Speaker(s): Justin Schaller
Sermon 12267
6:30 PM on 3/13/2022

P. Justin Schaller –

Good evening. How are we this evening? Awesome. Awesome. Let’s stand up. Stand up and move
around a little bit. Maybe turn around unless you’re in the back row. You just stay facing
forward. Everyone else turn around. You can say hello to people behind you. How about we do
this? I was thinking that would be funny if I had you guys turn around and I just leave! How
about you pray with the person behind you? You pray with the person. (Prayer)
Good evening. The other day a few of us went – Josh, and Samantha and Tommy, Ron – a few
of us went over to a halfway house over in Dundalk. There’s a member in our church that runs
this facility, this house. Guys come in for a short term for three weeks. We had the opportunity
to go over there and just share the gospel with these guys. Evangelism. You just get to be in a
place and they can’t leave.

You get to share the gospel with them. What an awesome opportunity. On the street, you only have about what? Fifteen seconds? Twenty seconds? You try to do something to juggle really quick to get their attention. But these guys can’t go
anywhere. Perfect! If these guys go – if one of them wants to go to get a cheeseburger at
McDonald’s or go to the store, they all have to go. They all go together. You can imagine what
kind of fight they’re having in that house. No, I don’t want to go to the Dollar Tree right now!
Well, you have to. If I go, you go. So, they all have to go.
We had a Bible study there. You can be praying for this one guy in particular. His name is
Shawn. He’s 24 years old and he’s from West Baltimore. I asked him do you know what the
gospel is? He goes, no. Not really. I don’t know what the gospel is. We got to share the gospel
with him. So, let’s pray for Shawn.

He’s going to Helping Up Mission for the year-long program. We’re just praying. He’s a precious young guy. The thing we said to these guys is if you take something away – and these guys are struggling with things like we all struggle. It’s just that their struggle is a lot more severe than a lot of our struggles maybe. Our struggles may not take
our life immediately, but for a lot of these guys, their struggles can. They’re the same struggles
as we have just much more severe. And we said to these guys, if we take something away, we
better be giving you something better. And they’re like, yeah, that’s right. What do you got?
Then I got a little nervous. I don’t know. What do I have? I don’t really have anything in myself.
We don’t have anything, but we have the gospel, the glory of God.

I want to talk two parts tonight if you follow along with me. Two parts. I want to talk about the
glory of God, and I want to talk about suffering well. The glory of God and suffering well, and
how those two go together. We first need a brief definition of what the glory of God is. We
know that when we go to heaven, what are we going to be doing for eternity? Glorifying God.
But what does that mean? What does it mean to glorify God forever? Am I just going to be like
the moon, like a rock that reflects the sun? Am I going to be just a robot bowing down at the
throne of God or is it something more in the sense of what it means to glorify God? I know
many of us know this, but I think just for the purpose of reflecting on this, let’s turn to Isaiah 6
and our text will be in 1 Peter 2.

First, let’s look in Isaiah 6. The glory of God and how the glory of God relates to the holiness of
God, those two words. We’ll look at two portions in the Old Testament and then go to 1 Peter.
Isaiah 6:3. This is a text we know very well. Isaiah has a vision of the Lord. The Lord is sitting on
a throne and he’s high and he’s lifted up. And the train of his robe fills the temple. Vs. 2-3.
Holiness we know separation, set apart. Holy Moly! What is that? Something that we see. Holy!
Oh, my! I’ve never seen something like that. Something separate. We said that holiday is holy-
day. It’s a separate day from any other day of the year. It’s separate, set apart. God always
wants his people to know and the whole earth to know that he is separate from creation. His
beauty is separate from the beauty that we create.

He is holy. He is separate. He is set apart. But his holiness is put on display through his glory. And the little illustration I like to use is that someone can have an amazing talent but if that talent is never shown, the glory is never shown
of the talent. If you have someone that plays a beautiful guitar, acoustic guitar, but he only
plays for himself, he is holy and set apart from all other players. There’s no one that plays the
guitar like that man, but when he’s in the room playing by himself, his glory or his holiness is
not revealed. But then when he goes in front of the stage and he plays that guitar and there’s
people in the audience, his holiness and his ability is now glorified for the enjoyment of the
people listening.

That’s why in this text it’s not holy, holy, holy Lord God of host, the whole earth is full of his
glory but rather holy, holy, holy, his holiness is broadcasted through the created world and that
is his glory. That’s why in Psalm19, the heavens and the earth declare the what? The glory of God.
The whole creation is shouting out the holiness of who he is. The clouds, the sky, the sun, the
moon, the galaxies, the pleasures in life. It is all screaming out that there is no one that can
create that but one holy God. And that holiness is broadcasted by this glory. The glory is made
so that we can receive it and we can enjoy it. That’s the amazing thing. That God is meant to be
enjoyed. God has created all these things.

