Sermons & Sunday Schools

Instruction for a Biblical Outlook on Suffering

In this sermon, Pastor Babij instructs believers from 1 Peter 4:12-19 on developing a biblical outlook on suffering. From the text, Pastor details five methods Satan uses to weaken Christians in the midst of suffering and five biblical outlooks Christians must practice to prevail through suffering.

Full Transcript:

As we’re continuing to move through this great epistle, let’s turn our Bibles to 1 Peter 4. In this last section of the book, we have been looking at and considering the discipline of a Christian concerning suffering. For the believer, suffering is part of the Christians life. For some Christians, suffering will be to a lesser degree, and for others, to a greater degree.

In this epistle, the Apostle Peter is writing to the scattered church shortly before or after the burning of Rome. Historians surmise that Nero, who was in charge at that time, had Rome burned, and of course, blamed it on the Christians. In any case, the church entered into a two-hundred-year period of Christian persecution. If you look at your Bibles, you will see that in 1 Peter 5:8, it is dealing with the dubious character of the enemy, which is displayed against believers, and that character says this:

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Because we are Christians, the enemy has its claws in suffering. The attacks are designed to drive the Christian off course. As he wrestles with the Christians, satan’s attacks in suffering are designed to deceive and distort the church. Really, it brings us to a place where we have to ask ourselves: do we really understand the truth in the word of God concerning suffering?

As believers, we are all going to enter into some type of suffering in our Christian walk, and we are going to do it for this reason: because you are a Christian. Because you are in Christ, you are a target of the enemy. In this section of Scripture, Peter writes a sobering part of the word of God that helps us to discern when that suffering comes, not if it comes, but when it comes. It will come, and it will come in all kinds of forms, ways, and times. So, we are to look at it from a biblical perspective so that we can hold our ground and stand firm in what we believe, but we must know what we believe.

The enemy has a strategy. As a believer, we can’t defeat the enemy himself, but we can defeat his strategy. God’s strategy is definitely in the word of God, so we should use it. These attacks can be identified in five different ways. In each instance, there is a corresponding anecdote coupled with the correct Biblical understanding of suffering and persecution. Let’s identify the enemy’s strategy; then, examine the instruction to have a proper outlook on Biblical suffering.

First, when we are believers and enter into a time of despair, suffering, or persecution, it is going to be somewhat of a surprise. Remember, this is satan’s way of attacking us. In any warfare, a significant tactic is the enemy’s element of surprise. He does this in order to catch his opponent off guard. If the enemy can catch a believer off guard, then he can exploit their vulnerabilities, their weaknesses, and their sin.

Second, it is that of depression or gloom. If the enemy, in other words, can get you to respond to the fiery ordeal as if you are on your own with only darkness, hopelessness, and despair before you, then he can get you or keep you in a mindset of depression or gloom. If only the Christian can be sunk down in gloom, then they may throw in the towel, quit, and leave.

Third, it is that of deception. In other words, if the enemy can get you to inaccurately assess the reason for your suffering, that is, you can’t discern whether your suffering is your own sinful behavior or not, then he can severely cripple a believer and keep them in their guilt.

A fourth attack is that of shame. If a Christian can be made to be ashamed, even when they have committed no sin, then the enemy can cripple a believer by causing them to doubt their salvation and twist their understanding as to the character of God to think that God is against them. Instead, the correct Biblical understanding is that God is for the believer. As Roman tells us, they are super conquerors in Christ Jesus, and nothing can be against them or condemn them in God’s court.

Then, a fifth attack is that of unbelief – the deadliest of all of them. If the enemy can get a believer to doubt God at all levels, then he can get a believer to think wrongly. To think:

I can’t believe this is happening to me. It must be happening to me because God is against me – I am out of His will.

They become doubtful and afraid and will not know what to believe or who to trust. In other words, these attacks and his strategies will come against us at some time, not all at one time, but maybe one of them. Maybe one here and one there. Maybe one sooner and one later. He knows how to attack a believer.

