Moore Church of God

Moore Church of God - 701 S Eastern Ave - Sunday 9:30am & 6:00pm; Wednesday 7:00pm

The Sufferer’s Handbook – Part 1

Bro. Ron Rupé
7/18/2010 11:00 AM

1. Gird up your mind. Be sober. Hope to the end.

2. Keep your conversation honest.

3. Take it patiently, commit yourself to God.

4. Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.

5. Don’t be ashamed.

 

1 Peter 1:1, 5-10

 

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

 

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

 

Consider the book of 1 Peter as the sufferer’s handbook. It was written to those who are suffering: "…to the strangers scattered…" They were scattered because of persecution.

 

"…ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ…" In each chapter, it deals with the issue of suffering. The purpose of this handbook, is to help them to gird up the loins of their minds and to hope to the end for the grace. "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…" "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." – 1 Peter 4:1. Gird up your mind and arm your mind; it’s the purpose of the letter. He wanted them to be prepared for the trials they faced. He wanted to help them with the anguish that suffering brings. Peter would teach us how to respond to suffering so that we aren’t overcome by it. We can’t bear it on our own. We will surely be overcome by it without God’s help. This book teaches us how to endure suffering graciously until we reach heaven. Usually there is an end to a trial in this life, but the end to one trial is not the end to all. We can find respite, but inevitably there are more trials to come. Peter gives us help to endure suffering gracefully until we are victorious in heaven.

 

In heaven, trials and difficulty will "for sure" be over. The purpose of this epistle is to help us achieve this. God provides a special grace for suffering. This grace is humility. You can’t triumph over suffering without humility.

 

1 Peter 5:1-7

 

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

The most important advice is at the end of the book. None of the rest can be done without humility. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." This is the complete thought. Humility is necessary to cast your cares on God.

 

This chapter begins with the theme of suffering as Peter reflects on himself. He had also experienced suffering: "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." – 1 Peter 4:13. You have experienced the suffering of Christ and are partakers of his glory. He wanted them to know they weren’t alone. It was his experience, too. The answer is to: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

 

Are you suffering, experiencing difficulty, or going through darkness or a trial? Here are five counsels to help:

 

1. Gird up your mind. Be sober. Hope to the end.

2. Keep your conversation honest.

3. Take it patiently, commit yourself to God.

4. Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.

5. Don’t be ashamed.

 

These counsels arise from experience.

 

1 – Gird up your mind, be sober, hope to the end.

 

1 Peter 1:3-7, 13

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 

Consider how verse 3 begins and how Job spoke in his trial and blessed God. Emotions would have you to cry out against God. Focus on blessing God. God is your only hope.

 

They were scattered and tried with fire… wherefore… He had pointed out the trial, and then was giving them some counsel: Never, ever, give up. You have an inheritance in heaven, you have salvation, don’t let go of it.

 

At the end of a trial here, you’ve been given a season of rest. Don’t focus on the end of this trial. "…to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you…" You may be suffering now, but there is something waiting for you that will never be destroyed. Things can be taken from you here, but there is something ahead that will be yours forever. It is reserved for you.

 

As you face the difficulties of this life, gird up your mind and hope to the end.

 

(Continued in the evening service…) free web stats

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