Summary: Facing troubles and tests in our daily walk drains our energy. We wonder if we can even make it to Friday. Three things from I Peter show us how to get there.
How to Make it to Friday
INTRODUCTION: In this scripture Peter is writing to Jewish Christians who were driven out of Jerusalem and scattered throughout Asia Minor and to all believers everywhere. This writing took place as Christians were being tortured and killed for their faith. Many of these Christians were probably not that well established in the faith and were feeling crushed, overwhelmed, devastated and that their lives were out of control. Peter knew about persecution first hand. He had been threatened and thrown in jail. He had seen fellow Christians die and the church scattered. But Peter knew Christ and nothing could shake his confidence in his risen Lord. It was in this context that Peter spoke to these Christians who were suffering for their faith, giving them comfort and hope and urging their continual loyalty to Christ.
Many people today feel that their lives are out of control. They can’t seem to “fix it” any more. Their primary interest is not to get to heaven but to get to Friday. They are feeling the pressures of life and feel pulled in a lot of different directions. Christians feel these same pressures too much of the time. Maybe you are feeling them cave in on you too because of problems in your family, at work, financially, or through sickness. There are many things that Satan is using today to rob people from living abundant victorious lives.
The scripture in I Peter is very applicable to us today as it was to these Jewish Christians. In the preceding verses Peter helps them to focus on their lives as Christians and says, “Prepare your minds for action--set your hope fully on the grace to be given you--do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. Just as he who called you is holy, he says, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Peter here is telling them, “You are Christians now and your lifestyle needs to change.” You are going to live your lives as different people from what you did before. In speaking to these people who were having a hard time making it to Friday because of the things that were going on around them and happening in their lives, he gave them three major pieces of instruction. These same things apply to us today.
1. Live as a Pilgrim, not as a Tourist--(verse 17 Sojourn in fear). First he tells them, “since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.” Our life here on earth is a journey. We can go through our life as a sightseer, a tourist, an explorer, a landowner, a pilgrim. A sojourner is a TEMPORARY resident. A biography of Mother Teresa says that she never traveled to other countries as a TOURIST but as an EMISSARY for the poor. She always traveled as a PILGRIM. The difference between a tourist and a pilgrim is that the tourist looks and samples and moves on. The tourist may take a quick snapshot of the area, but he has made no impact on what is around him. A pilgrim has a PURPOSE for being there. As we go through our journey of life, we must have a purpose or a mission in order for us to stay focused and not get sidetracked by the things that try to distract us. We can make it to Friday if our sights are set on a purpose or a goal that we are looking forward to. We can endure undesirable conditions a lot of times in the present if our eyes can see the end result somewhere in the future. For example, the payday on Friday. The graduation at the end of the four years of college.
Isaiah 50:7 says, “For the Lord God will help me; therefore, shall I not be confounded therefore have I SET MY FACE LIKE A FLINT and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”
Because the Christian life is a temporary stay on this earth, the brief time should be USED CAREFULLY and with a purpose. What is our impact along the way? What are we contributing as we go through the days?
Hebrews 11:13 speaks of those in the past who were STRANGERS and PILGRIMS on earth who saw the promises afar off and were persuaded of them.
David in Psalm 39:12 prayed, “Hear my prayer O Lord and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears; for I am a STRANGER with thee and a SOJOURNER as my fathers were.” Many times David had a difficult time making it to Friday too. He had problems and was often depressed, but he always looked to God in his distress and God brought him through it.