However, believers are to be maturing and growing in the truth, so that they know what to do. We must be reminded as Christians that it is never easy to be a Christian. It was William Barclay who once said:

The Christian life brings its own loneliness, its own unpopularity, its own problems, its own sacrifices, and its own persecutions because we are now connected to Christ.

Remember how they dealt with Christ. Well, they are going to deal with us in quite the same manner, especially if we are living the Christian life and we are vocal about it – we are not ashamed, living it out there, and putting the principles into practice every day.

In our passage, we are to learn some great principles that we should keep in mind, so that we can hold to suffering with the right Biblical perspective. Together, let’s learn from our passage at least five Biblical outlooks necessary for the Christian to prevail in any kind of suffering or persecution. Let’s pray:

Lord, as we look at the word of God, help us in our heart to engage and understand the truth. We know, Lord, if we know the truth and Biblical principles in the word of God, then we will be able to stand firm against any of these attacks. Help us, Lord, to understand suffering in a Biblical way, and to respond to it as it comes our way. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.

Satan tempts one to believe in the opposite direction of what the Scriptures teach. In other words, he knows the Bible well enough to be able to twist it to deceive a believer, so a believer must know what it says. The first outlook necessary for the Christian to prevail in persecution is in 1 Peter 4:12:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you

The first outlook is that a believer is to anticipate its inevitability. Scripture affirms the inevitability of persecution against the true Christian church, which are comprised of the disciples of Jesus Christ. Christians bring an exclusive message of the Gospel that bares an ever-growing characteristic of a transformed life. The spirit of God is making them holy. So, the Christian brings to the world the standard and message of Jesus Christ, which is a narrow message. There is only one person who can save us from eternal destruction and condemnation of sin, which is Jesus Christ alone.

The Christian brings to the world this message that is different than what the world is doing, so a Christian is a kind of conscience to any society in which it exists. The world and its system do not like when it is told the truth because their conscience is pricked by the truth and their world view. Then, they respond in a way that is usually negative. In 1 Peter 4:4, it mentions the lifestyle of someone who comes to Christ:

In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you

There motive operation is that they want to come against you because you are not running with them anymore, partying with them anymore, or going along with the way they think anymore. God transformed your heart and mind, so you are going in a direction opposite of what you used to do.

People start noticing that. When you become convicted about it and serious about the Christian walk, then people do take notice – family members take notice. Then, they begin to say that you are brainwashed, no longer fun to hang around, it is a religious face, and to stop being holy and come back to party.

Mark it down, the Christian’s very goodness of what God is teaching them in their life can be an offense to the world. It is regarded by the world as a weakness that can be attacked and manipulated. However, a combat soldier is not surprised when the bullets start flying. They don’t think that it is a strange thing to find themselves in the middle of a combat situation. They expect it. In fact, they have been training for that very day.

If you have been following along in 1 Peter, it did not start with 1 Peter 4. He started with 1 Peter 1, which was on dealing with our salvation and understanding it. It is important for all Christians to have a good understanding and grasp of their own salvation in Christ Jesus, so that they know they are saved, what it means to be saved, and what God is going to do while you are saved – leaving you in this world as an alien and sojourner heading home.

The second section was focused on submission and the different ways Christians are to submit coupled with the characteristics and attitudes appropriate for proper submission that is pleasing to the Lord. Today, submission is a bad word and not understood very well.

Then, it brings us to this third major section of suffering. Being ever prepared for any kind of trial or suffering that may come our way as believers. Last time, in our passage, we examined three marks of a responsibly strong Christian community in view of the end. Actually, we are in the end times now, and we are moving towards Christ coming back again.

As we consider the end, those three marks were the duties of prayer. Prayer is our line of defense against the enemy. A second mark is to practice the principles of love fervently in the believing community, so that the believing community can be strong. The third mark is the duties to use their spiritual gifts to serve the body as a paramount necessity. These are the duties all believers must practice so that Christians will be ready when suffering does come. The Christian will prevail in persecution when they soberly anticipate its inevitability. I am not surprised when it comes because the Bible told me.

