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Why Do Christians Suffer?

August 2nd, 2020

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso
1 Peter 1:3-9
ペテロの第一の手紙 1:3-9

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:3-9


ペテロの第一の手紙 1:3-9


Some 2,500 years ago King Solomon surveyed the course of human existence and concluded that life is meaningless. It’s all vanity or emptiness (Ecclesiastes 2:18-23). He saw the righteous suffer and felt that it was a form of injustice. Job must have felt much this way during his time of trial. Perhaps you too have gone through an extended trial and had questions and doubts about it.
約2,500年前、ソロモン王は人間の存在意義を調査し、人生は無意味であると結論づけました。人生はすべて虚栄であるか空虚である(伝道の書2 章18-23節)。彼は正しい行いをしている人々が苦しむのを見て、そのようなことが起こるのは不義であり不公平ではないかと感じていました。ヨブもまた自分の試練の時に同じように感じたに違いありません。おそらく、あなたも長い間試練や苦難を経験し、それについて疑問や疑いを持ったことがあるのではないでしょうか。

Now, let me pause and say that everything isn’t doom and gloom! I would like to believe, we Christians have it pretty good! Here are several reasons for rejoicing according to Peter:

  • We have a living hope (verse 3)
  • We have a lasting inheritance (v.4)
    私たちには永続的なしぼむことのない資産があるから(4節 )
  • We have a long-term salvation (v.5)
    私たちには長期的な救いがあるから(5節 )
  • We have a longed for final reward (v.7)

Remembering these things, let me say that not all is bad! In fact, there is much cause for rejoicing in the Lord today! And, we ought to get into that habit already!

However, we can be certain that there will be trials along the way. We may not understand them all, nor appreciate them when they come, but we need to be prepared for them just the same.

That is Peter’s purpose in this Scripture passage. He wants to encourage his readers, but he also wants to prepare them for what is surely to come. Today, let’s see what Peter’s words can teach us about our trials and why Christians suffer.

  1. Realities of the Christian life – verse 6
    クリスチャンの人生の現実 – 6 節

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

1 Peter 1:6


ペテロの第一の手紙 1:6

  1. Rejoicing is a Christian virtue. If you spend enough time around some believers, you may come away feeling that the Christian life is one big series of trials and that there is no room for praise. In truth, we are to be a rejoicing people. We are to rejoice in spite of our troubles.
  2. Redemption does not grant us immunity from trials. The believer who thinks that just because he/she is saved that they are going to be shielded from trouble is in for a very rude awakening! Being saved is no hedge from trouble!

Peter calls these trying times “all kinds of trials.” Literally, it means ‘many-colored’ and was used to describe ‘the different-colored veins of marble, or an embroidered robe.’ I imagine an intricately woven kimono.
ペテロはこの試練の時を 「さまざまな試練 」と呼んでいます。文字通り「色とりどりの」ということを意味しており、「大理石の色の違う模様や、刺繍の施された羽織りのように」色とりどりな、と表現されています。私は個人的には、複雑に織り込まれた着物のことを想像します。

Christians get sick! Christian marriages fall apart. Christian parents have trouble with their children. Christians have financial troubles. Christians walk through some pretty deep, dark valleys. Jesus said it as plain as it could have been said.
クリスチャンも病気になります。 クリスチャンの結婚生活も壊れる事があります。 クリスチャンの親でも子供との間に問題を抱えています。 クリスチャンも経済的な問題を抱えています。クリスチャンでも、かなり深く暗い谷間を歩むような試練を受けることになります。このようにイエスは、試練のことを深く暗い谷間だと表現しました。

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33


ヨハネによる福音書 16:33

Because this trial came and took you by surprise and made you feel so insecure. Remember, it never took God by surprise! He knew about it before it happened and had already made a way to bring you out of that trial. He never changes and is still able to help you through it.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8


ヘブル人への手紙 13:8

  1. Rough times are bound to happen to everyone.  No one is immune from troubles and trials!
    苦難の時は誰にでも起こります。 トラブルや試練を免れる人はいないのです。

Take for example the struggles of Job. His life was going well. He was blessed, had a large family and was right with God, but his life fell apart!

