Sermon Quotes: "An Underappreciated Passage"

“Christians should not think it strange that they are called to endure persecution. Yet they must understand that suffering is not the opposite of blessing. Jesus had declared those to be blessed who suffer for righteousness (Mt. 5:11-12). That word of Jesus is more than a promise. It pronounces blessing. Those who will receive a heavenly reward are already blessed by the Lord. Peter emphasizes this.Those who suffer receive the benediction of Christ as a present possession. Their time of suffering has been made a time of blessing.” Ed Clowney

“Suffering that is specifically Christian is not a burden to be borne but a blessing to be received with thanksgiving.” Robert Mounce

“The implication is that unbelievers will recognize by the way believers respond to difficulties that there is a hope in God rather than in pleasant earthly circumstances…Here the hope that animates believers will become so evident that unbelievers will ask for an explanation.” Thomas Schreiner

“Our primary activity in preparing to witness is to keep our own hearts happy in God. Morning by morning we have to go to the Word, not to anxiously amass arguments for every possible rebuttal somebody might have. No, we go to the Word because we are so desperately needy, our own hope wanes. We have fears that need to be overcome by the promises of God. The fight of faith is waged on our knees with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and prayer. And when we emerge from this encounter with God with a renewed and lively hope, we will be ready to make our case for our hope.” John Piper