The second outlook necessary for the Christian to prevail in persecution is to consider its purpose. Notice in 1 Peter 4:12, it says:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you…

The fiery ordeal is not a light persecution, but a heavy one. Then, it says:

…which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you

The purpose of the suffering or persecution that may come against us, which is the anecdote against the attack of surprise, is a test for our faith. In other words, we are not surprised because it is happening to test me. Persecution is the test of the reality of the persons faith. Faith is seen as a refining process in order to test its genuineness. It is for our benefit to show how genuine you are as a believer and how much you have been putting into practice Biblical principles.

We must ask some questions: how mature are you in the faith since you first called on Christ to save you? Has it been a year, two years, ten years, or twenty years? Well, what has happened in that time? Have you been growing, maturing, and becoming stronger and stronger in the faith? Has the world been dimmer than it used to be? Do the lures of the world still pull you? Has sin been overcome in your life and has no longer authority over you because it is no longer your master? All those things are what a believer is asking themselves.

When things are going fine, well, and dandy in your life, you don’t learn a thing. You don’t test your faith. You think everything is going fine. However, when the pressure is put on, when some kind of situation comes into your life where you are agitated in your soul, and when you have to deal with something that maybe dealt with before, which can come from family, husband and wife life relationship, your job, or anywhere, then don’t think it is strange. It is coming to test you, and to see how you have matured in Christ since you have believed in Christ.

Have you considered the purpose of your suffering, which you are going through now or have gone through? Have you considered that it is for your testing? The testing may be to reveal sin that you have not been putting off. It may reveal your selfishness, pride, anger, idolatry, lack of forgiveness, and your worldliness. It may reveal all those kind of things as a believer. Of course, our response is to deal with them.

If we do not consider Biblically the purpose of our suffering, then we are probably not responding to a particular, unique brand of suffering in the right way. We are probably responding in the wrong way. For the Christian to prevail in persecution, they must consider the purpose through the lens of Scripture.

The Christian faith is the only place you can get an “F” as a good grade. “F” is for faithful. Really, God wants us to be faithful. That is it. He doesn’t want you to be successful like the world says to be. He just wants you to be faithful to do what you know you ought to be doing as a believer. This doesn’t happen necessarily when you are serving a particular way. That happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

You know when you lose it during the day. You may even lose it with nobody around. You just get angry about something and start yelling at the wall. You must ask yourself: why am I angry about this thing? Why am I yelling at the wall thinking that wall is a person, who has a name, but isn’t there? See, it is a revealing in our heart where we are at and what we need to deal with.

Take those things seriously and put them aside because they are all for testing us as to where we are at as a believer. We all need to know that. That is why we go through the grades. In every grade, you get tested. Can you graduate from high school? Well, did you make the grade? Can you go into college? Well, did you make the grade? Can you go into graduate school? Well, did you make the grade? It is all about the GPA, right? It is all about what your grade is.

As a believer, we ought to know the grade of how we are doing and if we have passed the test, which leads to the third outlook. A third outlook for a Christian to prevail in persecution is to respond correctly, which means with a proper attitude and proper conduct. It says in 1 Peter 4:13:

but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

Our response to all suffering and persecution is to rejoice. Now, you say, “well, that is hard to do.” No, that is impossible to do. In fact, you cannot do it on your own with your own ability, power, and will. You must do it with the power of God upon you. Also, this is a way that you know that you are passing the test.

When these troubles come into your life, can you genuinely say you are rejoicing because you know God is good and sending these things into your life for your benefit, and He is for you, not against you? Now, we rejoice because of our connection with Jesus Christ:

but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing…

The anecdote against depression and gloom that can come about if we don’t look at it correctly is found in the believer’s understanding of their vital union with Jesus Christ. When they suffer, it is because they are living the Christian life before the world in a manner that please the Lord, and the enemy takes notice of that. He doesn’t want you to display the glory of God in the world. He doesn’t want people coming up to you and saying:

Why are you different? Who do you worship? Why do you go to church every Sunday? Why do you always talk about the Bible?

Following in the footsteps of Jesus means that Christian’s under duress are to respond to this suffering with proper conduct coupled with an attitude of rejoicing. Really, persecution is sharing in the sufferings of Christ. When a person has to suffer for his or her Christianity, that person is walking in the way of the Master and sharing the cross of his or her Master that He carried.

