Faithlife Sermons

Rejoicing Despite Suffering (1 Peter 1:6-9)

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Peter challenges believes to rejoice in the Hope of Christ despite suffering in this life. He makes an appeal to the temporal nature of suffering as compared to eternal salvation. Further, he demonstrates that suffering has purpose in purifying our faith and bringing glory, honor, and praise to God. Thus, even in the midst of horrible suffering we can rejoice in the hope of our God.

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Do you remember what it was like when you first came to believe in Jesus Christ?
What joy over the hope of salvation that we have in Jesus Christ.
Young believers are refreshing to be around because they have a joy and thankfulness for their salvation that is sweet and precious.
Typically, their faith is a such a reality in their life. They have whole hearted confidence that they have been redeemed.
Yet, why are not all believers abounding in joy and confidence in Jesus Christ.
Why do many rejoicing new believers become less enthusiastic mature believers?
Perhaps one reason, is suffering.
As we experience the hardships of this world, our rejoicing stalls. We never fully doubt God’s word, but we loose enthusiasm over our belief in Jesus Christ.
The Churches of Northern Turkey struggled in this same way.
Upon hearing the good news of Jesus Christ, they rejoiced in their hope of salvation.
However, opposition to the gospel begin to arise. People began to be discriminated against because they were believers in Christ Alone.
You can imagine that such suffering discouraged them as new believers. We as believers can be discouraged because of the hardships that God allows in our lives.
Yet, Peter reminds them in 1 Peter of the blessed hope we have in Jesus Christ. The riches that are beyond the tragedy of this world.
ILLUSTRATION:
He commends us to anchor our hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That like an anchor of a ship, the truth of the Gospel is able to keep us from being swept out to the abyss beyond the horizon.
Whether storm, or fair weather, we are secure in Jesus Christ.
Part of that anchoring is the rejoicing in the reality of the hope we have.
1 Peter 1:6–9 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Notice how Peter challenges us, “In this you rejoice”. Peter is ushering us back to the previous paragraph and the hope promised in 1 Peter 1:3.
1 Peter 1:3 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
In the living hope of Jesus Christ, whether in prosperity or suffering, Peter tells us we ought to rejoice in the Hope of our God.
From this text,
Proposition: We ought to rejoice in the Hope of God.
Transitional Statement: and Peter gives us 3 reasons why we should rejoice despite suffering.
The first reason, we ought to rejoice in suffering is that it purifies our faith.

1) Purifies our Faith (1:7)

ILLUSTRATION:
We live in an iconic culture. Many times manufacturers make the claim, this is an authentic product.
Because we trust the brand name, and it is labeled authentic, we believe that it is genuine product.
It has become more popular in recent years to use essential oils for everything from colds to home cleaners.
In one popular brand, they have actually serialized their oils as guarantee and way to document that it is a pure oil. It is 100% genuine whatever that oil is supposed to be.
There are no additives to the product. It is 100% authentic.
Notice part of the reason we go through trials is to be purified, that is shown to be genuine believers of faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:6–7 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Observe, why we go through trials in this life.
So that we can be tested as genuine. This word literally means to be tested, but is the idea of being refined.
Paul uses the refining of Gold to help them understand the purpose of trials.
>>>>>>>>>>>> Show the slide on melting of Gold.
The process of purifying Gold in the Ancient Greco-Roman world involved the purification of gold by fire in a pot called a crucible.
The crucible is a clay pot in which metal was heated up to high temperature resulting in the burning up or natural separation of impurities. The end result was a pure metallic base such as Gold, silver, or bronze.
So you are literally purifying the Gold.
Peter barrows a common biblical illustration of trials and testing.
Zechariah 13:9 ESV
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ ”
Malachi 3:2–4 ESV
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
There are a number of other places that use this same illustration.
Peter’s point, God uses the trials in our lives to remove the impurities of our faith. That as trials come, they challenge our thinking and self-reliance, which combined with faith lead us to become dependent on God. Thus, purifying our faith.
ILLUSTRATION:
You have heard me from this pulpit declare the wickedness of man’s heart.
Luke 6:45 ESV
The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
I have cautioned you to be mindful of the deception of our heart.
But given the deception of heart, with the key to deception being that we don’t realize we are being fooled, how do we avoid being deceived.
If it was us by ourselves, we would be self-righteous deceived fools with no hope.
Often wickedness is not logical, but self-deceived.
This is why everyone in a room knows a person is in bondage of sin, yet the person has no clue.
There heart has been deceived.
How do we break through our own deception?
Part of the answer is that the God of heaven sovereignly allows various trials and struggles to come into our life.
As these struggles come into our lives they reveal the impurities of our faith, and thus give us an opportunity to overcome the deceptions of our heart.
a) Sometimes, the trials that God allows draws out our sin.
This is why often a hurting person is an angry person. Pain and suffering often draws out our selfishness and unbelief.
Selfishness and unbelief that we did not even realize was there.
b) Sometimes, the trials that God allows exposes sin that is already there.
Were deceived, but as affliction sets in, whether the direct consequence of sin, or trials allowed by God, the suffering leads us to depend on God.
In the end, as our life heats up with trials and suffering, our faith is purified in greater and greater dependence upon God.
Thus, we become genuine and authentic believers. To God, a pure believer is as your text says, “more precious than Gold”.
In Summary of Peter’s point, We ought rejoice in the hope of Christ, even though for a time it is necessary for our faith be purified by trials.
We ought to rejoice through trials because it

2) Glorifies Christ (1:7)

