by Jerry Vines

Turn to the fourth chapter of the book of I Peter and I'll begin reading in the
12th verse and I'll read to the conclusion of the chapter. And the subject of the
message is entitled this morning, SUFFERING IS PART OF THE PLAN. Suffering is part
of the plan. So we read about it in these verses beginning with verse 12 and reading
to the conclusion of the chapter.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are par-
takers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad
also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye;
for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken
of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as
a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man
suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first
begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if
the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of
their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
If you suffer as a Christian, don't be surprised, it's part of the plan. Simon
Peter was writing to these first readers who were experiencing indeed a fiery trial.
In A.D. 64 Nero, the Emperor of Rome, had burned the city of Rome and he blamed it on
Christians. And so from that time there were the fires of persecution that were
flaming all over the Roman Empire. Many of God's people were going through unbeliev-
able persecution. Some of them were being crucified; others of them were being rolled ...

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