen their relationship. Some married couples attend the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all married couples with or without a church background.  The course will help you to:

  • Understand each others needs
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Grow closer by learning methods to resolve conflict
  • Recover from the ways you may have hurt each other
  • Recognise how your upbringing affects your relationship
  • Improve relationships with parents and in-laws
  • Develop greater sexual intimacy
  • Discover each others “love language” and much, much more….

Thank you for being His Presence in Every Place!


Senior Pastor