Summary: Trials in our lives show us how much faith we have in the Lord.
1. Remember that Peter is writing this letter AS A PASTOR to those who were suffering greatly for their faith.
• Scattered. Suffering. Confused. Perplexed.
• They are going through some seriously tough times.
• Nero is taking some & using them for his own sick entertainment.
• Society at this point has completely turned against believers.
• It wasn’t just an ordinary type of persecution,
• But there were many who were trying to stop the gospel from spreading by wiping out those who were spreading it.
• And it’s to them that Peter writes…
I. (1:6-7) GENUINE FAITH
REMEMBER Jesus wrote a short note to a suffering church.
• Let’s look at Rev. 2:8ff, the church in Smyrna.
• You’re suffering for the right reasons church, so you can rejoice.
• Peter says the same thing here… (v6)
NOTE: Persecution never hurt the church.
• It seemed like every time church faced serious pressures, they always grew from it.
• Instead of hurting the church, they just grew all the more.
Have you noticed that GENUINE FAITH is rarely revealed in times of peace & comfort.
• There’s that tendency of our flesh to seek comfort & ease.
• To avoid anything painful, disturbing, or even new.
• AND when we find comfort, to just settle down in it & enjoy!
• It’s in times like these where can so easily settle down into a rut, into a religious routine.
FOR THE Church… God knew what was best for them and allowed this persecution to come… Why?
• So that their GENUINE FAITH would be revealed!
• But isn’t there an easier way, we ask? Sometimes, NO.
MANY TIMES I believe God wants to move us from areas where we’ve become far too comfortable & too at ease.
• So He’ll allow disruptions or He’ll personally disrupt our lives…
• Then we cry out, “Why did you do this?!” Things were so good!
• But God knows what we need and the times of adversity cause our roots to go down all the deeper in Him!
NOW WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS that keep us strong?
• There are at least 3 of them here that I want to show you.
#1 – HOPE - A LITTLE WHILE.
• Now compared to eternity, is just a little while!
• All that you’re facing. All that’s in your life, is only here for a little while!
• Yes you’re suffering now, but like Paul told the Romans, it’s small compared to the glory that will be revealed.
#2 – PURITY – Faith is PRECIOUS.
• What’s in our lives today is a test.
• Pains have a purpose and God’s hand is on your life.
• You know, even if it’s coming from Satan himself, there is a limitation going on from the throne room of God!
Literally… next to the word translated ‘genuineness’ you could write… “APPROVED, TESTED, PUT TO THE TEST”
NOTE: In biblical times the goldsmiths would heat their gold to extremely hot temperatures & then skim off the impurities.
• He would do this over & over again.
• It was only when he could see his reflection clearly in the gold that he knew he was done, the gold was pure.
APP: You might be in the middle of a serious trial even now.