Summary: This sermon helps to provide a Biblical Perspective on Personal Pain and Hardship.
Sermon: A Proper Perspective on Pain
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-9
On Saturday, July 17th, 1999 the world woke up to yet another apparent tragedy for the family of John F. Kennedy. Young John F. Kennedy, Jr.‘s plane never made it to its destination of Martha’s Vineyard....... The world is again in shock..., the world is again in grief for this family who trial and trauma seem to follow.
One thought seemed to settle in on me as the day went on and the reality began to sink in. *Pain, heart-ache, grief and tears are no respecter of persons! It doesn’t matter if you have a name recognized around the world (ie, Kennedy)..., or are worth millions of dollars....., or could do anything you can dream of...; or if you are a factory worker, or a farmer with a family - PAIN, HEART-ACHE AND GRIEF ARE NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS!!!
[Dr. Charles Swindoll] - Suffering is a universal language. Tears are the same for Jews or Christians or Muslims, for white people or black people or brown, for children or adults or the elderly.
Pain and grief comes to the best of families - like Job’s. Here was a man who did everything right. He provided for his family, he prayed and sacrificed for their spiritual well-being, he was respected in the community........and yet he still lost everything that most of us holds dearly.....!
Sadness and heartache come to families like that of the Prodigal’s in Luke 15. Here again was a case where a loving father had provided everything his children had needed and yet rebellion and conflict erupted in the home.........
I am glad today that I hold a copy of God’s revealed Word that is not only Inspired..., not only Infallible...., and not only Inerrant..., but it is also REALISTIC...! God doesn’t hide the fact from us that we will face fiery trials of every sort. He does, however, provide us with some solid answers to help us through them.
I. Notice, first of all, the Trials that God’s people were facing.
A. [v1] - Pilgrims - ie, foreigner, stranger in a foreign land...
B. [v1] - Dispersion - ie, scattered, separated from.....
C. [v6a] - Grieved - (cf. Mt. 26:37 Jesus in the Garden)
D. Trials [or, temptations] - solicitation to evil
E. ATested by fire - testing for trustworthiness
*To these "Jewish Pilgrims" who were grieved by various trials, Peter didn=t try to pump them up with "positive thinking seminars"....no he faced the reality with them by showing them how to "put their pain in the proper perspective". Peter lifted their faces heavenward so that they could see beyond their circumstances to their celestial calling...
*And remember that Peter was no stranger to pain for the night of Jesus’ arrest and trial Peter (the Rock!) Had denied that he even knew him three times...........and when the guards walked by with Jesus they made eye contact and the bible says "...And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly." [Matt. 26:75]
So, what do we do when the bottom drops out from our lives? We’ll we focus on Biblical Truth!