I Peter 4:1-2
God is in the process of purifying His people and preparing them for eternity. He has determined that He is going to make us just like His Son. (Romans 8:29)
There are a number of things which God uses for the purpose of purifying us. We are washed by the water of the Word. (Ephesians 5:25-27). The Word of God has a cleansing effect on all who take it seriously. He. Also, allows physical suffering to tear us away from our grip on this world. A third method that He uses is one that I want to focus on in this message. God allows trials and heartaches to come our way to turn us from the world and cause us to focus our eyes, minds and hearts upon Him.
Let’s notice how suffering is used of God to purify us.
I. Suffering Purifies Your Method of Looking at Life.
A. It brings you quickly to the end of yourself and your resources.
B. It causes you to see how empty and useless material things are.
C. It leads you to see that heaven is real and that life on earth is only temporary.
D. It makes you realize how much you really need God.
E. It drives you to deal decisively with anything that is keeping you from walking with God.
II. Suffering Prepares You with the Mind of Christ.
A. Christ had one consuming passion and that was to do what the Father had sent Him to do. (Hebrews 10:7).
B. Christ suffered the ultimate sacrifice in order to accomplish God’s will. (I Peter 3:18).
C. We are to arm ourselves with the mind of Christ. The best weapon oftentimes is a great idea.
D. We are challenged to have a servant’s attitude in Philippians 2:5-8 just like our Lord.
E. When we are like Christ and are consumed with the Father’s will, we cease allowing the lusts of the flesh to control us.
III. Suffering Puts us in the Midst of Good Company
A. The Psalmist knew the benefit of suffering affliction. (Psalms 119:67,71,75).
B. Jacob had to have a character change. God had to get him to the end of his road before He could turn him into “Israel”, a prince with God.
C. The early church knew the purifying power of persecution.
D. Many of us can identify with the words of Paul in Acts 14:21-22.
I have witnessed a lot of heartache and suffering in my short life. No one enjoys it but I have noticed that most people are better people because of it.
If you are going through some difficult times, I challenge you to take heart. God is at work to bring good into your life and to prepare you for eternity.