Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord today! In my daily time with God today, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about learning what to do in days of suffering. The Apostle Peter tells us exactly how that is done in another great passage of Scripture in the book of I Peter. He shares great truth for us in days of suffering. 

Other Christians Have Endured Horrible Afflictions

Not too long ago I taught through the book of I and II Peter verse by verse.  I am reminded of these great truths today. There are many suffering people in our world today. Our lives are being turned upside down and the economy is going out of control because of COVID-19 virus. Many businesses and all schools have been shut down or are partially working. The President is on television each day telling us to stay home and more people are infected every day. Death tolls are rising. Jobs are in jeopardy. We are told to be socially separate. Other drastic measures are being done and even further may be taken. Most churches have canceled their services. We are being told the worse is yet to come. Looks like more and greater suffering days are coming. How do we deal with this? 

I am amazed by the life of Simon Peter. Here was a man who early in his Christian life spoke first and thought second! He denied the Lord three times because he was afraid of what might happen to him. I am greatly impressed with Peter here. Here is a man who failed miserably early, now growing to a mature and powerful believer in the Lord that he could be such a great encourager and a stable force for these dear suffering Christians. We can learn a lot about how to handle suffering reading and meditating on I and II Peter. The story here was even more dire that we have today. These Jewish Christians were under the control of bloody Nero. He was a wicked murderous man. He killed Christians daily, persecuted them and they had to wonder daily where their next meal come from. They saw their families die at his murderous hands daily and the loss of their homes and livelihood. Peter writes to these dear Christians with some of the most powerful encouragement in the Bible for those who were greatly suffering.

As we watch on television or the internet the death toll numbers are rising every day. It causes many to fear this invisible enemy COVID-19. Peter gives us some encouragement to follow under great trials! 

1 Peter 1:4-16,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  (5)  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (6)  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (trials): (7)  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:  (8)  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:  (9)  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.  (10)  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:  (11)  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.  (12)  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.  (13)  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; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1 Peter 2:20-21, For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  (21)  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

What is the Apostle Peter Telling These Folks
Who Suffered Greatly
!  

I Peter 1:4-5,… inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

If you are saved just remember you have an inheritance in heaven.  If you die today you go to heaven. The great promise that you are kept by the power of God! 

Vs 6,…greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations (trials):

You can rejoice, notice he says, “greatly” even in these heavy trials which were many!

Vs 7, 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:

This is a trial of your faith! It is more precious than gold! When you are tried and are still moving forward for God and having a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with Him, your life will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 

Vs 8,…having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 

When it gets right down where the rubber meets the road in your life, you have not physically seen the Lord. Yet, you have not wavered, you believed and trusted Him! Ye are still “rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory” even under these trials!  


Vs 10-13-16,…when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Remember, you were not the first one to suffer, Christ suffered immensely for us! 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; (14) As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  (15) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; (16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 

Be focused spiritually in your mind! Hope is your great comforter all the way to the end! Think about the hope you have in Christ! Be an obedient Christian so Christ can be seen by your life! It is imperative not to live for your lusts! Be holy in your life because He is holy!

I Peter 2:20-21, For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  (21)  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  

If you are buffeted because you did wrong and take it patiently, you should do that. But if you do well and suffer for it this is acceptable with God. It literally means “God applauds.” Remember Job!  God sometimes allows his servants to be tried in this manner to see where they will land.  Is their walk and faith real?! Can you see God saying? “Look at my servant here!” Christ suffered, so we are not above that and let’s follow His steps.

Many before us have suffered immensely for their faith.  Focus on your walk with Him today! Deal with each situation as it comes up by turning it over to Him. Just go with the next right step!   

In a difficult time, remember, be the vessel God can use today by asking the Holy Spirit to show you if you are living your life without dealing with your sin? Are you living in the sin of allowing selfish and carnal thinking or listening to rule your life and making you not focus on seeking to honor and glorify Him? Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of living a Spirit controlled yielded godly life that is serving and living with humility, joy and peace! We encourage you today to make Jesus Christ real in your life by humbly yielding to Him and living for Him, not the life of selfish carnal thinking and speaking. It is an important choice! Tell God you want to yield yourself to Him today and be a trusting, useful, and rewarded servant! Rejoice in Him today!

With a heart to glorify God and serving the God of answers,

Dr. Terry L. Coomer
Director, Hope Biblical Counseling and Training    
www.hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com
DrTerryCoomer@gmail.com