Sermon notes – Pastor Karlos Limtiaco – Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church, August 1, 2010
For more information or to download sermons, please visit Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church website at www.cornerstonebible.org.
A note from Terrie: These are my notes taken during our church service on Sunday mornings. I will do my best to represent each sermon faithfully and post by Friday evening. Please keep in mind that these notes are just that, notes, and are a condensed version of the sermon. My prayer is that not only will these posts help me to think about God’s Word and how to apply it to my life, but that each post will encourage others to do the same.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. I Peter 4:12-13
STANDING FIRM IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING
1. Suffering does not mean that you are not loved (v. 12, “Beloved”).
Peter uses the word, “Beloved”. Peter’s love for the readers is rooted in God’s love. In the midst of suffering, know that God loves you.
2. Suffering is not abnormal (v.12, “do not be surprised”).
Trials should not catch us by surprise. The Bible is full of examples of people who go through suffering. In Genesis, Cain kills Abel. God allows Job, a righteous man, to suffer trials at the hand of Satan. In Hebrews 11 we read about Moses who endured ill-treatment. Paul himself goes through suffering and persecution. Jesus suffered persecution and those who follow Him will, too (I Peter 2:21-25).
3. Suffering can be difficult (v. 12, “fiery ordeal”).
Suffering is painful. A fiery ordeal is designed to be a test. Part of what God wants to do is reveal to us the condition of our hearts. Trials often accomplish that. God also wants to show us who He is through testing us. There are many people in other parts of the world who are suffering for the Gospel.
4. Suffering serves a purpose in life (v. 12, “which comes upon you for your testing”).
God’s purpose is to purify us through testing. It is for our sanctification.
5. Suffering is never by chance (v. 12, “as though some strange thing were happening to you”).
All trials are filtered through and come by way of the loving hand of God. God is absolutely Sovereign over the suffering we must face. All trials are ultimately for His Glory and for our good (Romans 8:28).
When I put the Sovereignty of God beside His unfailing love, my heart can be at rest. -Verdell Davis
6. Suffering is limited in scope (v. 13, “but to the degree”).
Our suffering is only to a point. No one will ever suffer as much as Christ did on the cross. He was separated from the Father so that we would not have to be. God will not allow you to be tempted more than you are able (I Cor. 10:13).
7. Suffering is a privilege (v. 13, “you share the sufferings of Christ”).
We share in fellowship with Christ in the midst of our suffering. It has been granted for us to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29). Suffering identifies us with the cross and we can rejoice in that.
8. Suffering is to be viewed in the light of the crucifixion of Christ (v.13, “the sufferings of Christ”).
The temptation for us is to focus on ourselves rather than the cross. Focus on the cross and so identify with Christ.
9. Suffering can and should be accompanied by rejoicing (v.13, “keep on rejoicing”).
Keep on rejoicing even in our trials. It is a command given on the other side of the cross. (See I Peter 1:6.)
10. Suffering is to be viewed in the light of the return of Christ (v.13, “at the revelation of His glory”).
Rest assured, Christ will return. Allow this to encourage you through trials and troubles.
11. Suffering provides an opportunity for increased rejoicing when Christ does return (v. 13, “so that…you may rejoice with exultation”).
The trials of this life will sweeten the day when we see Him face to face!
This is the true Grace of God, our trials, the Gospel, standing in the midst of trials. Don’t run from suffering, but STAND FIRM IN IT! (See I Peter 5:12.)