Scripture Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19
We tend to have the same questions when things go wrong.
Job asked “why me?” (Job 7:20)
Psalm 13 – how long?
Pain raises a lot of questions, but answering those questions doesn’t guarantee that we will feel any better. In fact some of the answers can make us feel even more defeated, but working through tough questions while walk through dark times can help us to look to the One who can strengthen us and help us to hold things together long enough to make it through the storm.
Don’t be surprised – verse 12
Trials are unannounced but should not be unexpected. It’s a normal part of life.
James wrote “consider it joy when you face trials of many kinds…”
Hardship will come to us all (Illness, injury, financial strain, broken relationships, loss, disappointment) . Denying that means being unprepared when it comes which limits our ability to honor God with our suffering.
We prepare for some physical losses. We buy insurance, save money, install smoke detectors, and wear seatbelts. But we do little to nothing to prepare ourselves spiritually for the times when trouble walks into our lives.
Over the next few weeks we’ll talk about some ways that we can prepare:
Worship – prayer, fasting, praise
Living in Community – carry each other’s burdens, lean on others, meet needs
Building Faith – allowing the storm to strengthen your trust in God
Responding well – don’t make things worse
God didn’t give Job the answer he was looking for, and He doesn’t really give us the why behind specific things that we go through. He does, though, tell us in His word some things that can help us to understand the suffering that we experience.
Sin. – Not because of your individual sin, but because there is sin in the world. (Gen 3, John 9)
Consequences – discipline is to help us improve not for our destruction (Hebrews 12:7-11)
God’s Glory – (John 9, 1 Peter 4:13)
Our suffering draws us close to God – (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)
From Hope… The Best of things (Joni Earechson Tada)
“Jesus, do you see that wheelchair? You were right when you said that in this world we would have trouble, because that thing was a lot of trouble. But the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. It never would have happened had you not given me the bruising of the blessing of that wheelchair.”
Our suffering makes Him known – (1 Peter 4:13-16)
- What do we do?
Rejoice – (1Peter 4:13, James 1) Praise isn’t easy, especially when we’re hurting, but it takes our eyes off of ourselves and puts them on the One who can do something about what we are going through.
Stay faithful – (1 Peter 4:19) Don’t give up. So many people do. They end their life, walk away from people who can support them, fall into the trap of self-medication, or pull back from God. Don’t fall for the enemy’s trap. Stay faithful.
Rest in Him
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
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