Sermons

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.

• The people of Moab fell into this trap… Jeremiah 48.11-12

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!

• Flip over to Psalm 1 – a beautiful picture of trusting 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.

• Let’s see that in Romans 8:18

#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.

• There’s confusion. Frustration. Pains. Sorrows. Loneliness.

• When will it be over you wonder? When?

• When Jesus sees Himself clearly in you!

NOTE: I’m sure as you track back through your Christian life you’ve seen wonderful and glorious changes take place.

• You’ve become more like Jesus in so many areas!!!

• One the main ways that has happened was through trials that developed in you a trust which flowed from your surrender.

Gal. 2.20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

HOPE: #1 A little While… #2 Genuine Faith…

#3 – HOPE – TO SEE JESUS!

• One day soon, we will see our Savior and He will say to us:

Matthew 25.23 "His lord said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

• All the pain, all the heartache, and all the sufferings will fade away into forgetfulness… as we see our Savior face to face.

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