Summary: Christians can rejoice through trials as God refines their faith through them. As a Christian must realize we will face difficulties, and those difficulties are not meanness but strengthen our faith not in ourselves but in
Title: "When Life Throws You a Curve"
Big Idea: Christians can rejoice through trials as God refines their faith through them.
Text: 1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, NKJV
Introduction: We can rejoice as we go through hard times when we understand:
I. God's Perspective on Our Trials
"Though for now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials."
a. God uses the trials to refine and define our faith much as if were preparing for an athlete prepares for competition. 2 Tim 2:3-7 that we must endure the hardships, the various trials so that may please God through the appearing of Jesus. Our faith is strengthen so we can receive the crown of life. 2 Timothy points out that a farmer must work hard in preparation to receive the fruit of his labor. Therefore the Christian must realize as a Child of the King we will face difficulties, and those difficulties are not meanness but strengthen our faith not in ourselves but in God and His Son.
2 Tim 2:3-7 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. NKJV
b. "Various Trials" implies that each trial or testing will vary from the next. As we are strengthened in one area of our life God then begins to work on another aspect of our lives to bring us to a point of completion of our faith. Just as a weight lifter must not only work on the strength of his arms but also develop his whole body in order to reach his goal.
Text Illustration: HARD PLACES CANNOT BE MENDED
How many of you have read the Pilgrim’s Progress? This is a classic allegory of the Christian journey.
The main character, Christian, is on a journey from the city of Destruction to the Celestial City, and along the way him and all the other pilgrims come across various obstacles that can’t be avoided. One such place is the slough of Despond where pilgrims can find themselves sinking in the mire, and depending on the amount of burden they have on their back, can find it very difficult to get out.
Christian had this problem until a man named Help (the Holy Spirit) came and pulled him out. Christian asks help why has this place not been fixed so that this journey might be easier and more secure for the pilgrims. Help responds that this place cannot be mended. The point being that places like these are inevitable and no matter how mature we are, no one is immune to these places. But these places cannot be mended, only travelled through. (Sean Harder Winfield Community Church)