Paul said to Timothy, God has created all these things for our enjoyment so that we can be
partakers of who he is. That there is no enjoyment like his enjoyment. And so, if we just put a
quick definition on what the glory of God is, it is his holiness being showcased through creation
for our ultimate enjoyment. So, we can enjoy who the Creator is.
If we turn to 1 Peter 2, isn’t that good to know? We were telling these guys on Friday night that
all the things you guys are chasing after, you’re chasing after joy, happiness, contentment. But
if you chase after the thing rather than the one who is the one who produces the joy, you’re
going to miss out and be disappointed.

1 Peter 2. This is our encouragement. I want to encourage you tonight in this. That Peter is
writing this epistle to a group of believers that are going through amazing suffering. But the
way that he frontloads this epistle is he puts two categories in this epistle. The first one is the privileges of the believer and the second one is the sufferings of the believer. Let me just go
through a quick list of what’s in this epistle that is the believer’s privilege. It’s a long list, so I’m
just going to go through them quickly.

Peter says this: that you have great mercy, that you have been given a new birth, that you now
have a living hope, that you now have an imperishable inheritance that does not fade away.
You have received a purified soul. You have been adopted into a family and you have a
brotherhood where you receive love. You now have spiritual nourishment that comes from the
Word of God. You are now part of a spiritual house and you are a living stone. You are a royal
priesthood. You are God’s own possession. You now have been given a spiritual gift for the
purpose of glorifying God and for the edification of the Body of Christ. You are a steward of the
grace of God. You are a recipient of eternal glory. You have a God that comforts you. You have a
God that strengthens you, and you have a God who has given you eternal peace.

So, he’s writing to believers in modern day Turkey and this epistle is going to pass through all
these churches. These people are going through tremendous suffering. The suffering that they
are going through is because of their faithfulness to Christ. And we know as believers that we
are not of the world. We are in the world but we are not of the world, and because of that, we
are an enemy of the world. It’s like I was thinking of Russian soldiers that are in a battle and
maybe they don’t want to be in it, but they are on the wrong side because they are a Russian
citizen. And for us, we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of
this dear Son, and because of that, all of a sudden immediately you have an adversary, an
enemy.

Before Peter gets to the part of the suffering, he wants to frontload it with the privileges that
they have. Now this is the part that we can, some of us, and some more than others can
identify with. The second category is suffering. He says this: every believer is going to have
various trials. It’s going to be trials that are tested by fire. You’ll be alienated. You’ll be abused
under masters who need you to serve them faithfully. You’ll receive harsh treatment for
following Christ. You’ll suffer for doing what is right. You’re going to suffer evil from the hands
of men. You’ll be continually troubled. You’ll be slandered. You’ll be mistreated. You’re going to
have fiery ordeals. You’re going to share in the sufferings of Jesus. This suffering is according to
the will of God. You’re going to endure anxiety. You’re going to endure fear. You have the devil
who is like a roaring lion seeking to devour you. And you’re going to suffer along with other
Christians who are suffering the same thing.

Peter frontloads it with the privileges but then he also says that this also is a paradox that you
are going to have intense suffering in your life. This is the nature of the Christian life. It’s an
immense privilege that has been given to us but at the point of salvation, you’ve also been
appointed to suffering. Salvation includes it. And you’ve been called to glory, and that glory is only brought about through the path of suffering. Peter gives briefly the reasons why. It’s
because for these believers they are set at odds against the world. They’re strangers in a hostile
environment. They are in a world that is run by the god of this world who has blinded the minds
of men. It’s run by Satan. The more we honor Christ and the more we follow Christ and obey
Christ, the more problems we may have in our life.

So, Peter’s readers are scattered all throughout Turkey. He knows they are in difficult circumstances, and he wants to remind them that they have a privilege and one of those privileges is to suffer for the sake of Christ. So, we
are going to get into why we suffer and how we suffer.
If we can turn to 1 Peter 2:20. This is edification for us because there is one point. That’s all I
want to make tonight, one point. That’s it. Hopefully the Holy Spirit can hit it for us. Vs. 20. First
point, do you know that if you suffer well, it is well-pleasing to God? That he wants us to be
people that suffer well.

We had a brother in our church that went home to be with the Lord on Friday. His life was
summed up like this: he suffered well. He went through so many issues and you would never
know it. He was always a helper of people’s joy. He was not looking on his own needs, but he
was looking on the needs of other people and through that he enjoyed his suffering. It’s an
amazing genius thing that God has done for us as believers where he says when you look on the
needs of other people, you can’t have your eyes on the same thing or you can’t have your eyes
on two things at the same time. That’s what I want to say. We look at ourselves but God says
look at other people. Look at me and you take your eyes off yourself and you are healed. How
were the Jews healed in the wilderness?

