Back to series

Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we continue our series titled “Standing firm under stress” the messages will come from Peter’s first epistle.

Peter knew what it meant to be under pressure, and he wrote to people who were under the pressure of persecution. 

His book speaks to the personal needs of God’s people today.

Today we are talking about The Problem of Undeserved Suffering

The Problem of Undeserved Suffering.

Text

1 Peter 1:6-7 (AMP)

6 In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 

7 so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (AMP)

1 Peter 2:19-25 (AMP)

1 Peter 3:8-18 (AMP)

1 Peter 4:12-19 (AMP)

Introduction 

The age old problem we are going to look at today is undeserved human suffering.

Suffering for our own sins seems just, but how can God be good and still allow suffering or death by disease, earthquakes, famine, floods, and other natural disasters and causes?

A good Christian contracts cancer, a baby is born blind.

Why?

Why?

This is perhaps the most difficult question about God.

In fact, we cannot answer it.

But our faith should be encouraged by the mere fact that this is a problem to us.

We intuitively believe that God should be good, holy, and powerful.

Jesus, the supreme example of an innocent person suffering, revealed God as good.

There noblest Christians of all time, many who came to faith through suffering, affirm with Paul in Romans 8:28 (AMP)

28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

  1. Some attempted solutions to the question.

A. Some escape the problem through atheism or some form of materialism.

Unbelief has its problems too.

The design and order of the universe and human intelligence argue for the intelligence of a creator.

If God is not good, then the goodness in His universe is a puzzle.

How can we account for happy homes, healthy children, a loving Saviour, and the spiritual intuition that God is good?

B. Some deny that sorrow, sin, and death exist.

They say, “these are just errors of the mortal mind”.

Pain seems real, as anyone knows who has been to the cemetery.

I heard someone say once, “if he dd not die, why did they bury him?”

C. Some lay all pain and suffering on the devil.

How many times have we said “the devil did it, or its an attack from the devil?”

The Bible teaches that satan can only act with God’s permission.

God is far stronger than the devil.

This approach solves nothing.

2. Some reasons to trust in God’s goodness.

  1. God knows all.

We have only partial knowledge.

We see the dark cloud from beneath.

God sees the sun shining on it from above.

Job and his friends wrestled with the problem of suffering, and Job concluded that God is so great and wonderful, as evidenced by His creation, that we can trust Him in all circumstances.

Have a read of Job 38-40, and Job 42:1-6.

Such trust can be seen in the illustration of a father and his little boy on a bush walk.

The father asks the little boy, “Son, do you know the way home?”

The boy replied, “No, Father, but you do.”

B. Suffering may be used for growth in faith and character.

  1. As a hot fire is necessary to seperate dross from pure gold, the fire of suffering is used to purify faith.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (AMP)

6 In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 

7 so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. Satan was allowed to sift Peter as wheat is threshed to seperate grain from chaff.

The process was not pleasant, but it did not hurt the wheat.

Luke 22:31-32 (AMP)

31 “Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; 

32 but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].”

Paul prayed earnestly for the removal of a thorn from his flesh that he though was hurting his ministry. It is thought that this was eye disease.

God did not take away the thorn, but He did give grace to bear it.

Paul lived to see that his suffering of the thorn made him a better minister.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (AMP)

A Thorn in the Flesh

7 Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! 

8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 

9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 

10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

C. Suffering may be used to reclaim a backslider or convict the unsaved. Have a read of Hebrews 12:5-11.

I heard a story of a young mother that died unexpectedly a few days after giving birth to a child.

It seemed like an absolute tragedy.

However, her death caused her father to be convicted of his sin and he became a Christian.

Because her death was necessary to convict his heart, it was good.

Death makes us all weigh upon where we are at.

D. Suffering may be used to make individuals more sympathetic.

If this world had no pain or suffering, there would be no concern or sympathy.

How terrible would we all be!

E. Suffering helps Christians to understand Jesus’ suffering, read 1 Peter 2:19-25

He is the supreme example of the innocent suffering for the guilty.

Jesus thanked God for the privilege of being the Saviour.

Matthew 26:26-28 (AMP)

The Lord’s Supper Instituted

26 Now as they were eating Jesus took bread, and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 

27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 

28 for this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a substitutionary atonement] for the forgiveness of sins.

He believed that God would bring good out of evil, and so He did.

Jesus endured the cross and discovered joy.

Hebrews 12:2 (AMP)

2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

He fulfilled God’s promise spoken through Isaiah about the Messiah, Isaiah 53:11 (AMP)

11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He shall see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge [of what He has accomplished] the Righteous One,

My Servant, shall justify the many [making them righteous—upright before God, in right standing with Him],

For He shall bear [the responsibility for] their sins.

F. Suffering for Jesus’ sake causes those who suffer to be truly blessed.

They know that god knows all about it and that He stands on the side of those who have been loyal to Him at any cost.

Have a look at Matthew 5:10-12, 1 Peter 3:8-18, and 1 Peter 4:12-19.

Conclusion.

Have faith in God.

Believe in Jesus.

Jesus was sure about God.

How could anyone be as good as Jesus if God were not good?

1 Peter 1:6-7(AMP)

6 In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 

7 so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

John 13:7 (AMP)

7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.”

Many believers who have the strongest faith in God are those who have suffered the most.

This should encourage us to trust God and never be afraid.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

Giving

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $10.00

I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

© www.refinerylife.org  2020 All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968, no part of this Article may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, communicated or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission. 

Visit us at

www.refinerylife.org 

Twitter

@PastorGaryHoban

@RefineryLifeGC

Facebook

@PastorGaryHoban

@RefineryLifeChurch

Instagram

@gary_hoban

@refinerylifechurch

YouTube

Gary Hoban

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxvrTCsjg98vGjMTObxJhtQ

Refinery Life Church Australia

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkvD9z50SuKWxhSw0TPQkgQ

Giving

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $10.00