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Genuine - Humility
1 Peter 4:12–14; 5:6–11 (NIV)
12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1. Testing of trials
do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These 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 1:6–7 (NIV)
2. Koinonia of suffering
But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. 4Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3–5 (NIV)
■With Jesus ■With others around the world
3. Irony of humility
Humble yourselves…that he may lift you up in due time.
When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then God will save the downcast. Job 22:29 (NIV)
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12 (NIV)
Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. Romans 6:4–5 (NIV)
Small Group Questions
CONNECT WITH GOD (Select one of the below practices to begin your small group time this week or select a practice from a previous week.)
Journal: Each person has unique daily rhythms, schedules, and priorities. Spend 10 minutes in quiet reflection and journaling by tracing a typical day for you. Notice the rhythms of your daily life, the open spaces for inviting God, the ways you can listen more attentively to God in your ordinary routines and rhythms.
Read: Read Psalm 16 in the NIV or Message. Read the passage over slowly and intentionally. Let your body and mind rest in the refuge of God for a few minutes.
Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
(excerpt from Psalm 16)
CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER
Read 1 Peter 4:12–14; 5:6–11
- Read the passage together.
- In pairs: Focus in on 1 Peter 5:6-7. Reflect and share using the below prompts as a guide (10 minutes).
- What are you carrying today?
- What anxieties do you need to give over to the Lord?
- How are these verses reminding you of God’s care?
- Pray with one another.
- Share in the larger group (5 minutes).
CONNECT WITH SCRIPTURE (Read the passages and review the sermon outline. Then select the best questions or customize the questions for your group.)
- Read the main points from the sermon outline.
- Why should suffering not surprise us (4:12)?
- What is the koinonia of suffering (4:13)?
- How does Peter describe humility in 1 Peter 5:6-11?
- What’s so ironic about the humility Peter describes?
- How does your idea of the devil compare or contrast with Peter’s description of the devil in 1 Peter 5:8-9?
- Reflecting on the main points of the message, what are the themes you will continue to wrestle with in the coming days?
CONNECT WITH GOD’S MISSION IN THE WORLD (Choose one of the prompts below.)
- What persecutions are you aware of and what can you do this week to learn more or commit to doing more?
- How might you shift your interaction with non-Christians in your spheres in ways that are compassionate, humble, and do not demonize or ‘other’ them?
Pray with humility that God may teach you to bear with one another in suffering just as Jesus took up our pain and bore our suffering. Ask God to open up channels of hope, peace, and refuge in the midst of difficulty or suffering. Pray that God makes you a refuge for others in their need.