Summary: This sermon will help belivers deal with the problems life presents, in a Godly way.
Success Over Suffering and Power
Over Our Problems
I was driving down the expressway the other day, nobody in front of me, nobody behind me, and this lady came speeding up the ramp. She cut me off, and pushed me out of my lane.
Now, without God in my life I might have got on the horn and just held my ground, or I might have sped past her, and as soon as I cleared her bumper, cut back into her lane, possibly causing a wreck, and we won’t even get into what I might have said, or done while I was passing her.
Maybe she was late to work, it could be that she had an emergency, a crisis or you know what she could have had a child in there who needed immediate medical attention, it could be that she just didn’t see me.
Let’s see,,, have I ever been not paying attention and accidentally pulled out in front of somebody? I probably wouldn’t have thought about that, and if I didn’t have God in my life I’m sure I wouldn’t have seen her bumper sticker, WWJD “what would Jesus do” I thought, surly He wouldn’t have just pulled out in front of me without looking, but,
As irritating as that is, it’s only a minor problem. It’s one of those minor problems though, that can escalate into a major problem. We’ve seen it on TV and read it in the paper, where a minor traffic incident has escalated into wrecks, and violence, even death.
Some people major in the minors though, they make a mountain out of a mole hill. As Christians we have to deal with these minor day to day problems in a Godly way, and if we can’t get past the little stuff how are we going deal with the big problems.
Because life is full of disappointments and setbacks… We’re faced with temptation, and the ways of the world on a daily basis. One of the hardest things we have to deal with is illness, and the loss of a loved one, and if you view death through the eyes of the world, it’s hopeless. We have hope, and for us to overcome life’s problems we have to stay focused on God.
Have you ever had to dig a ditch or a hole, and the dirt was so hard that a shovel wouldn’t even scratch it? That’s when you get out the pick, I know most of you know what a pick is, so I’m not going to describe it, because I might get a blister just talking about it.
But, sometimes you need a special tool to break through that really hard dirt. In the same way we need a powerful tool to break through our stubborn thoughts, and the hard problems that life presents.
I want to share a passage with you in 1 Peter, a powerful tool that will help you when your battling the problems that we encounter in life. It works when your attempting to break out of a stubborn habit, or break through an especially hard problem.
1 Peter 1:13,14,&15 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
Now, let’s break these three verses down into three steps that we can use to combat our problems.
Step 1, in verse 13; Think and plan ahead.
Peter says first, to gird up the loins of your mind. In those days they didn’t have jogging pants or sports wear, they wore long robes and they had a girder that tied around the waist, so when they had to run, or get somewhere fast, they would take that belt, or girder off and put it between their legs and pull the robe up so they could run,
So when you run up against a problem, I think what Peter is saying is, roll up your sleeves, focus, be alert. Put your mind in gear. Now listen to the last part of the verse, rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
What’s he saying here? Rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Christ. What that means is to, look forward to the special blessings that will come to you at the return of Jesus.
Look what it says in Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.