Text

1 Peter 4:12-19

What we learned

Suffering is at the heart of Christianity. Therefore, believers should not see trials and suffering as an interruption. Instead, suffering and trials have a purpose. They reveal what is in us, and can be tools in the hand of God transform us into Christlikeness.

Focus

This week’s discussion revolves around four words found in the passage:

            Expect suffering

            Rejoice in suffering

            Examine yourself in suffering

            Entrust your soul to God in suffering

Discussion Questions

1) What stood out to you about Bill’s sermon on suffering?

2) What do the words “fiery trial” tell us about the type of persecution that the early church had to endure?

3) Peter reminds the church to expect suffering for the cause of Christ. How is this attitude different from the attitude that most American Christians have towards suffering and trials because of their faith in Christ?

4) In 4:13 Christians are instructed to rejoice as they suffer for their faith in Christ.  From a  human perspective, this command seems impossible.  Based on this passage (and the rest of your understanding of Scripture) why would a Christian have reason to rejoice when suffering because of their faith in Christ?

5) What  does it mean for Christians to entrust their souls to God in the midst of persecution? What are some ways we can demonstrate that we have entrusted our souls to God?

6) What about our God allows us to have confidence that we can trust Him in the midst of our difficulty? 

7) As people suffer for their faith in Christ, Peter sees them being tested and refined.  As a fire is used to melt down metals to remove their impurities, so it seems that the fiery trials of our lives are intended by God to refine us of our impurities.  In what way does suffering help refine the Christian? Bill mentioned 9 things. See if you can recall any of them.