Remember, these Christians, in this context, were insulted maliciously, verbally abused, threatened, and publicly humiliated for the name of Christ. Some even died. Not all were martyred, but some died. The attacks were not just somebody taking you to jail or somebody beating on you. The attacks are verbal and behind the scenes. They are manipulative attacks against believers. This principle of church occurs more than once in the New Testament. In preparing young Timothy to take on the church of Ephesus, Apostle Paul says in 2 Timothy 1:12:

For this reason I also suffer these things

He suffered imprisonment for preaching and teaching the word of God. He also suffered from those who would turn away and drop off once they started following the truth. He was suffering from people departing from the faith. When you see somebody walk in the faith for some time, and all of a sudden, they are not there anymore, it is heartbreaking. Then, you wonder if you did something or didn’t do something you should have been doing. We ask all these questions, but sometimes they walk away because they are not believers. Acts 5:41 says:

So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

Brethren, that is not worldly thinking. That is not even regular, every day thinking. This is out of the box type of thinking. This is where the Spirit of God brings us on how to have a world view that is honoring to the Lord – to be willing to suffer, maligned, and criticized for Christ’s sake.

Also, to be passed over on a promotion for Christ’s sake because they didn’t like something about your Christianity, your behavior, your goodness, and unwillingness to look the other way when things are going wrong or being done improperly. See, the world takes notice of that, and they will get back at you for that. If we suffer for Christ, it is not a penalty, but a privilege. Then, the proper attitude to suffering will result in greater rejoicing. If you look at 1 Peter 4:13 again, it says:

…so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

That is double rejoicing that we have as believers. In other words, there is a present joy that we have in this world, but there is going to be a great joy, a future joy, on that great day when Christ comes for His church as the judge. The purpose of rejoicing in the midst of trials is because at the coming of Christ. The glory of Christ will be shared with believers when Christ’s full glory is unveiled before the whole world. On that day, we will be part of that glory and the reflection of the glory of God.

Believe me, that is a day that every believer will rejoice with exultation. That is like an exclamatory there. There is no better word to use to say that it will be a great rejoicing. While we live in this world, that is the promises we have now, and it is not easy living in this world. Then, in 1 Peter 4:14, it says:

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Secondly, we are to rejoice because of your connection to the Holy Spirit. If you have good Biblical theology, then you will find out that when you become a believer, one thing that happens when you confess Christ as your Lord and Savior is that the spirit of God comes to permanently indwell you. Permanently, He takes on residence in you and in His church, so the believer is to hedge against depression and gloom by Holy Spirit rejoicing.

Whether you involved in a lesser or greater degree of suffering, be rejoicing, and the result of suffering is that God is near you for present blessing. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed. When the Bible says that you are blessed, it means that God is near you for good, not against you. In other words, God is with us. In this passage, he is saying:

Listen, when you go through these times, this is great encouragement for you in suffering and persecution. You are not alone. You are not walking in hopeless darkness and despair. God is with you. God is with you with his help, comfort, support, presence, and with His church.

In the middle of life’s problems and trials, God is right there with us. To me, that is great encouragement. Now, can you see how the Lord adjusts our understanding of any kind of thing that will come into our life to deal with it in the right way, so that we may actually rejoice. Then, to know that God is not against me, and He is blessing me.

When everything is falling apart in your life, don’t look there, but look to the Lord and the word of God. A lot of the times things look messy when they are not. Sometimes, messiness leads to organization, and the Lord has to point those things out in our life. So, this verse brings to our mind the Old Testament passage that refers to the character of the King at the end-time, peaceful kingdom. It says in Isaiah 11:2:

The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

While we are passing through enemy territory heading home, the Holy Spirit is enabling a Christian to maintain a consistent posture of rejoicing while enduring persecution with the right attitude and behavior of that of rejoicing. The worst persecution can be bore with joy when the eye is fixed on the Revelation of Christ’s glory and the unbound joy that awaits the faithful in the end. Also, Christ’s spirit ensures that the glory of God is seen in believers, and that people take notice of it.

