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.