Not So Strange
1 Peter 4:12-14
I. Expect Testing (12)
A. Even when it is painful
- This is a fiery testing. It is used of the fire that boils metal so that impurities can be removed.
- This fire changes the metal into a weakened liquid form and only in this state can dirt and impurities be removed. If the metal is removed from the fire it will stay cool but then cannot be purified.
- The testings that you face must melt you. They must change you so that you can be purified and when you are removed from the testing you will be stronger, cleaner, and more useful. Testing is painful, but it is also neccessary.
- By affliction, the Lord separates the sin that he hates from the soul that he loves.—Rev. William Secker* * William Secker, The Nonsuch Professor In His Meridian Splendor (Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1899), 22.
Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (738). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
- It is important to note that not all of the difficulties of life are necessarily fiery trials. There are some difficulties that are simply a part of human life and almost everybody experiences them. Unfortunately, there are some difficulties that we bring on ourselves because of disobedience and sin. Peter mentioned these in 1 Peter 2:18–20 and 3:13–17. The fiery trial he mentioned in 1 Peter 4:12 comes because we are faithful to God and stand up for that which is right. It is because we bear the name of Christ that the lost world attacks us. Wiersbe, W. W., /The Bible exposition commentary
B. Because it is coming
- comes upon you - is a present participle. Its already on its way and it will keep coming.
- The believers that Peter was writing to were about to be tested. Emperor Nero was about to enter the scene and persecute the believers with a scope and intesity that they had not yet expirienced. Under Nero Christians were blamed for the burning of Rome and so they were covered in pitch and used as torches to light his gardens at night.
- Just as Peter knew that this persecution was coming for the early believers, he knew that various persecutions would come our way also. If you are a Christian, you will be tested. It is inevitable but it is also good.
- God doesn't put fools gold into the crucible. If your in the fiery trial that is good because it means that you are the real deal.
- "A faith that can’t be tested can’t be trusted." —Warren Wiersbe Warren W. Wiersbe, Why Us?
C. Because it is normal
- Its like taxes. They are on their way and they are going to continue to come year after year. You should never think, "that's strange; I just got a tax bill!" No, that's not strange at all.
- 2 Timothy 3:12
- We should expect far worse testing in our lives and be thankful when God graciously protects us from the testing we could have recieved.
II. Rejoice in the Testing (13)
A. Because you're in good company
- Jesus went through the testing first.
- John 15:20-21
- Don't stop rejoicing! The more testing you recieve, the more rejoicing you need. It is counterintuitive but it is exactly what we need. If you don't keep rejoicing, then you will sink into bitterness and depression.
- This is a command that we can obey even when our emotions don't initiate it. We definitely want our emotions to follow whole heartedly but sometimes your will has to command your emotions.
- Acts 5:41
- [Practice - What sufferings are you are facing? list 3 things that you can be happy about concerning that situation.]
B. Because Jesus is coming soon!
- The suffering is a natural and neccessary step toward the goal of glory and exultation. 2 Corinthians 4:10;
2 Thessalonians 1:4-10
- What will that glory look and sound like? Revelation 19:4-6
III. Rest in the Testing (14)
A. Because of your state
- Matthew 5:1-11
B. Because of the Spirit
Revile = verbal abuse
- Like Philip - Acts 6:8-15, 54-60
- 2 Corinthians 1:5
- Have you ever expirienced this kind of spirit in the midst of a testing? It is amazing!
- • Obadiah Holmes—Visitors to America’s Boston Commons with its graceful swan boats might be surprised to learn what once happened there to Obadiah Holmes. In 1651, Holmes was arrested for preaching Baptist doctrine in nearby Lynn, Massachusetts. He was taken to Boston Commons, stripped to the waist, and tied to a whipping post. He later wrote: As the man began to lay the strokes upon my back, I said to the people, Though my flesh should fail, yet God would not fail. So it pleased the Lord to come in and fill my heart and tongue, and with an audible voice I broke forth praying unto the Lord not to lay this sin to their charge. The suffering wasn’t wasted. The whipping of Obadiah Holmes deeply impacted Henry Dunster, president of Harvard, and led to the organization of Boston’s first Baptist church. Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (763). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
- Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.—Hugh Latimer, to Nicholas Ridley as they were being burned at the stake. Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (760). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.