1 Peter 4: 12-19 (p859) Sept. 9, 2012
There are amazing truths in scripture and, no I don’t completely understand them all…I’m on a journey trying to grow deeper and wider in those truths…
And there are a bunch of things I wish God had put in there…and maybe one of the ones I wish He’d put in there was “Jesus Laughed”
Listen I’m grateful for John 11:35…It’s the shortest verse in scripture ...Two Words “Jesus Wept”…It was always the first verse we memorized at camp or VBS for points for our team.
But I wish that scripture has a picture of Jesus sitting around the fire one evening with Peter, James and John…And Peter shivering says “God “ I wish it were warmer…and Jesus says…How many degrees? And “Jesus laughed”.
It doesn’t…I don’t know why, but I believe that God has a sense of Humor…and Jesus as “God in the flesh had a great sense of humor…I know this because He made me: And one of the things God does is test us…He doesn’t tempt us to sin…He tests us…He tests our faith. James 1:3 says “The testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
And here’s what I believe God does and our text from scripture teaches us….
Just when we think we’re doing pretty good in our faith…just when we think we’ve become really loving people…God laughs and sends someone into our lives and says, “You think you’ve got this loving stuff down…LOVE THIS ONE!
And you look up into the sky and see this
[SHOW PICTURE] [GOD SMIILING FACE]
Yeah, yeah I know its photo-shaped, but I am created in God’s image…so I believe God laughs…He’s joyful…In fact if a “Merry heart is good medicine” according to Prov. 17:22…God is the best pharmacist around.
Last week we talked about the purpose of thorns in the life of a genuine Christ follower…well this week we talk about loving thorny people….Maybe the hardest tests of our faith on a daily basis…Peter says don’t be shocked by it “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”
Here’s what he means…
I WE LIVE IN A GARDEN OF THORNS.
We don’t live in a perfectly manicured Garden of Eden…We live in a garden that has been overgrown with sinful weeds and thorns for thousands and thousands of years.
We live in a world that has a different God than those who follow Christ…It’s only temporary, and because he knows, his time is short, and because in wrath he hates the God who created everything, including him and us…he is on the attack Jesus describes him this way in John chapter 10… He’s a thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy the flock…A wolf who attacks the flock and scatters it.” (John 10: 10, 12)