The Purpose And Power In Suffering
1 Peter 4:12-14
INTRODUCTION: Peter instructs us to view our present trials from the perspective of eternity. When we walk with Jesus Christ, submitting to His plans and remaining faithful to Him, our suffering down here will result in additional delights in heaven.
The Apostle Peter focuses upon the positive aspects or benefits of suffering as a Christian. Many Christians are surprised or shocked when the trials and sufferings of Christ come into their lives. There is a popular theology which is espoused by some which suggests that the sun always shines upon the Christians, that our grass is always greener, and that the spiritual temperature around us is always ideal (fair-weather believers).
Peter is reminding us that such teaching is simply not true. In fact, as we have seen, Christians will often suffer for doing good (3:13-18). We should not be surprised when the fiery trials come our way. We are at spiritual warfare with Satan himself. It is not a strange or unusual thing. Christians have faced trials and have suffered for their faith from the beginning of the church.
Peter, himself, suffered greatly for his Christian faith. Tradition tells us that he was crucified on a cross upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same way as did his Master, Jesus Christ.
I. OCCASION FOR TRIALS 12
A. TRIALS WILL HAPPEN: PROMISE
2 Timothy 3:12
''Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.''
Note Jesus' sayings:
''If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things ...
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