Summary: We need to know why and how to stand firm for Jesus. Peter gives us some helpful insights!
• 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.
• 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.
• As of now most of us will not face this type of pressure on our faith.
• We face more common difficulties in life that if we are not careful can drain the life and faith right out of us.
• 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?
• Standing firm for Jesus is not hard when things are going well and when we are with others who are standing firm for Jesus.
Standing firm for Jesus in the midst of trials is a real challenge that most of us face at some point in our walk with Jesus.
• Today we are going to look at what we can do to stand firm for Jesus even when times get tough for us. There are some things we can do to make standing firm for Jesus much easier.
• Let’s open with 1 Peter 4:1
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Peter 4:1(ESV) 1Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,£ arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,
• SLIDE #3
Standing firm for Jesus requires...
I. The determination to follow Jesus.
• One thing we need to have if we are succeed at something is determination. We must have the resolve to complete the task at hand.
• Have you ever faced a task that looked hard but you were determined to do it? BASEBALL PITCHING.
• When we have determination to do something more times than not we can do it. We have to have the determination to walk with Jesus no matter what life throws at us because we know in Christ is where we belong.
• From verse one we see three things concerning this issue of determination.
• SLIDE #4
A. Jesus was determined to follow the will of the Father.
• 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
• What was it that helped Jesus complete His mission?
• SLIDE #5
• John 4:34(ESV) 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.
• John 17:4(ESV) 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
• The phrase “same way of thinking” reminds us of the resolve Jesus had. Jesus made up His mind to do the will of God. His mind to do it.
• If you are going to do something even when it is tough, you must make up your mind you are going to do it!
• Jesus was so focused on doing what He was called to do; He would not allow ANYTHING to take Him off course.
• 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.
• 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!
• SLIDE #6
B. You are called to arm yourself with the same resolve.
• The picture 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.
• Today we would have a picture of one of our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan 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.
• 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.
• We must be willing to go the distance for Jesus.
• SLIDE #7
• Revelation 2:10(ESV) 10Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.