We had the special privilege of having Dr. Brent Ellis from Spring Arbor University joining us this morning.


12 Dear 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. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.


  • How was your week? Any high points or challenges?


  • Dr. Ellis asked the question: “How do we process and think through suffering that leads to rejoicing?”
  • When you look at the example of Jesus being tested in the wilderness (Matthew 4), what stands out to you in the way he responds to each temptation?
  • The underground church in China holds to “five pillars.” How do you see these five pillars connecting to one another? Why do you think the last one, “celebrate suffering,” seems so out of place to many in our culture?
    • Diligent study of Scripture
    • Concentrated and constant prayer
    • All people are considered evangelists
    • An expectation of the miraculous happening regularly
    • Celebrate suffering
  • “Once you embrace suffering for Jesus, nothing can stop you.”
    • What role has suffering played in your faith?
  • How do you begin to define what suffering looks like in our own culture and context?
  • How can a redemptive perspective on suffering shape and direct your faith in Jesus moving forward?