by Jerry Vines

This content is part of a series.

Suffering Is in the Plan (14 of 16)
Series: There's Hope
Jerry Vines
1 Peter 4:12-19

I'm going to talk to you this morning on the subject ''Suffering is in the Plan.'' Did you know that? Suffering is in the plan.

Let me just give you my message in a nutshell right at the very beginning. If you are suffering as a Christian, you should not be surprised. It is a part of God's big picture for your life.

That is normally not what we think, is it, when we suffer? Normally when we have hard times, when things go wrong in our life, we really wonder, ''Where is God in all of this and what is the purpose of it all?''

We think it is strange. We think it is surprising, and yet the Apostle Peter says in these verses of scriptures to the day in which he was speaking and now by the Holy Spirit's inspiration to your day and my day, ''Do not be surprised by the fiery trial that is to come upon you.''

That was certainly true in the New Testament day. Around A.D. 64 you may recall that Nero burned down Rome, and he blamed it on Christians, and it started a wave of persecution among believers. The stories are atrocious to listen to. Some of them were crucified. Others of them were rolled in pitch alive. Others were set on fire. Others of them were sewn up in animal skins with rats to eat them. Others of them had wild dogs loosed on them. They went through unbelievable fiery trials. Yet, Peter says, ''I want you to know that you shouldn't be surprised. This is a part of God's plan. God's doing a work and this is one of those unusual, strange, out of the ordinary components of the plan of God for your life.''

What this does for us this morning is this brings before us the whole area of the matter of suffering. The Tsunami tragedy over there has brought up the whole area of human suffering in general. Why do people suffer like that?

But the Apostle Peter goes into the area specifically of why do Christians suffer, and he is talking about the suffering of beli ...

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