So, what is the reason why believers are blessed when reviled for the name of Christ? In 1 Peter 4:14, the spirit of glory and of God rests on them, and that is why we can rejoice. When the Old Testament used the term, “the glory of the Lord,” it referred to the Shekinah Glory, which was the luminous glow of the very presence of God. It meant that God showed up, God was present, and it became evident in the tabernacle and temple of God. It says in Exodus 40:34-35:

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

This is when God showed up, and the promise of God’s presence in suffering and persecution. God will be with you and make you ready for His eternal glory. That is His goal, and God accomplishes His goal. If you look at 1 Peter 5:10, it teaches:

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

He will Himself do it. In other words, God is not far away. He is immanent and near us. He is in our every day. He is working with His children every day close to them, and He knows everything that is going on in your life. As one person said, the person who suffers faithfully for Christ has the glow of God’s glory that rests upon them. A good example of that is Stephen, in the book of Acts, being stoned to death. It says in Acts 6:5:

And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel.

In other words, there was his face of an angel that God was definitely there in their midst for protection, showing His power, and showing the presence of God. If a Christian is to prevail in persecution, they must learn to respond to the suffering with a proper attitude and conduct, which is that of rejoicing.

Next, the necessary outlook for the Christian to prevail in persecution is to examine the cause. The anecdote against the attack of deception and confusion is found in the believer’s ability to discern what is really going on in their own personal situation and circumstances. Two questions come up: are you suffering for the wrong reasons by your own evil doing and sinful heart? In 1 Peter 4:15-16, he says:

Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

There could be a time where somebody is suffering for their own sin, and they don’t realize it. The reason why we have trouble is because of our own sin. Don’t we have to consider that, and if it is, then you need to repent of that sin and get it out of your life so that you may continue to worship and grow in the knowledge and wisdom of Jesus Christ.

In the last one there, a troublesome meddler is another way of saying a mischief maker. This is an activity subtler than the other ones but may be more diabolic. This is somebody who is trying to spin the web behind the scene to manipulate people. Of course, we know people like that. This could be done in the area of someone wanting to covet what another person has, a political agitator, or can be somebody accusing Christians of sins that they are not committing such as murder, being a thief, an evildoer, and mischief maker. They can accuse a Christian of all those things.

Of course, suffering for any of these sins without repentance and faith in Jesus Christ could also reveal that one has never become a believer. They are not saved and need to become a believer. So, suffering for evildoing always results in shame. For it says in 1 Peter 4:16:

but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

A second question to ask: are we suffering for the right reasons? Is the cause of your suffering for that which is good? Suffering for doing good results in no shame. In our passage, it results in glorifying God in the name of Jesus Christ.

If a Christian is to suffer for Christ, then their suffering bares glory to the name that person bares, which is Jesus Christ. The Christian’s lifestyle and conduct should show that they do not deserve the suffering for any wrong doing on their part, except for being a Christian. We suffer for being a Christian by name and by attitude. As we looked in 1 Peter 2:12, it said:


Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The anecdote against the attack of shame is found in the believer’s understanding in their secure position before God because of the name Jesus Christ in which there is no shame in suffering righteously. So, the Christian badge of honor is to suffer, so don’t be ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ. Instead, glorify God in this name.

You have the privilege to speak the truth, to show the attributes of God in your life, and to be accused of being on God’s side, which is the right side. They may persecute you, but you will never lose fellowship with God or anything that comes into your life. So, what does it mean to glorify God in the name of Jesus Christ? Peter has brought that out in 1 Peter 3:15, which is acknowledging your faith in the middle of destress:

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence

In other words, you have an apologetic and a defense of the hope that is in you, and you have a reason for your faith in Christ, following Him as your Lord and Savior, and your attitude towards the questioner would be that of gentleness and reverence. Both things are going on there. Truth: proclaim it publicly, and attitude: being glad to tell about what the Lord has done in your life.

Another way is maintaining a non-retaliatory response. If slander and insults come, and whether verbal or physical abuse comes, then you are going to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Remember, Jesus was nonviolent. They said He was possessed by a demon, they said that He was a glutton and a wine-bibber.

