Can you believe we’ve already been in our Exiles series for seven weeks?! This week we looked at 1 Peter 2:18-25, where Peter wants to teach us what it means to successfully endure suffering as exiles in light of the gospel.
We started off our time by talking about the different types of suffering we may endure. Michael Bailey identified five different reasons that we may face suffering in our lives:
1.) We experience suffering through being exposed to a broken creation.
Sometimes, just because of the way sin fractured the world from God, we suffer because things don’t go the way they should.
2.) We experience suffering as victims to someone else’s sin.
Not only creation, but people too have been busted and messed up from the way we were supposed to be. We suffer because people don’t act like they are supposed to.
3.) We experience suffering from people who oppose us.
Sometimes those in Christ will suffer because the ungodly oppose the image of Christ is us.
4.) We experience suffering because we choose to follow Christ.
When we lay down our sins for the first time, we way suffer as our long held desire to sin works against our new hearts to follow Christ.
5.) We experience suffering from loss and empathy.
When someone we love is hurting or experiencing loss, we hurt and feel the loss with them. This is a suffering that comes from the gospel’s heart for us to bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters alongside them.
Suffering, not matter what type it is, is a common experience amongst all humanity. But for the Christian exiles, the gospel gives us the power to respond and endure suffering in incredibly unique and beautiful ways because of the one who suffered on our behalf. Peter gives us three ways we endure suffering in light of the gospel:
1.) In your suffering, do not respond with sin.
Sin is never a solution to pain and sin is not justified by pain.
2.) In your suffering, know that it is not going to last.
The good news of the gospel is that this life is not our final chapter. For the Christian, even long endured suffering will have to end either when you die and go to be with Jesus or Jesus makes His return while you’re still living. Suffering will not ever last as long as Jesus will.
3.) In your suffering, trust is God’s justice and power.
One of the best parts about being exiles is that we can always lean on the truth that we’re citizens of a perfect Kingdom that has no end. Even when injustice seem like the law of the land we’re living in, we can suffer well knowing that our King is a good judge who judges perfectly and with perfect justice in mind.
In your suffering, this is what God invites you into. Though it may not completely and immediately remove you from your suffering, you have no need to fear that suffering will be the end for you. Our perfect Father has promised that suffering will end in the Kingdom that we have been brought in to through His Son Jesus.
Songs from this Week:
I Will Trust You- Bryan and Katie Torwalt
Fix My Eyes- King’s Kaleidescope
Saviour King- Hillsong
You Hole Me Now- HIllsong