Some people asked for the notes of today’s message to be published on my blog, so here they are. I hope they are a blessing.
Our Attitude in Trials
1 Peter 4:12-19
Trails and suffering are normal for believers.
The first 300 years of the church were years of torture, death, hiding, pain, suffering, and trials.
A life and death struggle with pagan society.
Don’t think it strange (foreign, weird, out of the normal) when you go through a fiery trial.
Not just an ordinary trial but a fiery (burning) one
Most of the things we classify as trials are just inconveniences: sickness, financial problems, criticism.
They had death, torture, fed to wild animals, burned at the stake, etc.
Reasons we should not be surprised:
- Because Jesus was tried.
- Because God wants to try us.
- Try = put to the proof
- Job 23:10
- James 1:2-4
- Because God’s Word over and over again tells us that trails will come:
- Jesus told the disciples that since the world hated Him they would hate us. (John 15:18)
- Paul told Timothy that all that live godly will suffer persecution. (II Timothy 3:12)
- John told the early Christians not to be surprised if the world hated us. (I John 3:13)
- Paul warned that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (Acts 14:22)
- We are to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Tim 2:3.
Don’t be shocked or surprised when trials come!
2-Attitude of Joy (4:13-14)
Rejoice (v.13) = cheerful
Happy (v.14) = blessed, fortunate, well off
Why we should rejoice in trials?
- Because you are a partaker of Christ’s sufferings.
- He suffered for us; what a privilege to suffer for Him.
- Ac 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
- Because the glory of God will be revealed.
- When Jesus Christ returns and we stand before Him, we will be so thankful for the privilege to suffer for Him (“exceeding joy”).
- Those who suffer and die for their faith will receive a crown of life. (James 1:12, Romans 2:10)
- Because when you are reproached, it is because of the presence of God in your life.
- They speak evil because of God in our life.
- We glorify God for His goodness.
If you are suffering, rejoice and be happy!
3-Attitude of Humility (4:15)
- We should be humble enough to examine ourselves to make sure that we not suffering for the wrong reasons.
- We may bring our suffering on ourselves by being:
- A murderer
- Not just taking someone’s life but also having hatred and bitterness in our heart.
- Resentment can bring health, social, and other problems.
- A thief
- Not working at 100%
- Arriving late, leaving early, not paying our taxes, taking shortcuts may come back to haunt you
- An evildoer
- All sorts of wrong
- Things that could harm your testimony
- A busybody in other man’s matters
- Gossip, critical, speaking evil
- Getting involved in something that does not concern us
- A murderer
Have you done something to bring your suffering on you?
4-Attitude of Praise (4:16)
- Don’t be ashamed (embarrassed) by suffering.
- Glorify God – praise, honour, magnify
- Use your suffering as an opportunity to praise the Lord.
- Anybody can be happy, rejoice, and praise the Lord when things are going well, but your praise is more meaningful when you are still praising him in the midst of trails. (Example: Job)
When you going through a trail do you complain or praise God?
5-Attitude of Compassion (4:17-18)
- Judgment must begin at the house of God first. God will try us to find out if we really mean business.
- If believers must be judged, what will happen to those who do not believe.
- May our light affliction that at times seems very grevious cause us to have compassion for lost and what it will be like to fall into the hands for any angry God.
If you think your suffering is bad, what about the lost who die without Christ?
6-Attitude of Trust (4:19)
- Suffering is part of God’s will.
It should not shock us.
Our prosperity should shock us.
Out of 7 churches in Revelation 2-3, only one was rich – the Laodicean church which was lukewarm and made God nauseous. (3:14-20).
- When we suffer as part of His plan for our life, we should commit the keeping of our souls to Him.
- Rest in Him, to give as a trus
- A long time ago I gave my life to Him; it is His to do with as He pleases.
- He created me and I am designed for His purpose.
I trust Him and believe that He will is best to glorify God and make me most happy.
Do I really think that I can do a better job running my life than the One who created me?
Do you really think you know more about a car than the one who created the car?
It comes down to, Will you commit the keeping of your soul to Him? You have trust your eternity to Him, why will you not trust your life on this earth to Him?
- Trials do not make us fall away, they only reveal that there was not much depth to our Christian life.
- Trails show how much we really value what God values.
- Our attitude shows whether we are really walking with God and have His perspective on things.
- Our focus in trails should be more on how we should act in the trials rather than way they are happening. We will find that out later.