- Ben Dowdy
- Series:1 Peter
Today’s Text: I Peter 4:12-19
Topic: Persecution. Suffering. Joy.
- Read 1 Peter 4:12-19; review sermon outline.
Peter’s Take on Suffering – Why We Can Rejoice When It HurtsKeep on Rejoicing because…
– It’s not a surprise but a PLAN
– It’s evidence of my union with Christ (v. 13a)
– The Spirit of glory & of God rest on you (v. 14)
– It demonstrates the reliability of God (v. 19)
– It is a means of attaining Greater Joy in Glory (v. 13b)
- How do you feel when trials arise in your life? Are you surprised? Do you
expect them? How do you view your anticipation (or lack of) through the filter of
Bible truth? How do these times help you gage the health/growth of your faith?
- Do you find the idea of rejoicing easy or difficult at the time of the trial? Discuss
this with your Care Group brothers and sisters, and talk about how you can shore
up in this area if it is a struggle for you.
- How does the fact that God “filters” your suffering help with maintaining your
peace and joy during the midst of your trial?
- How do your trials help you to focus on your future, eternal hope found in Jesus
- Have you had struggles with letting go of your self-sufficiency or self-reliance?
How do struggles help us to grow in this area?
Simplify Your Spiritual Life
Know the Good News of Christian Spirituality
Not only have most people on the planet never heard the good news of Christian spirituality, I am doubtful whether even many churchgoers have heard it clearly presented. And some who have heard it thousands of times are tentative when asked about it.
Christian spirituality begins with one of the most important words in the Bible. That word is gospel, which is the English translation of the New Testament Greek word that literally means “good news.” But as essential as the gospel is to Christianity, I have often encountered an embarrassing silence whenever I have asked church groups, “What is the gospel?”
Let me ask you. Suppose you were going to write the gospel in a paragraph or so and send it to a friend in an email or letter. Could you do it? Confidently? Why would it be “good news”? One of the places where the Bible summarizes the gospel is in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. The heart of this passage tells us “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures” (verses 3-4). So the gospel that produces genuine Christian spirituality is that Jesus Christ died, taking the guilt of sinners and the wrath of God upon Himself, and was raised bodily from the dead to show that the Father accepted His death for others and removed their sins. Christ’s substitutionary death for sinners is the measure of His love and
His resurrection from the dead is the stunning confirmation that all He said and did is true.
This is good news—the best possible news—because it demonstrates, among so many other things, the willingness of the God we had sinned against countless times to draw us to Himself, to engage in an intimate relationship with us. It means that He has done in Christ what we couldn’t have done for ourselves, opening the door for us to come in faith and to experience all the indescribable riches of fellowship with God, and thereby become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Do you know—by experience—this good news?
Excerpt from Donald S. Whitney,
Simplify Your Spiritual Life
(Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2003).
Copyright © 2002, Donald S. Whitney. All rights reserved.
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