How to Handle Trouble – Gospel in Life

How to Handle Trouble

Tim Keller |  September 26, 1993

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  • Doctrine
  • Sanctification
  • Suffering
1 Peter 1:6-9
RS 250-03


The theme of the whole book of 1 Peter is about how a Christian can face troubles and suffering in such a way that it turns us into something splendid, instead of crushing us.

In the Christian life, suffering and glory are inextricably bound up together, because our great forerunner, our great pioneer and savior Jesus Christ, came to glory through suffering. As a result, that is the pattern for all of us. Suffering and glory are bound together.

1 Peter 1:6–9

Our church, Redeemer, is moving into a new phase that values sacrifice and combines our varied strengths. We celebrate both the wisdom of the older members and the potential of the young ones. We’re called to appreciate the miracles of the past and the impact we’ve made as a community. Following 1 Peter’s teachings, we see that suffering can change us for the better, linking suffering and glory, and showing the special relationship between us and God – a relationship that can lead to glory through shared suffering.

1. You will never be able to get through suffering unless you know a lot of biblical doctrine

Looking at 1 Peter 1:6, we see the importance of rejoicing in key biblical teachings, like the “ordo solutis” – the steps of salvation. This process involves God knowing us, choosing us, making us holy, and giving us a new birth through the Spirit and Jesus’ sacrifice. Understanding these truths helps us deal with life’s hardships and find comfort and strength in God’s plan.

2. Christians are subjected to grief

For Christians, “grief” means deep distress. It shows how our faith can hold joy and suffering at the same time. Seeing the world’s brokenness can make us sad, but it also helps us feel more empathy and hope. So, as Christians, we balance joy and grief, with God’s help leading us to a joy beyond words.

3. Trials happen not simply because the world is a bad place

Troubles and trials can come into our lives, but they often help us learn about ourselves and grow, even when things seem chaotic. Suffering is a temporary state that pushes us to rejoice in God’s teachings and trust His timing. Accepting suffering can lead us to spiritual growth, especially when we follow Jesus, who shows us how to find purpose and meaning in hardship.



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