Do not fall into the trap of false teachers who tell you that if you are saved you will never have trouble again. That’s a blatant lie. God wants you to know that there will be times when you will have battles!

  1. Reformation the Christian has to go through – verse 7
    クリスチャンが経験しなければならない改革- 7節

7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 

1 Peter 1:7


ペテロの第一の手紙 1:7

  1. Faith is tested.

The “genuineness of your faith.” When troubles do come, they seem to concentrate their power against our faith in the Lord. Satan wants to do all that he can to make Christians doubt the power of God to meet their need.

If anyone knew this, it was Peter. Jesus had already told him that he was going to die for Christ (John 21:18-19). Jesus had already told Peter to expect rejection from the world, and Peter had already suffered for his faith (Acts 4 & 12).

Paul knew his share of suffering. Stephen suffered for Jesus (Acts 7). James was killed for his faith (Acts 12). It’s been said that over 68 million believers have died during the last 2,000 years for the name of Jesus. Christians who find themselves suffering, especially for the faith, are in good company.
パウロはたくさんの苦難を経験し、苦しみました。ステパノはイエス様のために苦しみました(使徒7章)。ヤコブは信仰のために殺されました(使徒12 章)。過去2000年の間に、6800万人以上のクリスチャンがイエス様の名のために死んだと言われています。このように、特に信仰のために苦しんでいるクリスチャンは、あなた一人ではなく、たくさんいると思われます。

  1. Faith is approved.

Peter speaks of the refining process that gold goes through. When it is subjected to the flame, the impurities and dross in the gold come to the top. The result is far purer gold than that which was present before!

The same is true in the life of the believer, when Jesus allows us to go through the furnace of affliction, it serves to remove from our lives things that were not needed and it brings into a closer and purer relationship with the Lord Jesus.

Until Christ returns, the believer must go through testing. A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.

Our faith isn’t tested because God doesn’t know how much or what kind of faith we have. It is tested because we often are ignorant of how much or what kind of faith we have. God’s purpose in testing is to display the enduring quality of our faith.

  1. The abundance we receive.

Peter nudges us to remember that we aren’t home yet! Our trials are working for our good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28


ローマ人への手紙 8:28

We may not see the benefit today, but when we stand before the Lord in Heaven, and we are rewarded for our walk with Him and for the sufferings we endured below, it will be worth it all them.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

2 Corinthians 4:17


コリント人への第二の手紙 4:17

The young eagle – When it is time to leave the nest, the mother eagle will literally throw the eaglet from the nest. As he plummets to earth vainly attempting to fly, it fears sure and certain death. At the last moment, the mother swoops down from above and catches him and carries him back to the safety of the nest. This is repeated several times over the next few days. Finally, the little eaglet will spread his wings and soar upward. Eventually, he will be able to fly above all the storms below, but only because he endured the fear of falling.

Just like that mother eagle, God knows best. He will not let you crash and burn. He just allows what He does to strengthen our faith and to grow us up in Him. Let’s face it, if the Lord never challenged us, we would never grow!

  1. Reliable power source for the Christian – verses 8-9
    クリスチャンのための信頼できる力 – 8-9節

8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9


ペテロの第一の手紙 1:8-9

Not that God can count on us, but that we can count on Him!

As we weather the storms of life and see God come through time and again, we can actually learn to develop a spirit of praise as we journey toward Heaven. We will find that our unseen Savior will see us through every trial!

Just like the shepherd in Psalm 23, He is always with His own people. When we face trials, He goes through them with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us.

God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5b


ヘブル人への手紙 13:5

His grace is always sufficient for every need.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9



This ought to cause us to be filled with that “inexpressible and glorious joy” described in verse 8!


God brings us into deep waters not to drown us but to cleanse us. In adversity we usually want God to do a removing job when He wants to do an improving job. To realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the storm. To test the quality of our faith, He allows us to go through trials.

I am glad for this Book that gives us hope regarding the overcoming of life’s difficult times.

Do you need something from Jesus today? If so, this altar is open and Jesus is waiting and willing to help you and see that your need is met.