By taking their eyes off of the wound and looking at the brazen serpent. He’s called us to suffer well, and the way that we suffer well is that we look to him and we look to other people’s needs. It’s an amazing principle, and there’s freedom in that. That’s the first point. It is pleasing to God when we suffer well.
Vs.21. You’ve been called to suffer. Does American Christianity like that? Does soft Christianity
like that? That suffering is a part of the plan and that suffering well is part of the plan and that
suffering is pleasing to God. And not only that but that you’ve been called to that. You’ve been
called to suffer. Vs. 21. What an amazing example Christ was. Sometimes the reason why we
feel as though we don’t like suffering – who likes suffering? Let’s be honest, right? I’m not up
here saying this cause I like suffering.

Lord, please. But if Christ suffered and he humbled himself, I feel the reason why I don’t like suffering all the time is because I think too much of myself or I think I don’t deserve it. But if I humble myself under the mighty hand of God that is a key thing in my suffering. Because in Philippians 2, Christ suffered but he first humbled himself under
the will of God. God’s will was that he would suffer and through that suffering, God exalted him
and Christ is our example. Vs. 21. We have an example that you might follow in his steps. Vs.
22-25. So, Christ is our example of suffering.

Why do we have suffering? Because it’s the will of God and we have been called to it. Why do
we suffer well? Because it’s pleasing to God that we suffer well. The question is: is there a
reason, Lord? One lady in the church today she asked me, you know, because of this tragedy of
this brother going home to be in the Lord that he suffered so much in his life, why is it that God
allows suffering and why does God want us to suffer? Peter in 1 Peter 5:10 he gives us the reason
why. This is getting to the point that we want to hit. 1 Peter 5:10, you see how that goes
together?

After you have suffered a little bit in this earth in this world, you’ll have trials. You’ll have
suffering. There will be pain. There will be death. There will be disease. There will be sickness.
There will be financial problems. There will be relationship problems. There will be suffering
and I know you know that. And many of you I don’t even come close to what you’ve gone
through. But this is what he is saying. Catch this because this is so important. He’s saying this
that if you suffered a little while, he’s called you to it, and it’s for the eternal glory in Christ. He
himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

The first reason for suffering is that it will establish you and mature you as a believer. There’ s
no doubt about it. He says in 1 Peter 1, the reason why you go through trials is that when you get
out on the other end and you still have living faith, you have the real thing and you know that
that faith is not being produced by you, coming from you but it’s been a gift that God has gifted
you. The endurance that you have to go through the suffering is not derived from you. It is God
that has planted it in you. He has given you the strength and when you go through it, you will
be established even more so. So, it’s a perfecting process.

1 Peter 1:6-7, you are distressed by various trials but he says rejoice in that. Because there is
something that is being worked in you – how does he say it – establishing you, strengthening
you, confirming you and getting ready your glory that will be revealed when you get to heaven.
Look at this, 2 Cor. 4. Look at this portion where Paul weighs in on this. So, the first reason, why
do you suffer? Why do you go through hardships? It’s God’s will. It’s God’s purpose to show you
your salvation, to strengthen you, to confirm you, to establish you, to make you more mature
as a believer.

Look at this. This is what I get excited about. 2 Corinthians 4:17, Paul says this. So, this means that your
suffering is working in you a capacity for glory. I want to get this. I know we know this but I
want to say it again. When we go through suffering, we look at the suffering and ask the
question, why? Paul says don’t look at the suffering. Look at the unseen reality that it’s
producing in you a capacity to enjoy God forever. That’s his mechanism. Look at what he says,
vs. 17. No suffering, no capacity in eternity to be able to receive or reflect the glory of God as
much. That’s what he’s saying.

Look at what he says. Vs. 18. What do you mean Paul? What things that you see? Your trial,
your suffering, your affliction. If you look at that, yeah, you’ll get depressed. I know it. I get it.
It’s hard. But he says don’t look at the things that you can see. Don’t look at your trial. Don’t be
so preoccupied trying to figure out why it’s going on. But rather, look at the thing that is
unseen. What is the thing that is unseen? He is producing in you more of a capacity to enjoy
God forever.

We know this because we know this story in Matthews 20 where we have the disciples and they are
sitting next to Jesus and mom comes up. What does mom say? Matthew 20:20-21. She even
understood that in eternity there is going to be a pecking order. It’s not all going to be the
same. When you come into the kingdom of God, the treasure or the reward that we get is close
proximity to Christ. She understood this. But look at what Jesus’ response is. Jesus answers and
said you don’t know what you are asking. Vs. 22. What is he talking about? When he goes to the
Garden of Gethsemane, he is going to have to drink the cup that the Father gives him. What is
it? Suffering. So, you have a correlation where there is a pecking order in the kingdom of God
and it’s close proximity to Christ, but the only way you get that close proximity is if you drink
the cup that Christ drank.vs. 23 They said to him, we’re able.

