Summary: Making our lives count through suffering
Suffering is something that each and everyone one of us deal everyday of our lives. Suffering comes into everyday peoples lives both great and small don’t they. Sometimes suffering comes into people’s lives and we don’t know how nor why God would allow a person to endure such a trial. Suffering can also come at a moments notice and when least expected. They come in different shapes and sizes ranging from; Financial, relationships both with spouses and friends, physical, and emotional just to name a few.
What does it mean to suffer? It means to endure pain or loss. It also means to feel what is painful or distressing, either to the body or mind. Again no body likes to suffer, and more times than many it seems as thou suffering happens to good people and the most popular question when a friend, love one, or even when you yourself are dealing with suffering we always want to know “why”?
Why does God allow me, my friend at work, family member whom I love dearly, or even the person sitting next to you right now be allowed to suffer trials and tribulations? A popular verse of scripture that we like to quote is Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. So does this mean that its Gods will for those who are saved is to suffer? Yes, we are promised in the scriptures that we are going to suffer. You see, when a person comes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ by repentance of faith this doesn’t mean that suffering stops, what it means is your suffering has just begun. (Read text)
It’s fitting to find the writer of our text this morning writing about suffering. Peter himself has had to deal with suffering throughout his personal ministry. In the gospels Peter had to deal with the suffering of failure. In the last chapter of John we find Peter going back to a lifestyle that he new before he followed Jesus. He suffered failure and ridicule when he denied Jesus the night of His arrest. He suffered persecution while preaching in Jerusalem. He suffered trials and temptations while on missionary journeys scattered abroad the new world.
Again this is very fitting because it fulfills the scripture. Jesus eating with His disciples at during the Lord’s Supper Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. In or text you find Peter doing exactly that, strengthening the brethren who are scattered abroad Asia.
Peter encourages us to rejoice in the midst of our suffering by responding to something other than our immediate circumstances. Though the situation before us is bleak, there is a bigger picture behind what we see and feel. Chapter 1, Peter tells us that while you are suffering, God gives you the strength and mercy to rely on a living hope that gives you the ability to look towards an inheritance that never fades or perishes. In other words Peter begins by strengthening the brethren by saying hang in there. It’s necessary that we suffer for Christ sake. And while you suffer think on the inheritance that is laid in store for you in heaven.