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Sermon Outline

The Paradox of Christian Suffering
1 Peter 4:12–19

Although it seems strange and uncomfortable, Christian suffering is the path God has designed to bring his people to glory.

Paradox #1: If you’re hanging out with Jesus, don’t be surprised when you suffer. (4:12)

Response: Rejoice! (4:13) 

Jn. 15:18–25;Rom. 8:1712:12Phil. 1:12–18; 3:1, 10; 4:4;2 Tim. 3:121 Pet. 1:6–9

Paradox #2: Being mocked as a Christian is a sign of God’s blessing. (4:14)

Response: Don’t be ashamed of Jesus. Praise him! (4:16)

Isa. 11:1–2;Matt. 5:11–12;Acts 5:412 Tim. 1:8–12

Paradox #3: Suffering is difficult now, but through it God is saving us from punishment later. (4:17–18)

Response: Trust and obey God to the very end! (4:19) 

Jn. 16:33; Acts 14:22; Rom. 5:3–5;2 Thess. 1:3–12;Heb. 10:32–39


Summary: No one wants to suffer and God takes no pleasure in watching his kids go through it. However, we can trust him because he has joined us to his Son, Jesus Christ. 

Rather than running from suffering, we should gladly accept it as God’s plan to refine us and save us to a glorious end. 

We can be full of joy in trusting God because just as suffering was Jesus’ path to glory, it will be ours too.

 

Live It Out

How does knowing that suffering is God’s path to lead you to glory change the way you think about it?

What are you most afraid of in suffering? How can you give those fears to God as you trust him more?

When was the last time you were ridiculed for being a Christian? How have you been hiding your commitment to follow Jesus for fear of shame?

What is one thing about suffering that causes you to rejoice and praise God today?

Our spiritual family is suffering all over the world because we are Christians. How will you remember them? 

Who will you pray for? Is God calling you to go suffer for his name?

 

Scripture References