However, Jesus never strayed from word or deed, never got upset unjustly, and never used anyone for a laugh. Jesus suffered verbally, physically, and spiritually. He never threatened retaliation on His tormenters but endured for us. By the power of the Spirit of God, we can do the same in our life when those times come.

Also, we can glorify Christ by keeping a lifestyle consistent with the name of Christ. If you think back to 1 Peter 1, you will realize that we are citizens of another kingdom. On this earth as aliens and strangers, our mandate is to live according to the standard of Christ.

Keeping in mind our alien nationality and our temporary residency on the earth. Keeping in mind what God has done for us in salvation. Keeping in mind who we are in Christ. Keeping in mind that we are in a spiritual warfare, so we are to avoid or keep ourselves from the old impulses that belong to our flesh, and the wars between our renewed spirit and fallen nature.

Also, keeping in mind that we have a new master – Christ, and a new relationship to sin – we are dead to sin and alive in righteousness. Keeping in mind that the Holy Spirit, who indwells us, is making a change in us through the truth of the word of God in our minds, so that we may develop deep, Biblical convictions. In turn, to desire to do what is right and live in a pleasing manner before the Lord, Jesus Christ, in all of our behavior.

Then, keeping in mind that our inner commitment to live before God in all holy behavior is accompanied by a Christian duty to live responsibly before unbelievers. Keeping in mind that we are to smit to a particular course of conduct. That we, as followers of Christ, can demonstrate, before the world, an alien lifestyle with the goal to proclaim the Gospel and win others to Christ, so that they may also become citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

On the day of judgement, they may give glory to God for you adorning the Gospel with your lifestyle and verbal proclamation. Leading to my last point, and our last outlook necessary to prevail in persecution is to entrust everything to God. Next time, I will deal with 1 Peter 4:17-18, so 1 Peter 4:19 says:

Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

That word entrust means the household of God must obey and live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At conversion, a person, in a sense, deposits their soul with God, whom they can trust and rely on about everything. We can deposit our souls with God and rely that He is going to do everything He said He is going to do in our life.

This word entrust means to place besides, place before, to give over to, or to commend to someone else. Actually, it is a technical term used for depositing money with a trusted friend. In ancient days, there were no banks and few safe places in which to deposit money, not like today. Before a person would go on a journey, they would often leave their money in a safekeeping of a neighbor or friend. Such a trust was regarded as one of the most sacred things in life. A friend was absolutely bound by all honor and all religion to return all the money intact and given to his safe keeping.

Therefore, the best place to deposit your soul for safekeeping is in the hands of the Creator. It is in the hands of Jesus Christ, who bought and secured our salvation, which is where he is leading in this passage of Scripture. Again, it’s like what Paul says in the Epistle of 2 Timothy 1:12:

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

In other words, God has it all covered. When persecution comes, don’t think it is strange. That somehow God is against you, or that God has left you. If your outlook is Biblical concerning suffering and persecution, then you will prevail as you practice the necessary principles.

You will anticipate its inevitability. You consider its purpose, which is testing. You respond correctly, which is rejoicing. You examine the cause whether it is because of your own sin or living the Christian life. Then, you entrust everything to God by depositing everything with Him. No matter what happens in your life, you can rest your head on your pillow at night and thank God that He has taken care of everything in our life. We are to expect these very things, so that we are never taken by surprise.

It brings us to the place where we become soldiers, we become strong, and we learn how to put our armor on to stand up against the wilds of the enemy. Let’s pray:

Lord, Thank You again for Scripture. We Thank You Lord for the things contained in this passage. Lord, this is one area that seems to be very confusing, and sometimes we don’t know what to do with things and how we are to put things when they come into our life that our confusing. But, Lord, we see, from this passage of Scripture, that we can handle these things in a way that is Biblical, that You will enter into it, and that we can entrust everything to You. Knowing, Lord, what we deposit with You is safe and secure for all eternity. Nothing can rob us of the salvation You have given us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. For this, Lord, we are more than conquerors in this world. Let us live this way, and, Lord, if these times come, enable us to respond in a way that brings honor to Your name. I pray this in Jesus Christ. Amen.