Summary: How can we keep our faith during the trials of life?
„X SLIDE #1
„X We have talked about how difficult it can be to maintain a strong faith. It gets more difficult when we experience suffering because of our faith.
„X I cannot imagine what it would be like to have to really suffer for my faith, to literally put my life on the line because I am a Christian.
„X When we face some of the common difficulties of life, it can make it difficult to maintain a strong faith. What do we do when things are not going well at home or on the job? What do we do when we feel like we are the only one serving Jesus, when we are taking heat from people because we are trying to live for Jesus? Isn¡¦t God supposed to keep the bad things in life from happening to us?
„X Maintaining ones¡¦ faith in the midst of trials is a real challenge that most of us face at some point in our walk with Jesus.
„X In this letter, the apostle Peter was writing to people in that situation.
„X Today we are going to look at what we can do to keep our faith even when times get tough for us.
Keeping your faith takes: SLIDE #2
I. DETERMINATION (1-2)
One of the first things we need to have if we are succeed at something is determination. We must have the resolve to complete the task at hand.
1. Jesus was determined to follow the will of God.
„X In verse 1 we are reminded that Jesus suffered in the flesh. When Jesus lived as a man, He suffered at the hand of man. This suffering was a past action with continuing results
„X What was it that helped Jesus complete His mission?
„X SLIDE #3 John 4:34 (NASB) 34Jesus said* to them, ¡§My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.
„X John 17:4 (NASB) 4¡§I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
„X The word ¡§purpose¡¨ in verse one can be translated ¡§resolve.¡¨ Jesus made up His mind to do the will of God. His mind to do it.
„X If you are going to do something even when it is tough, you must make up your mind you are going to do it!
„X Jesus was so focused on doing what He was called to do; He would not allow ANYTHING to take Him off course.
„X His resolve help keep Him focused on the big picture. It would have been easy to lose focus in the midst of all the difficulties He faced.
„X Jesus gave us an example to follow. What would have happened if Jesus would have quit at the first sign of trouble? We would all be in trouble!
2. We are called to arm ourselves with the same resolve Jesus displayed.
„X The pitcher we should get from the phrase ¡§arm yourselves¡¨ is one of a heavily armed Greek soldier putting on his armor and taking up his weapons ready to fight.
„X Today we would have a pitcher of one of our troops in Iraq putting on their body armor and picking up their weapons, ready to do battle with the insurgents. Not only is the soldier armed, but he is prepared to do battle.
„X We are to arm ourselves with the same state of mind Jesus displayed as He carried out the will of the Father in His life.
„X We must be willing to go the distance for Jesus.
„X SLIDE #5 Revelation 2:10 says, ’Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.¡¨
„X This passage does not tell us to quit when it gets tough and we will receive the crown of life, we are to be faithful until death!
„X We must be prepared and motivated to stay in the fight.
3. Our determination will benefit us.
„X Verse one also tells us that the one who has suffered in the flesh has cease from sin.
„X When we are determined to stay strong, it will help us to be able to deal with sin and temptation.
„X The phrase ¡§arm yourself¡¨ also means we are to arm ourselves for our own benefit.
„X We have a personal responsibility and a person interest in developing the same Holy resolve Jesus displayed.
„X The issue of ceasing from sin is one of the reasons given for us to arm ourselves.