One of the greatest preachers of recent history is Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892). No stranger to severe suffering himself, he had this to say about trial and affliction in one his sermons:
“Perhaps at this very moment, down in some cabin, or amidst the noise and tumult, and the raging of the ocean, when many are alarmed, there are Christians with calm faces, patiently waiting their Father’s will, whether it shall be to reach the port of heaven, or to be spared to come again to land, into the midst of life’s trials and struggles once more. They feel that they are well-cared for, they know that the storm has a bit in its mouth, and that God holds it in, and nothing can hurt them; nothing can happen to them but what God permits.”
(“Safe Shelter,” MTP 15, Sermon 902, p. 650).
Such a meditation bears striking resemblance to something the Apostle Peter had to say when he was faced with the opportunity to write to the suffering saints who had been scattered across five Roman provinces in the first century:
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
“To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood…”
(1 Peter 1:1-2a, ESV)
We see that both men believed that God the Father is up to something in our sufferings. That he is in control, and has a purpose and intention in even the painful aspects of our lives.
This is what we explored in our time of study in Peter’s first letter to these dear brothers and sisters who were undergoing harassment and hostility. I invite you now to listen to the sermon on 1 Peter. And if you’d like some additional resources on this book, head on over to the Bible Project page for this part of the Whole Story.
May God use his Word to inspire you to help just one other person move one step closer to Jesus.
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