Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Self Help gurus? Forget about it. You can’t make it happen, only God can and more than that you are chosen, elected by the foreknowledge of God - Amen brother!

There is a story of a sailor who was shipwrecked on a South Sea island.

He was seized by the natives, carried shoulder-high to a magnificent throne, and proclaimed king.

At first, he enjoyed his reign as the absolute monarch but then he began to wonder what happened to the previous kings.

According to their custom the king ruled for a year. During that year he was treated like, well, like a king. But when a king’s reign ended, he was banished to a lonely island to starve to death.

Sounds a little like a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, doesn’t it?

Now most people would have been upset with this knowledge of imminent death. Most people would make one of two choices

They would have ate, drank and lived life hard for a year or they would have curled up and fell into deep depression.

Not this sailor! He took a third route. Knowing he was king for the year, and had absolute authority, this sailor began issuing orders. Carpenters were to make boats. Farmers were to go ahead to this island and plant crops. Builders were to erect a magnificent home.

When his reign finished, he was exiled, not to a barren isle, but to a paradise of plenty.

The sailor used his vast resources to change his apparent destiny.

He once was a man without hope, but he became a man whose hope was realized.

We are like the island sailor king – in a spiritual way. We can look at our life’s circumstances and party like a fool, or grow more discourage with each passing day, or…we can look beyond our circumstances – and see that Jesus has something different in mind for us….

1 Peter is letter about hope, not, “I’m pretty sure things…might work out….maybe” but, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”

Now, Peter is not talking about the kind of hope given though the power of positive thinking. And Peter is not talking about the kind of hope given by the encouraging words of a coach.

You can do it, you can make it happen

Go out there and make me proud!

And Peter is not, is not talking about the kind of hope given, through sappy self help gurus – Peter is speaking of something so different – it is hard to get our minds around it. He is speaking of a hope, that is real, that is outside ourselves a hope is already done.

Self help guru’s – let me say a few words on this subject - you know how I hate this stuff. The stuff that comes out is endless and very, very popular. But you know – it doesn’t work. If it did, if a self help book were written that actually worked, everyone would by that book and be happy, healthy and whole. And that would be that.But the shelves are full of books with conflicting theories. They conflict in all aspects except one: They are all about me;

How we can do it;

How we can overcome;

How we can….do whatever.

Here are some titles of the most popular self help books today:

The Power of Self-Coaching: The Five Essential Steps to Creating the Life You Want. (you can do it!)

Self Help Stuff That Works (that’s because the guy discovered all those books don’t work)...and my favorite…

50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life,

From Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus. (50! If this stuff works. Why do I need 50?)

Peter is not talking about the hope of self help, because the fact is – you cannot do it, as evidenced by the endless self help books out there.

Peter is talking about the hope that you and I have in the persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Peter is telling us that we are like the sailor in the opening story. We have vast resources, spiritual resources, at our fingertips. Peter is telling us in this letter:Stop focusing on the circumstances around you. If you do, might start to lose hope. You might fool yourself, by thinking that your hope is found in your own abilities, or the abilitie, you could develop (maybe with the help, of a self help book or two).

No. As Christians our hope, our destiny, our all in all is found in one place: The Trinity. Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

At one time J. Wilbur Chapman experienced a great sorrow that nearly shook his faith. In addition, his finances were almost depleted just when it was necessary for him to take a long trip to the western United States. One of the elders of his church who was a wealthy banker

came to his home to offer a word of comfort and encouragement.

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