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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)

II. God's Process through Our Trials

1 Peter 1:7 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

• "That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes,

1. Trials Proves Genuineness -Genuineness of Our Faith is the absolute corner stone of redemption. Faith without testing is not faith but a claim that is unproven. Strong's defines the word dokimion as a testing or a trustworthiness of our faith. James 1:3 "Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience". The testing ("fiery trials" ) brings about patience and perseverance in our lives. The test which we undergo brings about a result more precious than gold that will "perish" but it will produce a faith that will endure to the praise, honor and glory when Jesus Christ comes.

1 Peter 1:6-7 Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

Text Illustration: TESTING THE GENUINE

All sorts of things are tested to prove that they are genuine. When you go to a bank and give a $20 bill to the cashier, she holds it to a special light. Why would she do that? Because she is testing it to make sure it is genuine. During the time when the Philippines was not using a special light to determine the genuineness of the dollar bills. The bank tellers would just hold the dollars close to the light and then examine the pictures that were printed on the dollar bills. I was so curious what the teller was doing and I asked him how to know that the dollar is genuine by just looking at it. He told me that if the hair of the picture of a man on the dollar is not combed properly the dollar is fake. (Joel Sumaqaysay, Evangelical Christian Church)

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