Monday, January 22, 2018

1st. Peter - Suffering Well

1 Pet. 1:1-2 - to the elect (God's chosen people)
Written as a letter to those in Asia Minor.  But, a small step to us today.

1 Pet. 1:3-5 - Praise (to God) (who's given us in His mercy...)
New Birth - - - -  Living hope (expectation)  - - - - eternal inheritance (kept in heaven)

1 Pet. 1:6 - in this you Rejoice!!  ALTHOUGH...!!!  Tense can be changed to "are going to have".

Noted 2 kinds of trials .... Life Trials and Faith Trials.
 Life is full of trials - we live in a fallen world with fallen people

(Peter's focus is MOSTLY on Faith trials) - 1 Pet. 4:12, 1 Cor. 10:13

Faith trials = unique to the believer, don't effect non-believers.  Many times we try to obligate the non-believing community to our moral standards.

1 Pet. 1:7 - with focus on  "so that"
POINT - your suffering has purpose!!
1)  that you Faith may be proven genuine
2)  that your Faith may result in praise, glory, honor

Note:  in this life ... you will suffer!!!  (fallen world) - maybe a little, maybe a lot!!

BUT for the Christian, suffering need not be useless, meaningless, without positive effect.

Our Sufferings have great Potential!!! 
Rom. 5:3-4 - produces
2 Cor. 4:17 - achieves
James 1:2-3 - develops
1 Pet. 1:7 - results in
These are talking to Christians.  All have active verbs which describe ability to achieve positive results and outcomes from earthly suffering.

This Raises questions!!

#1.  Is all suffering efficacious?  effective for good?  (example:  suffering for evil?)  Doesn't mean suffering will be good but has potential for good.
Example:  punishment, painful outcome can result in: 
      A)  one turning to God
     B)  another turning away - Rev. 16:10-11

#2.  How does this work?  Rom. 8:28
Point:  Suffering in and of itself doesn't work.... BUT  God Does!!!!
Example:  Using cordless tool.  Tool works really well at job designed for, BUT is the tool doing the work, or the person operating the tool?    Suffering is a tool in God's toolbox.  It is inanimate, it doesn't do anything, BUT God uses it!

#3. a proper response necessary to a positive outcome? 
On one hand, God = Sovereign, can overcome any response.
However, He's given us free will, therefore, our response Makes A Difference!!

Clearly, we're called to suffer well - 1 Pet. 2:21
Implied that how we suffer Makes a Difference.  (in result, outcome in our life and lives of people around us)

#4.  Is suffering planned?  or permitted? 
Example:  Christ's suffering was Planned!  Matt. 16:21  ( Acts 2:23)
Job's suffering - Permitted?  Example:  Satan's leash

Point:  we can't always say or know, BUT either way, our sufferings can be effective for good BECAUSE Rom. 8:28 - "in all things .... God works"  Our response should be the same.

1 Pet. 1:7 - here = "so that....."

(1)  Your faith may be proved genuine
God Knows!  Therefore, the proof is for
1)  You
2)  those who observe you!! - when we suffer like pagans, non-believers are not impressed.

(2)  Your faith may result in praise, glory, and honor.  ie:  people will give praise, glory, and honor to Christ because you suffered well!!
(John 12:32 - "when I am lifted up...")  When we lift Jesus us, people will be drawn to Him.

An attending promise ... 1 Pet. 5:10 - tempered Faith!! - "forged in the fire"
MUST - bend without breaking.  Spring back without damage.

In this life your will suffer.

IF you suffer well - you will benefit (improve)
                           - people will notice
                           - Christ will be glorified (lifted up)
                           - eternity will be changed!!

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