Summary: Why am I persecuted?
REJOICING THROUGH ADVERSITY
1 Pet. 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, 1 Peter 1:6-7
In this series, FOLLOWING JESUS, we have been looking at the question, “Why am I persecuted?” Persecutions often come as the hand of God guiding our lives. Persecutions often come to prepare us for our future. And today, Persecutions may be used to temper your faith. Let’s get into it.
READ AND PRAY.
How many of you would describe your life as “heavy, grieving, suffering, stressed?” Listen to God’s word speak to you (read vs 6 again).
“grieved” KJV uses “heaviness” it means to be grieving, to suffer sorrow, stress pressure, and mental anguish.
We all know what it is to feel weighed down with grief, heavily burdened with life, to suffer stress and pressure, to be in mental anguish, to wonder, question, and suffer under the heavy weight of a trial or temptation.
This is a dark picture of the world and of life; a picture of all kinds of trials and temptations. But we must face reality; it is fact! As we walk throughout life, we are bombarded with all kinds of trials, all kinds of temptations. Our human experience proves it! But why face it? Why think about it? Why not ignore it? Why not simply focus on the positives, look on the good, and move on? Sounds good. Sounds a lot like today’s way of thinking. There is one reason: facts or truths cannot be handled unless dealt with. Ignoring them, denying them will not conquer them!
Think of the last time that you swept a temptation under the rug. What happened? What about the last time you ignored a trial? Did it get bigger?
This method does not conquer them permanently, or eternally! The only way we can ever conquer anything is to face it straight on! It’s the first step in a twelve-step program:
ADMITTING THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM!
The comedian Jeff Foxworthy became famous with his routine, "You might be a redneck if . . . " Here are some of my favorites:
You might be a redneck if the directions to your house include the phrase "turn off the paved road".
You might be a redneck if your front porch collapses and four dogs get killed.
You might be a redneck if you took a fishing pole to Sea World.
You might be a redneck if you have to go outside to get something out of the ’fridge.
You might be a redneck if your dad walks you to school because you’re both in the same grade.
You might be a redneck if you have flowers planted in a bathroom fixture in your front yard.
You might be a redneck if you think the last words to the Star Spangled Banner are, "Gentlemen, start your engines."
Likewise, you might be a Pharisee if you spend a more time talking about the sins of others than you do in repenting and confessing your own. TO REJOICE THROUGH ADVERSITY I MUST: