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#Joy in the Suffering

Daily Reading: (1 Peter 1:3-13)

3 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, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 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. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 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. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 13 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.

Question: What produces joy in the midst of suffering?

The answer is Hope fully in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-13).

As you read through 1 Peter- you will find that the sermon series grace and suffering is the predominant theme. The interesting thing to find is that Peter isn’t so much focused on violent persecution such as beatings, imprisonment, and even death although believers would face this- the focus which we can relate to is more about Christians who because of their faith in Jesus would be “alienated by friends and family members, publicly shamed “By publicly shaming them, they were trying to pressure the believers to conform to the values and behaviors of the larger society”. That sounds about right with what we face today.

Recently in the News a southern Baptist preacher was labeled a religious bigot for his belief that salvation is through faith alone in Jesus Christ,” publicly shamed, pressuring him to conform to the values of the world.

Christians had their business boycotted.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of the New York City Council are calling for a city-wide boycott of Chick-fil-A Councilman Daniel Dromm was even more blunt – accusing the Southern restaurant chain of spreading a “message of hate.” So why does the mayor and the city council have a problem with Chick-fil-A.

Well, Chick-fil-A is owned by a devoutly Christian family. Back in 2012 company president Dan Cathy ruffled feathers by telling a reporter that he believed marriage is between a man and a woman.

These [kinds of trials] have come Peter writes in verse 7 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 (1 Peter 1:7).

Peter wants to emphatically state that we are aliens not mainly because men have rejected us, but because God has chosen us (1 Peter 1:1).

3 Things stand out about election:

  1. Our election is rooted in the foreknowledge of God the Father. 2) Our election is experienced by the sanctifying work of the Spirit. 3)The purification of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God we received this grace through faith proves we have been chosen.

This becomes clear with 2 main words- obedience (hypakoē): an obedience shown in observing the requirements of Christianity and sprinkled (rhantismos)– purification by blood. Christ is the requirement for salvation and that is why Peter will marry obedience (the requirement)/ faith in the one thing needed- the sprinkling of His blood (1 Peter 1:2).

Two Reasons Why Christians Can Be Joyful

1. The Promise of a Great Future

The first reason for our joy is the great future God promises us and his unwavering commitment to keep it for us and us for it (1 Peter 1:3-5).

2)The second reason is that God has a plan for our troubles in this life.

We don't just look beyond the trouble to the sure hope; we look at God's plan in the distresses—and see how God is working all things together for our good.

Summing it all up:

  • verse 1: since God has chosen you,

  • verse 3: since God has caused you to be born again to a living hope,

  • verse 4: since God is keeping an inheritance for you imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,

  • verse 5: since God is protecting you through faith so that you won't lose that inheritance,

  • verses 6–7: since God is refining your faith by fire so that it will receive praise and glory and honor,

  • verse 8: since you are swimming with the strokes of love and faith and joy in Christ,

  • verses 10–13: since prophets and angels are on tiptoe to see all that God's grace is going to do in your life,

Therefore, hope fully in this grace. So, what produces joy in the midst of suffering? Hope fully in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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