Lesson 4—Suffering Leads to Glory
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:8-12
Lesson Goal: To gain an understanding that the road of suffering in the life of the believer leads to glory.
(Verse 8b) “Yet believing”—Peter had personally known and walked with Jesus; he had talked to Him and learned from Him. As Peter wrote, he did so with the understanding that most of his readers had not known Jesus in the flesh. Peter commended their faith because they believed and loved without having seen the one of their faith.
“Yet believing”—Peter truly puts these two words together in a power-packed way. In spite of all their difficulties and struggles, “yet believing;” in the crucible of horrific persecution, “yet believing;” some called upon to give everything, even their lives, “yet believing”! “Yet believing” truly became the bridge of faith and action. For these believers, the fact of “yet believing” told of their real and genuine faith.
“Yet believing”—Faith brought these believers to the place in their lives where they could “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”
➢ Can you remember your greatest “yet believing” moment?
➢ Is anyone that you hold dear going through one of life’s “yet believing” moments?
How can you help them?
Prayer—Lord, help me to have sensitive eyes to see and a sensitive heart to understand those who are going through a “yet believing” time in life.
(Verse 8) “You rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”
Because of the true believer’s relationship with Christ, there is a rejoicing joy that is not dependent on life’s circumstances. Faith and joy become inseparable forces undergirding the believer’s life through all kinds of trials.
“You may not be able to rejoice over the circumstances, but you can rejoice in them by centering your heart and mind on Christ. Each experience of trial helps us learn something new and wonderful about our Savior” (Wiersbe).
➢ What have you learned about the Savior during the trials of your life?
The joy that is produced is called “unspeakable and full of glory.” This joy cannot be expressed or explained with words. Peter wants his readers to understand that having trusted Christ with their present salvation from sin, they could also trust Him with the present sufferings of this life. The result of His trust is an “inexpressible” joy. Although the believer may face trials that result in temporary pain and grief, this does not extinguish the joy that comes from the anchor of hope in Jesus Christ.
Somewhere in the midst of our journey of life, we find our step of “faith” taking us on a journey of “trust.” God has taught this writer that faith is a step, but trust is a journey. True faith will become a journey of genuine trust, and nowhere is this found any greater and clearer than on the road filled with trials.
(Verse 9) As a true believer, just as our joy is not contingent upon our circumstances, so our assurance of salvation is not contingent upon our circumstances. We are marching through trials and struggles toward the goal of our faith. One day we will enjoy the total blessing of our salvation to the fullest in the presence of Jesus Christ.
“There Will Be A Day”
by Jeremy Camp I try to hold on to this world with everything I have But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering I know the journey seems so long. You feel you’re walking on your own But there has never been a step where you’ve walked out all alone Troubled soul don’t lose your heart, ‘cause joy and peace he brings And the beauty that’s in store outweighs the hurt of life’s sting But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always
Will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery O, this is why, this is why I sing
There will be a day with no more tears No more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face There will be a day he will wipe away the tears He will wipe away the tears, He will wipe away the tears There will be a day
(Verse 10-12) A theme for these three verses is “How great our salvation,” as they describe the wonder and greatness of it. The wonderful truth of salvation is that God saves us from spiritual death and gives us an eternal home in heaven. Salvation is so glorious that even the angels are aroused to look into it and to understand its meaning. The prophets searched for understanding. The spiritual blessings believers now experience are greater than anything the Old Testament prophets or even the angels imagined. As the prophets searched, they discovered that Jesus would first of all suffer and only then would glory follow.
To the suffering believer (trials), the pattern witnessed in the life of Christ becomes our pattern. Our suffering is not a sign that Christ has forgotten us or that He no longer cares about us. Our suffering bears witness of our fellowship with Him. He suffered first and glory followed the suffering; so shall it be for us. For the believer, when suffering comes as a result of our following Christ, we can know glory shall not be far behind.
“Believers in Christ are the heirs of the full message of the prophets” (Anders).
Today we look back to the grace of the cross and salvation’s plan; the prophets of Old looked forward to the grace of the cross and salvation’s plan. Even as they prophesied, they longed for better understanding of the grace of salvation.
Questions for Life Focus
The Old Testament prophets, not fully understanding, looked forward and wrote.
You, as a believer, look backwards and read with greater understanding.
How does this affect your understanding of “suffering and glory” in the midst of trials?
What does it mean for the believer that we have a completed Bible?
Here is a great truth for every true believer: “You were born for glory.”
Think about and discuss this great truth. Read verses 7 through 11 again.
As witnessed in the life of Jesus, an important truth conveyed by Peter is that suffering will be followed by ____________.