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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #18
Posted: February 2, 2007

I PETER 4:11

Let us continue our study of I Peter with the theme of “The God Of All Suffering”.  I remind us that suffering is mentioned 16 times in this book.  The number 16 is always connected with God.  This is the reason for our theme, “The God Of All Suffering”.  In our times of experiencing vexing pain that influences our emotions and affections let our focus not be on our trouble but the God of our trouble.  Oh, let us not be found telling God so much about our big trouble but telling our trouble about our “big God”.

In Chapter 4 the word ‘suffering’ is mentioned 6 times. (Vs. 1,(2 times), 13,15,16,19)  The word ‘glory’ is mentioned 4 times. (Vs. 11,13,14,16)  The word ‘glory’ means the weighty presence of God, to eulogize, lift up or adore, and to bear the likeness of another.  When we put our two themes together, ‘glory’ and ‘suffering’, we are turned to “The Height Of Suffering”.  The highest of glory to God is to be like Him and it is only attained through suffering.

In the opening verses of Chapter 4 we see “The Convicting Restoration Through Suffering”.  Peter tells us that through the death of Christ on the cross we are given the ability to cease from sin.  We that are so prone to have a few days of victory and many days of failure should be convicted by this truth.  This text doesn’t teach sinless perfection in this life.  There is no such text.  We can certainly sin less and less when we realize our old man or flesh was crucified with Him on Calvary.  In verse 2 we no longer have to yield our flesh to our lustful habits but we can yield ourselves to the will of God and walk in victory.

We must realize in verse 5 that we must give account to God for all that is done in the flesh.  The thought of standing and giving an account to a Holy God of all that I have done makes me want to flee from sin like a dog running from scalded water.

Peter tells us in verse 6 that this is the great reason for preaching the gospel.  We warn men that they will give an account for what is done in the flesh.  We will be judged for all our actions and reactions.  God often sends suffering for us to turn in restoration to Him.  Many never connect the dots between their physical condition and their spiritual condition.

We are told in verse 7 to be ‘sober’.  This word deals with the state of the mind.  It is a mind focused on things above.  We are told to watch and pray, which speaks of being on guard.  All of this is to be done because “…the end of all things is at hand;” (Vs. 7)  As we near the end, suffering will intensify.  Let us not lose heart and faint, but let us be convicted to draw the nearer to our Lord’s precious bleeding side.  Peter exhorts us in verse 10 that we will be “…good stewards…” of God’s “…manifold grace…” if we have experienced the convicting work of restoration.  His grace will create in us fervent love for others.  This love will cover a multitude of sins.  I have for many years recognized the fact that God has placed me in His church, the body of Christ.  I have a deeper desire for Him to put the church in my heart, creating a greater love for His people.  In verse 9 we are told ‘hospitality’ will be operating in the restored life.  We will be approachable by others. (Vs. 9)  Let our life of ministry, no matter what we do, be done to glorify the Lord.  May He receive all the praise from our lives and have dominion over our lives for ever and ever. (Vs. 11)  This paints a clear picture of glorious restoration in the life of a suffering saint.  May we bow in cooperation to our suffering that God may restore in us His glorious likeness.