Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 1. Don’t be surprised by your suffering (vs. 12). 2. Know that we can have joy for the journey (vs. 12-14). 3. Be ready with righteousness (vs. 15-18). 4. Commit yourself to our Creator (vs. 19).

Suffering with the Savior

1 Peter 4:12-19

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 17, 2013

*Do you like to suffer? -- No, of course not. Only truly warped people like to suffer.

*But Christians, we will suffer in this world. Why? -- Sometimes it’s because of our commitment to Jesus Christ. This is the kind of suffering Peter was talking about in vs. 12, when he said: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;”

*Thank God that we have been spared from much of that, because we have the amazing grace of living in a free country! May God help us to realize how blessed we are! And how high a price was paid for us to be free.

*But the truth is: We will go through times of suffering for many different reasons. So, let’s look into the Scripture and see what God has to say.

1. First Christians: Don’t be surprised by your suffering.

*This was Peter’s main message to us in vs. 12, where again he said: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;”

*Yes we will be rejected for Jesus Christ. It could come from people we know, maybe even people in our own family. But the rejection will come.

*One of the most memorable examples for me is Ilene. She was a friend our daughter Becky met when she served in the Baptist Student Union. Ilene was a student at the University. And when Ilene got there, the last thing on her mind was becoming a Christian. But Ilene got involved with a group of Christian girls who were on an intramural flag football team.

*Ilene agreed to join the team, but only after insisting that her new friends would not try to witness to her. Well the Lord had other plans and before the end of her freshman year, Ilene trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

*But you see Ilene was the only child in a devoutly Jewish family. It took two years for her to share the truth with her parents. Both mom and dad were devastated and angry. They totally refused to accept Ilene’s faith in Jesus, and even pressured her into seeing a psychiatrist.

*About a year later, Ilene married a wonderful Christian guy. But her parents’ lack of understanding and feelings of rejection caused them to reject the marriage. They were disappointed that Ilene was marrying a Christian, and even more opposed to the wedding taking place in a church. So they refused to come.

*That’s a sad story. But it shouldn’t surprise us. Sometime, someway, we too should expect to be rejected for our faith in Jesus Christ. So Christians: Don’t be surprised by your suffering.

2. And know that we can have joy for the journey.

*In vs. 12-14, Peter tells us that no matter how bad it gets, we can still be filled with joy! Notice how much Peter stresses our joy in vs. 13&14.

*Listen this time to the KJV, where Peter said:

13. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. . .”

*Christians: We can have joy in the midst of our suffering. Where does the joy come from?

[1] A great part of our joy comes from our future with the Savior.

*Peter focused on this source of joy in vs. 13 when he said that Christ's "glory shall be revealed," and then we will "be glad also with exceeding joy." Jesus is coming soon! -- And this truth gives us exceeding great joy.

-Where do we get our joy? -- It comes from our future with the Savior.

[2] And from our fellowship with His Spirit.

*In vs. 14, Peter reminds us that right now, the Spirit of glory and of God rests on us. Christians: God’s Spirit is with us. As Jesus said in John 14:15-18:

15. If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

*And when He does, He brings us joy! So in the first part of vs. 14, Peter can say: “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye.”

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