Digging Deep 10th April 2012
CHRISTIAN SUFFERING (1 PETER 1:6-7)
Peter tells us the approval of our faith is much more precious than approval of gold even though gold be approved through fire testing. God puts us in the crucible of Christian suffering in which process sin is generally put out of our lives, our faith is purified from unbelief that somehow mingles with it so often, and the result is the reflection of the face of Jesus Christ in the character of the Christian. This above all, God the father desires to see. Christ likeness is God’s idea for his child. Christian suffering is one of the potent means to that end.
· The afflictions of serious Christians are designed for the trial of their faith. God’s design in afflicting his people are their probation, not their destruction; their advance, not their ruin.
· Our Christianity depends on our faith; if this be wanting, there is nothing else that is spiritually good in us
DEFINITION OF SUFFERING;
The Oxford Advanced Dictionary defines suffering as physical or mental pain/torment
WHAT IS CHRISTIAN SUFFERING?
To suffer physical/mental pain as a result of our faith in Christ. 1 peter 4;15, 19, 3:13, 1 Corith 6:7-8
Suffering can also be defined from our text as a process through which God refine and mould his child for the purpose of attaining Christ likeness
Sources of Suffering
1. Trials Sufferings: Deut 8:2:3, Exodus 20:20, Heb 11:17
2. Temptation Suffering; James 1:13-14, Gen 3:1-6 1Timothy 6:9
Both are permitted by God to his glory. It may be said that both trial and temptations are opposite sides of the coin. That means God and Satan can be working simultaneously in a believer’s life through the same event, one to purify him, the other to pervert him. Example is Job
CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE OF SUFFERING (1 PETER 2:21, 4:1)
I. He was rejected and despised by man, but accepted by God, Isiaih 53:3, Matt 13:55, 1 PETR 2:4
II. He was humiliated, Isiaih 53:9, Luke 2:7, 22:37
III. He was mocked Matt 27: 29, luke 23:11
IV. He was revealed by man but loved by God
CHARACTERISTICS OF SUFFERING
· They are sudden
· They are certain
· They are sorted into dives (Various Trials). These are financial, Physical, spiritual, mental, and social trials e.g. Job, Lazarus
· They are not new: 1 Peter 4:12, 1 Corith 10:13
THE PURPOSE OF SUFFERING
I. Suffering makes us partner with Christ
II. Suffering produces endurance on earth
III. Suffering promise reward in heaven
IV. Suffering reveals the glory of God in us
V. Suffering strengthens our faith
VI. Suffering shows the genuineness of our faith
ATTITUDE OF SUFFERING (1 PETER 4:1, Phil 2:5)
When Christ was reviled, he reviled not against. When his suffering he threatens not
What did he do?
· Readiness, alert 2 corith 2:11
· Be watchful and prayerful Math 26:14
· Unfailing love towards one another
· Be focused Phill 3:13-14
· See it as opportunity to preach Christ
· Trust God as the only way out
· Have dominion over the body and strengthen the spirit
· Life of pobedient; 1 Peter 1:14
· Be patient
· Rejoice 1 peter 4:13, 1 Thes 5:16
· Don’t be ashamed 1 Peter 1:14
God our father will not give us a test that is more than our faith.
He allows us, his child to go through the suffering. So that he will be able to proof us and also bring out the best in us.