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Praise in the Pain



Ben Stuart looks at just a few verses that unlock what God does with our pain and why we have it. It’s a tough world to navigate, and as believers, we often feel set apart and alone. This talk focuses on God’s word that proves He has never left us and has purposely chosen us.

Key Takeaway

There is a purpose and plan to our pain. We are not left out to dry by God even though we experience suffering and trials for his namesake. He is constantly at work with His chosen people and moving them to the places where He wants to spread His Gospel.

How do we make sense of being set apart by God and then suffering? Of being made holy and it ends up hurting you?

Read 1 Peter 1:1-12. Peter is the perfect person to write a letter of encouragement to a group of people who are suffering and turmoil. He knew what that type of pressure was like and for life to not get easier with Jesus. He was well acquainted with what it was like to be rejected and to reject. He rejected his own Savior at his lowest moment, but we don't see him buried in shame. He's a changed man, joyful and buoyant, fully committed to remaining true to Jesus Christ. He is able to give them a perspective on their pain.

  1. Your pain is part of God's plan. 1 Peter 1:1-2Peter is very pastoral in his greeting. He introduces himself not as Simon, but as Peter, the name Jesus gave him. In Aramaic it is Cephas, and it's translated into Greek as Peter; his new name means rock. He also calls himself an apostle, which means "official emissary", an eyewitness that's been sent out to tell the Gospel of Jesus. So, he's comforting them by saying he's going to stand strong like a rock in the truth of who Jesus is and what He's done.Peter is also going to orient them. They had been scattered abroad and were experiencing suffering, so he reorients them through God, broader society, and people of faith (past and present). He reminds them that they are "elect" or "chosen". God chose them! In society today, this can become a philosophical war, but from a Biblical standpoint, it's always presented as a comfort. It's inconceivable to understand the mystery of it, but it's a consolation to know God chose us. Peter also recognizes they were in "exile" meaning that they were living in the community, but never accepted as one of them. We are out of place in culture. One theologian said "Christianity is at home in every culture, but it also challenges every culture." We live our lives among the masses, but we challenge how women are treated, sexual ethics, caring for the poor, etc. As Christians, we are elected exiles: insiders who are outsiders. It was the same for Abraham, Daniel, Jeremiah, Esther, and many more. Peter makes the connection of their currently being dispersed and lost back to their history which shows God always moves His people and knows exactly where they are. We are part of a bigger story! God has a plan and keeps His covenant.
  2. Your pain has a purpose. 1 Peter 1:6-7 Our pain is temporary and often serves the purpose of refining us. Refining is an excruciating process where fire is used to burn out all of the impurities of metal. We are being made pure every day and through every fire. When all the impurity is removed, what is left is steady and strong. The same is true of our lives.Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego literally walked into the fire because they refused to worship anyone/anything other than God. Elected exiles. But the outcome of their refining was God getting glory and His power on display for all to see. They conducted their lives in such a respectful manner that they proved that suffering and sweetness can coexist and are winsome to those looking for God.
  3. Know that you'll prevail. 1 Peter 1:8-12

Our victory in Jesus is assured, therefore, knowing the end is taken care of, we can be bold right now. We don't need to be needlessly offensive, but we also don't need to be ashamed. We know who wins the battle.

Take heart. Life is hard. God is Good. Do you know Him? You're made to.


"Life is not made unbearable by circumstances. It's made unbearable by lack of meaning and purpose."

Viktor Frankl

Discussion Questions

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Scripture References

  • 1 Peter 1:1-12
  • Luke 22:54-62
  • Daniel 3:16-28
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.