Summary: The suffering of life has to be dealt with. God always has a plan.
• PC VIDEO
• SLIDE #1
When you are going through difficult times do you feel loved by God?
• How do you think you would feel if you were seeing your family being persecuted because of their faith or if you suffer persecution because of your faith in Jesus?
• I know we all have heard the phrase when it rains it pours. We know what that means.
• As you live your life for Jesus have you ever wondered why it is raining on you?
• Most people do not feel loved by God when they are going through deep trials in life, when they are in the middle of a downpour, they do not feel like God is close to them when they are in the midst of the storm.
• When I start to talk about the issue of suffering, I realize there are people here and in our lives who have suffered a great deal. This is a serious issue that demands answers.
• It is so easy to give people short shallow answers and help when THEY are the ones going through the suffering or are getting g rained on. It is easy to tell someone they just need to get over the loss of a loved one or the loss of their health, the loss of a job.
• One thing we need to understand when we are in the middle of suffering, tough times, or persecution, is that God is next to us getting rained on, hurting with us.
• Today we are going to try to answer some questions concerning the issue of suffering or as I will refer to it, getting rained on.
• Let us begin with verse 12
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Peter 4:12(ESV) 12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
• Slide #3
I. Being rained on should not come as a surprise. (12)
• It is easy to assume that when you become a Christian, God will keep you sheltered from the storms of life. But we need to understand that we are not immune from suffering, pain and persecution.
• We need to realize that…
• SLIDE #4
A. We will get rained on.
• Peter starts verse 12 with the word “beloved”. These people are in the middle of some difficult times, Peter starts off by reminded us that God loves them and that he loves them. Just because we are facing difficult times does not mean that God has left us.
• We are told not to be surprised by the fiery trial. Literally he is telling them to STOP BEING SURPRISED by the trials they are facing. The word “surprise” means bewildering astonishment (Life app Bible). We should expect to face trials and persecution and tough times in life.
• Jesus faced many trials during His ministry.
• SLIDE #5
• John 15:20(ESV) 20Remember 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 also keep yours.
• SLIDE #6
B. Being rained on will test us.
• The reference to “fiery trial” seems to be a reference to the refiner’s fire which precious metals were placed so that the impurities would be separated from the gold or silver.
• If everything was perfect, if the Christian was promised no problems in life, who would not want a part of that? Would people love God for who He is or for making life perfect and problem free?
• Our trials are the refiner’s fire that purifies and strengthens our faith.
• The runner who goes through the pains and trials of training is the one who will get to be a stronger runner. Without the pains of training, the runner has no endurance.
• When we face the tough times and come through them, we will be stronger and we will be blessed by God.
• The word translated “testing” in verse 12 can also be translated “tempting”
• When we are facing difficult times, we will be tempted to leave God. We will be tempted to forsake our faith.
• I bet a lot of those being persecuted for their faith in Peter’s day though about it.
• The next observation concerning getting rain on is…
• SLIDE #7
II. We will get rained on for a variety of reasons. (13-17)
• AT many funerals, people will want to know WHY the person died, or what purpose was this death going to accomplish. I believe that knowing the WHY will not ease the pain; it will only lead to more pain and questions.