Christian, Your Suffering Is Not Eternal

1 Peter 4:17

In this lab, Pastor John reminds us that no matter how bad our sufferings are in this life, we should rejoice that they can only cut so deep and last for so long.

Principle for Bible Reading

Turn Rhetorical Questions into Statements

A rhetorical question is one that doesn’t expect an answer because the inquirer assumes that the answer is obvious. When you see a rhetorical question in Scripture you should turn it into a statement by figuring out what the author is saying.

For example, after Sarah laughs at God’s promise to give her a child at her old age, God asks Abraham why she laughed, concluding by saying, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14) God is not looking for Abraham’s answer as if he didn’t know the answer, rather he is making a point: She shouldn’t be laughing because her God who promised her a child can do all things, nothing is too hard for him.

Study Questions

  1. Why might God allow his children to suffer in this life? What Scriptures confirm your answer?
  2. 1 Peter 4:17–18 calls us to consider the fate of nonbelievers who die in unbelief. Answer the two rhetorical questions in verses 17 and 18.
  3. In this text, God reminds us that although we suffer in this life, we are spared the eternal suffering of the next. Does this bring you practical comfort today? Why or why not?