March 6, 2016
Finding the Blessing in Suffering
Even in the midst of suffering we can have hope. That is the main point of Pastor Yogi’s message, Finding Blessing in Suffering, from 1 Peter 4:12-19. Part of our Hope Is Here series, this message contains six encouragements for those who are experiencing suffering because of persecution or opposition to their faith in Christ.
1. Don’t be surprised by your current situation (v. 12). If the world hated Jesus, and even crucified him, then we should not be surprised that it would hate and oppose his followers.
2. Rejoice that suffering offers the opportunity to share in Christ’s pain (v. 13). Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10 that he wanted to know both the power of Christ’s resurrection and the pain of participating in his sufferings.
3. Be blessed when you’re insulted as a Christian because you bear his name (v. 14). Our primary identity is as a “Christian.” That is our new name.
4. Be encouraged that the same Spirit who came to rest on Christ rests on you (v. 14). The Holy Spirit who descended on Jesus like a dove at his baptism is the same Holy Spirit who rested like tongues of fire over the believers at Pentecost. This same Spirit lives in all Christians.
5. Find solace that you are suffering for “good” reason (v. 15). If we must suffer, let it be because of the name of Jesus, not because we have done wrong.
6. Know the suffering you encounter isn’t wasted, but has a glorious purpose (v.17-18).
With these six exhortations, Peter encourages believers to find the blessing in suffering. This is not always easy, of course, but if we can maintain this perspective when we experience opposition and persecution, we will experience God’s blessing in difficult times.