Notice a 2nd reason we have the trials.
Part of the reason we go through trials is because ultimately the purity of faith results in the praise of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:7 ESV
so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
“Revelation of Jesus Christ” is the Gospel. Part of our testing brings praise, honor, and glory to the work of Christ, the Gospel.
But how so?
The Greatness of a king is known by his great works.
a) Sometimes, because of their military strength. For example, We remember Alexander the Great chiefly because he conquered the known world.
b) Sometimes because of their great collection of knowledge. We remember the ancient library of Alexandria because of how much knowledge had been acquired.
c) Sometimes because of their great economic achievements. This is why Egypt is so famous. They are remembered because of their great monuments and precious objects.
But Christ’s claim to praise, glory, and honor is not primarily found
- in military victory, though he is all-powerful.
is not
- in the collection of knowledge, though he is the all-wise counselor.
is not
- in the economic achievement, though he owns the cows on a 1,000 hills, bestows on us eternal riches, and will prosper Israel and the nations like no other king has before.
Unlike human kings, God’s honor, praise, and glory is primarily in his redemption of humanity.
Christ deserves honor, praise, and glory because of what he has done for every person who has Faith in Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:3–5 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
God’s honor, praise, and glory is increased from one glory to another level glory by the purification of his saints.
God’s glory began by our new birth resulting in faith and transformed lives.
However, that is not where God’s glory ends.
We ought to rejoice in trials because
PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE
it’s purification of faith results in greater glory for God.
ILLUSTRATION/EXHORTATION:
What is meant by the title, “the Lord Jesus Christ” in v. 3?
At least in part it is a confession that Christ is King.
And as our King, we ought to desire to bring glory to Him and His Kingdom.
Trials may brings tears and pain, but do not loose sight that this purification results in Faith that glorifies God.
It brings honor, praise, and glory to our King and His Kingdom.
Therefore, despite the discomfort of trials, we ought to rejoice in the Hope of His glory.

3) Obtained Salvation (1:8-9)

Last week, I made the point that the material possessions of this world pass away, but the riches of our inheritance in Heaven are unfaded, uncorrupted, and eternal.
However, there is one possession that we do take beyond this world.
Our Souls.
Jesus teaching on suffering, he said this!
Matthew 10:28 ESV
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
In other words, our greatest concern should be over our soul and not that which is temporary.
One of the reasons we should rejoice in the suffering of this life is because our soul has been eternally preserved.
1 Peter 1:8–9 ESV
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Notice the substance of faith.
1 Peter 1:8 NKJV
whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
First, notice faith is not about the evidence.
Peter repeat’s that the believers in modern Turkey had never seen Jesus Christ. They did not witness his teachings, nor his resurrection.
Instead, they were told about it. Some through the Apostle Paul and others by the converts of Paul’s missionary journeys.
Yet, they have Faith in Jesus Christ.
I am not saying that we do not have a reasonable faith, in which creation declares the Glory of God, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is verifiable by historical study.
But I am saying, all the evidence in the world does not compel belief. Faith is principally the work of God drawing us to Himself,
PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE
with the presence or the absence of evidence.
Faith is principally a trust and reliance not in evidence, >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>but in God.
Further,
***Faith in Christ is about love for Christ.
Many people over the course of history have claimed belief in Christ, but never live a life that shows love for Christ.
Works do not necessarily demonstrate the love of Christ.
Yet, the absence of obedience is sure sign we do not love Christ. We love something else.
Like all love, Love for Christ, and thus faith, is demonstrated with certain acts of love.
Faith includes Love.
***Faith in Christ is demonstrated in belief in Christ.
Now understand, there is a close relationship of belief and trust.
In several places the ESV translators translate this word, to entrust.
The NLT picks up this idea in 1 Peter 1:8.
1 Peter 1:8 NLT
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.
May I suggest that the belief here is the trust of your eternal life.
Those who believe in him entrust their eternal life to Christ.
Peter makes this point about Faith and suffering in 1 Peter 1:9.
1 Peter 1:9 ESV
obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Faith that is characterized by love and belief, have obtained salvation of their souls.
The believers in 1 Peter is facing trials and struggles. Though this paragraph describes a broad set of trials and sufferings, the timing of the letter is to those who are facing discrimination for the belief in Christ.
History tells us that they are now facing discrimination, but in the coming years they will face outright persecution.
But Peter is encouraging them to rejoice.
Why?
Now amount of suffering in this life can ever effect their souls. Their souls are eternally secure with God.
EXHORTATION
I know that at times suffering in this world can make us feel like all is lost.
Whether it is financial difficulty, sickness, car accident, … (Pause) (Pause) sin
Ultimately, none of these can effect the soul. We can loose everything in this world, including our lives, and yet never really lose anything.
For the believer, we can rejoice in suffering because our souls are eternally secure with God.
Through Faith in Jesus Christ we have obtained the salvation of our souls.
CONCLUSION:
Ultimately, we all suffer. We all face fears and pains in this world.
We may loose everything by the trials of this world.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>It may come on slowly, or it can come suddenly such as a heart attack, an accident, or even war.
Yet Christ has given us a blessed hope in him. Something that we can anchor our soul too.
It gives us something to rejoice in, despite the trials of this life.
We can rejoice in the Hope Christ in midst of trial because it
1) Purifies our Faith (1:7)
2) Glorifies Christ (1:7)
3) Obtained Salvation (1:8-9)
Thus, the tragedy of trials is made into joy for believers in Jesus Christ.
I do not say this to dismiss the pain and discomfort of trials. They are not always easy.
But when we understand how God uses trials in our lives ..........and how insignificant they are compared to our eternal salvation;
We instead can rejoice in the Hope of Christ.
All is not lost and there is a future and hope which gives trials purpose in our lives.
When we understand these truths,
even death is not the most horrible thing that can happen to us.
Instead, it is simply a temporary phase in our lives in which one day will entirely be in the past.
If you are struggling today, remember that you have a mighty hope in Christ.
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