Did they know they would be crucified upside down? Did
they know that they would be stoned to death? I love what Kierkegaard says. He says when the
tyrant dies, he loses his kingdom. When the martyr dies, he gains his kingdom. But we don’t
know. God is so merciful and so gracious that he doesn’t show us the suffering that we are
going to have to endure in the future. Thank God. But he gives us this promise that I have
ordained suffering, but be of good cheer. I’ll be with you in the furnace. I’ll be there in the
valley of the shadow of death. I’ll be your shepherd and I will lead you through it. I’ve ordained
it for you. The reason why I have ordained it is because it’s producing in you a close proximity
to enjoy me forever.

And he says in vs. 23. We can’t add anything to the cross. We live in a culture that we don’t
really have the level of persecution that a lot of the world has. We look at them and we go,
wow. Man. Thank God. But maybe they look at us and they say in their situation they
understand what Paul is saying. They look at us and say where I am thank God. We need to
have a divine perspective on our suffering. Yeah, I understand. None of us want to suffer.
Suffering is painful. But that is the promise we are hearing in the Scripture that if you suffer,
and you suffer well, it’s been ordained by God and it’s a cup given to you by God like it was
given to Christ so that you can be in close proximity to him in his kingdom.

2 Corinthians 4. Let’s look at this first, 2 Corinthians 2. This just came to my mind. 2 Timothy 2:12. Timothy, Paul is
saying to correlate it with Matthew 20. 2 Timothy 2:12, if we endure we will also reign with him. Do you
see how that works with the trouble that you have in your life? The trouble you have in your
life is not random. The trouble that you have in your life is not just because it’s coming out of the blue and why me? That’s why Peter says count it all joy when you fall into all those trials
and all that mischief and all those problems. Count it all joy. Do you know it’s working in you?
It’s a light affliction compared to the capacity, the ability to enjoy God for all eternity. It’s a light
affliction. Count it all joy. And if you endure it, if you go through it and we’re learning cause we
all like to grumble and mumble. But if we endure it, it is well pleasing to God. And he goes,
yeah. You’re seeing it from my viewpoint. I’m working in you that capacity.

Let’s in closing, 2 Corinthians 4. Praise the Lord! Can we say, Praise the Lord! I just want to encourage
you tonight because life is crazy, isn’t it? I mean it’s insane. The things that people go through.
I’ve had such an easy road. You hear people’s stories. It’s like, wow! How do I encourage that
person? I can’t. But a guy who was beaten and flogged like the Apostle Paul, he can. Who’s
received the revelations of God. He can. This is what he says his viewpoint is because it's God’s
viewpoint. We don’t even know what our suffering is producing.

Look at this in closing. 2 Corinthians 4:4, you know, he’s one who deceives. He’s one who blinds. He’s
one who always even for us as believers is always trying to take our eyes into the seeing realm.
Don’t we feel that sometimes when we are in church and we go, oh! Yes! And then we walk out
and go back into the world and we go, oh! No! You’re in the fellowship and you go, oh! Yes! If I
could just stay right here, Is. 26:3. “He will keep them in perfect peace whose mind will stay on
thee because he trusteth in thee.” I try to think about that. How can my mind be in two places
at one time? But we take what we hear in the assembly and in the spirit of what we are saying
because this is the reality of what life really is. This is really what is going on in the universe.
What’s really going on in the universe is that he is preparing his saints for eternity to enjoy him
forever.

But the god of this world will blind our minds and make us see our problems and our troubles
and to question God and why and why me or how did this happen? But what does the god of
this world blind people to? He says this, vs. 4. Isn’t that amazing. People look up into the
heavens. Do they see the holiness of God and the glory of God? No, they don’t see it. When
they enjoy things in this life, do they see God? No, they don’t see it. And for us as believers, the
same thing. It can be that way and especially in our problems. But count it all joy, church. This
light affliction is preparing in us an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all of our
comprehensions.

This is beautiful what this brother on Friday who went home to be with the Lord, Daniel. He had
so many different things and to be at the point at the end of someone’s life when they are
about to go home to see the Lord and you run your course well. He did it with joy. He suffered
well. And we don’t even know what we will be but we know when we see him, we will be like
him. So, let’s just have that thought for this week. Whatever trouble, whatever problem comes
your way this week, take your eyes off of it and put your eyes on the unseen reality that he is working in you something that you will be satisfied even more so for all of eternity. Amen?
Amen. We can give the Lord a hand. Thank you, Jesus.

 

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