Summary: Hope for dealing with trials

Facing Your Trials in Hope - 1 Peter 1

June 1, 2008

Turn with me this morning to the end of your Bibles, to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 1. We want to think this morning about problems.

A little boy once was outside his house trying to sell a lawn mower. His pastor walked up and the boy was able to persuade him to buy the worn out lawn mower. The pastor pulled on the rope several times to make sure the mower would start, but nothing happen. Not even a spit or a sputter. The boy told the preacher that he would have to kick the mower and say a few cuss words before the mower would crank. The preacher said, "Son, I can’t do that. It’s been years since I said a cuss word." The little boy replied, "Just keep pulling and it will come back to you."

I’m sure you’ve been there before. Maybe it’s not a lawnmower, but you’ve faced some sort of problem that takes you to the breaking point.The story is told of the man who submitted his insurance claim form and had it returned. He resubmitted it with the following note:

I am writing in response to your request concerning Block #11 on the insurance form which asks for “the cause of injuries” wherein I put “trying to do the job alone.” You said you needed more information, so I trust the following will be sufficient. I am a brick layer by trade and on the date of the injuries, I was working alone, laying brick around the top of a four-story building when I realized that I had about 500 pounds of brick left.

Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them into a barrel and lower them by a pulley that was fastened to the top of the building. I loaded the bricks into the barrel and flung it out over the side of the building with the bricks in it. I then went down and untied the rope holding it securely to insure the slow descent of the barrel. As you will note on Block #6 of the insurance form, I weigh 145 pounds.

Due to my shock at being jerked off the ground so swiftly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Between the second and third floors, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for the bruises and lacerations on my upper body. Regaining my presence of mind, again I held tightly to the rope and proceeded rapidly up the side of the building, not stopping until my right hand was jammed into the pulley. This accounts for my broken thumb. Despite the pain, I retained my presence of mind and held tightly to the rope. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed about fifty pounds. I again refer you to Block #6 and my weight.

As you would guess, I began a rapid descent. In the vicinity of the second floor, I met the barrel coming up. This explains the injuries to my legs and lower body. Slowed only slightly, I continued my descent, landing on the pile of bricks. Fortunately, my back was only sprained and the internal injuries were minimal.

I am sorry to report, however, that at this point I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. As you can imagine, the empty barrel crashed down on me. I trust this answers your concern. Please know that I am finished “trying to do the job alone!!”

This morning, I don’t know what problem you are facing, but I do know that when we come to the scriptures, we find practical help for daily problems. So, this morning, as we look in 1 Peter 1, let’s pause and ask God’s blessing on His word. PRAY.

Today, we want to start looking at the book of 1 Peter. We’ll continue on is some future weeks. But next week, we’ll have a special treat. A missionary named Dan Lupton is going to be with us. Dan used to pastor a large Free church in Kenosha WI, but left it a few years ago to travel to the czech Republic as a church planting missionary. Dan will be with us, sharing about his ministry. I know you will enjoy hearing from him.

Today, as we look at the book of 1 Peter, Peter gives us some practical help in dealing with the problems we all face in life. Peter sees that a problem is coming to the Christians he is writing to, and he writes to give them encouragement. We face similar problems in our lives today, and we want to learn from God’s words written through Peter and apply them to our lives today. Let’s read 1 Peter 1:1-7. I’ll be reading from the NIV.

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