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Faithlife

REAL rejoicing

Mike Measley  •  EFBC
The Gospel for REAL Life: A Study Through 1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  39:52
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Big Question: What makes me rejoice?
Second Question: What is the root of my suffering?
What makes me rejoice?
What gets me excited about the day? What do I rejoice about?
What gets me excited about the day? What do I rejoice about?
More often than not, I am rejoicing over some little blessing. I rejoice when things ‘go my way.’ I rejoice when I get what I want.
More often than not, I am rejoicing over some little blessing. I rejoice when things ‘go my way.’ I rejoice when I get what I want.
But am I missing out on REAL rejoicing? What is REAL rejoicing?
But am I missing out on REAL rejoicing? What is REAL rejoicing?
The second question…What is the root of my suffering?
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In what ways, in what areas of my life am I suffering?
Why am I suffering?
Typically, I want to blame others around me, or circumstances.
Often, our suffering does come from others, and circumstances… but why are they doing things to me?
Why are those circumstances suffering to me? Others go through them without suffering the way I do. Why is that suffering to me?
As I studied 1 Peter this week, I got to thinking of other believers around the world who suffer. I started to think.. why are they suffering? Is the root of their suffering different than my suffering?
For example:
John Jowi - partner with Pastor Britto in Kenya: reaching muslims on border of Ethiopia. Many were being saved. 6 muslim extremists broke into his house and beat him severely. Neighbors eventually took him to the hospital. He died 2 days ago, leaving a wife and 3 boys.
Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Pakistan, China, Yemen, Eritrea, various other countries in Africa, Iran are being imprisoned, beaten for their faith. You can find many stories on Voice of the Martyrs website or in the free magazine.
Is the root of their suffering different than my suffering? I think it is… and it has to do with this passage.
Let’s read the passage together:
1 Peter 4:12–19 NIV
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
Let’s ask God to speak to us as we work our way through this together.
In this passage, Peter is summarizing and returning us to the main point of his letter which he told us about right in the beginning. There is similar language here in , and in .
Let’s review .
1 Peter 1:3–7 NIV
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
:3-
There is a lot of the same language and concepts in these passages.
Peter introduced the concepts in chapter 1, and after talking about some of the trials (government/society, work, husbands and wives, other relationships) he is coming back to the main points. Let look at this.
fiery ordeal that has come to test you...
: trialsrefined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
: trials…so proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Peter uses the same kind of imagery for our trials, our suffering. Fire
When we are going through some trial, it is hard. It is like going through fire. It is not pleasant. It hurts. It is often not over in an instant, but an ongoing burning, with much suffering. And when the burning IS over, the pain is NOT. These trials, and suffering is truly suffering.
And he also used the same language when he referred to them as trials, or tests. There is a point to this. There is a purpose. It is refining. It is purifying. It is removing the dross of our selfishness, and refining us to have the mind of Christ. That is why Peter then says…
rejoice…so that you may be overjoyed
in all this you greatly rejoice
Peter uses this term for great joy, that expresses leaping for joy!
Peter reminds us that we have the best day ever coming! It is coming when Christ returns! That day when we will receive praise, glory, honor and that inheritance He has reserved for us!! The day when Jesus comes back for us!
What is interesting to me is what Peter is telling us to rejoice in now… Yes we rejoice in all that will be ours when Jesus comes, but Peter wants us to rejoice in something in the here and now… do you see it?
1 Peter 4:13 NIV
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13 NIV
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
This is what Peter defines as REAL rejoicing...
Rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ.
That word participate is the word, fellowship.
That reminds me of something Paul wrote…
Philippians 3:10 NIV
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
What are Peter and Paul talking about, participating in Christ’s sufferings?
What are Christ’s sufferings? His suffering was not just his death...
His suffering continues in that He feels our pain now… He told Saul, I am the one you are persecuting...
So,
In our suffering, recognize that Jesus suffered in the same ways.
In our suffering, have the mind of Christ -
Fellowship with others who are suffering - Paul spoke of the Philippians participating in his sufferings through their concern for him.
Philippians 4:14 NIV
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.
I think Peter defines REAL rejoicing as not just taking joy in the good things God gives us now, but in participating in the sufferings of Christ now.
Finding Joy in our trials and suffering because I can learn to have the mind of Christ.
Finding Joy in participating with other believers in their suffering, and this participating with Christ.
Finding Joy in our REAL hope, Christ’s return, and our eternal home with Him!
But as I considered finding REAL joy in my suffering, and kept reading in 1 Peter, I found that the root of my suffering is an important part in this REAL rejoicing.
What is the root of my suffering?
1 Peter 4:14–15 NIV
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
1 Peter 4:14–16 NIV
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
1 Peter 4:14-
In my current trials, in my suffering, am I suffering because I am a Christian? What does that mean to suffer as a Christian?
In my current trials, in my suffering, am I suffering because I am a Christian? What does that mean to suffer as a Christian?
Wouldn’t that mean suffering because people identify me with Jesus? Or, suffering because of the reasons Jesus did.
Why did Jesus suffer?
Death and illness of others.
People were like sheep without a shepherd (concern for others)
Tired from serving others.
Others were jealous of His power and influence.
They did not like the truth when He spoke. It was not the way He spoke. It was the content.
Bearing with the sin of others in love, grace and mercy.
Do I suffer for those reasons? Or, why do I suffer?
If I suffer for reasons other than the reasons Jesus did, I cannot really rejoice. This is not what God wants for me. I need to confess, and get back on track.
What is the root of my suffering?
Then,
1 Peter 4:16 NIV
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
If I am suffering because I bear the name of Jesus, that will lead to REAL rejoicing. Suffering for other reasons can just weigh me down. But when I suffer as a Christian, that is empowering!
That is what many of our brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing!
God’s goal: - for the proving of my faith
But is my suffering because I am a Christian, or because I have not behaved as a child of God?
If it is because I am not acting like Christ...
1 Peter 4:17–18 NIV
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
God disciplines those he loves. talks about that. God is beginning His work of judging the world now. He is the impartial judge, even though He is our father. He is wanting us to be His children, acting like His children, and not like the world. meddling, gossiping, course joking, being this worldly minded is not what He wants for us. He will allow us to suffer for those things, so that our faith will be refined and genuine.
God’s goal: - for the proving of my faith
What is REAL rejoicing?
But is my suffering because I am a Christian, or because I have not behaved as a child of God?
Yes, we should rejoice over every blessing that God gives us
But do I rejoice in the trials?
Do I rejoice that I am given the opportunity to fellowship with Christ?
Do I have the eternal perspective that I can leap for joy at His coming if I am faithful in the testing now?
Examples of persecution
Around the world
In the US
1 Peter 4:17 NIV
For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
Judgment in 1 Peter:
; ;
Used in reference to final judgment. But Peter sees the judgment beginning now. Paul also saw this in
1 Corinthians 11:31–32 NIV
But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
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