1 Peter 1:6-9 Rejoicing in the Mist of trials
Intro: A young college girl had two problems common to many students: low grades and no money. She was forced to communicate both problems to her parents, whom she knew would have trouble understanding. After considerable thought she used a creative approach to soften the blow of reality and wrote: Dear Mom and Dad,
Just thought I'd drop you a note to clue you in on my plans. I've fallen in love with a guy named Jim. He quit high school after grade eleven to get married. About a year ago he got a divorce.
We've been going steady for two months and plan to get married in the fall. Until then, I've decided to move into his apartment (I think I might be pregnant).
At any rate, I dropped out of school last week, although I'd like to finish college sometime in the future. On the next page, she continued:
Mom and Dad, I just want you to know that everything I've written so far in this letter is false. NONE of it is true.
But Mom and Dad, it IS true that I got a C in French and flunked Math. It IS true that I'm going to need some more money for my tuition payments.
Even bad news can sound like good news if it is seen from a certain vantage point.
Well Peter is writing to believers who are engaged in a Tremendous Trial- Persecution – Writing to encourage them
A)But He doesn’t lie to do it / But reminds them of some great truths
Who’s they are v.2 / Where going v.3,4 / Who’s watching out for you v.5
B) Now Having a clear perspective on those 3 things will help us in the mist of the trials that we find ourselves going thru.
C) Sometimes in the mist of trials people say – I can’t see any good thing coming out of this trial
1) But the thing that we need to remember is that the Bible doesn’t say we see all things working together for Good – It says we know that …..
D) We might not see it but we know it – Might not see it this week / month / year / or even in this lifetime – but doesn’t say we will see it
1) It says that we KNOW – God is using it for that it is working out for God’s Good – we can rejoice in the mist of it
That is exactly what Peter is saying here – In the mist of the Trial you can Choose to Rejoice – why ? 2 things
A)1st These trials strengthen our faith in the Lord / 2nd These trials Deepen our love for the Lord / FIRST Strengthen our faith in the Lord
A) Trials can even reveal just how true our faith really is – True faith or just lip service – seen in how we respond in the mist of Trials
B) Jesus made light of this in Matt. 13 in the Parable of the sower – the seed sown among the stones – shallow soil
1) Even though there was rejoicing initially in the receiving of the word – once the Sun comes out – which represents trials – plant dies –
C) Because it had no root system – describes a person who’s faith is more of an emotional response not rooted in the Lord – Not Genuine faith –
D)So the Fire – reveals the Genuineness of our faith – also reveals the
areas where we still need to be refined !!
Here Peter likens our faith to gold that is tried by fire /
A) Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.
B)When gold is placed in intense heat – all the impurities rise to the surface
1) Scrapped off – put back in the fire – more impurities are revealed
C) Trials have a way of causing the impurities in our lives to be revealed
1) What comes to the surface in the mist of trials often times is not pretty but in reality can be very ugly
D) Sometimes anger and Bitterness / - poor speech surface / all revealing the areas where we still need to be Refined by the fire.
1) Back in the fire we go!!!
When does the goldsmith know that the Gold is pure ? when he can see His reflection in the gold
E)The same is true of us – the Lord knows when we are thru – when He sees His reflection in us . ( We just start to reflect Him all that we do)
1) That guy / that Gal – looks a lot like Jesus
Wiersbe insight. They do not last forever; they are “for a season.” When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. If we rebel, He may have to reset the clock; but if we submit, He will not permit us to suffer one minute too long. The important thing is that we learn the lesson He wants to teach us and that we bring glory to Him alone.
So Jesus allow us to go thru the fire because He knows that it is going to Strengthen our Faith – Purify our Lives /
A)They are not meant to take the strength out of us -But to put strength in us / It produces in us a Staying power –
B) Basketball in High school running team - preseason conditioning camp was brutal - coach ran us hard - guys throw up
1) 1st year I experienced excruciating leg cramps - come on me at night while I was doing home work - scream throw myself back in chair
C) It was a very difficult time - but it resulted in me being in the best
shape of my life .
1) When Basketball was over - and went into Baseball which was my main sport - I was stronger, quicker, faster. Incredible
D)The following fall when Basket ball conditioning camp came around I actually looked forward to it because I knew what the results would be
1) New freshmen coming in didn’t enjoy it / because they didn’t realize
what it was producing / but I did
E) That is what Peter is getting at here / and Paul makes this very Clear in Rom. Ch. 5:1-5 – TURN
Paul says we can glory in Tribulation. Because we know that it is producing 3 important Qualities in our Lives / First trials Produce Perseverance
A) In some versions the word is patience. The Greek word literally means "to abide under, to stay under the pressure."
B) Pressure is something we want to get out from under, but suffering teaches us to stay Under, to stick in there and hang with it.
1) Perseverance could be translated "steadiness." It is a word that speaks of being focused & immovable
C) David is a good example of this / at some where between the ages of 13& 15 David was anointed King of Israel.
1)The Spirit & anointing of God had left Saul & was residing on David !
But it would be another 15 yrs until David assumed the throne
D)Yet David showed great patience & perseverance in waiting on God’s timing / suffering THRU Saul’s Jealousy -
E)I would have bailed the first time Saul threw a spear at me. Yet David continued to serve Saul.
1) And only left when it reached the point where it was no longer safe to continue in that situation.
F)David lived for close to 15 yrs as a fugitive running from Saul /
1) yet even though he had numerous chances to take Saul’s life / didn’t
/waited on God/ Perseverance is the opposite of panic, of bailing out.
During that time that He wrote some beautiful Psalms in which he glorifies the Lord & spoke of his dependence upon the Lord !
A) Spoke of the Lord as being his Refuge / his strength / his strong tower
B) Alan Redpath – Psa.59 – “David commences this Psalm by casting Himself upon God for deliverance. He prays Himself out of His sense of helplessness and into a quiet confidence, and then into a burst of Victorious song, although the situation hasn’t changed & the enemy is still there.
He begins down in the depths crying out to God- and then he moves into a calm quiet assurance that God is in Control before bursting into a song of Triumph.”
2nd thing Paul says is that the suffering not only produces steadiness but steadiness produces Character !
A) The Word Character carries w/ it the idea of being put to the test & approved .
B) During 15 year period God was doing a work in David heart that I’m sure that David didn’t realize at the time .
1) David was anointed at 15 to be the King & yet - he wasn’t physically or spiritually ready for the task –
Another good example of this is seen in the life of Joseph who spent 13 yrs in & out of Prison & Slavery – Unjustly – Never complained
A)Finally after 13 yrs the Plan of God unfolds for His life – as He is appointed 2nd in command over all of Egypt
B) The Character that God Built into His life is seen in the way He responds to His Brothers – who started the whole thing – selling him into slavery
1) When the whole thing unfolded & Joseph understood what the Lord
had done / He told his bros You meant evil - God meant good !
C)The Lord does the same thing in our lives thru trials we encounter
1)Producing a steadiness & a maturity in our lives ! – Building Character
People might think – Isn’t there an easier way !
A) I think that is sometimes our problem we are always looking for the easy way out ! / short cuts to spiritual growth & maturity
B) Cliff notes or fast food spirituality ! / But there are times when we have to go thru the fire / It is the only way
Now the 3rd thing that Paul mentions is that Character - which could also be translated experience - produces Hope = assurance or confidence
A) The reason is this when you go thru a trial & see the Lord’s faithfulness in the trial
B) That EXPERIENCE produces an assurance & a confidence in your life
C) So that when a new trial comes along you are able to look back on the trial that you just went thru
1) & realize that God will bring me thru this one AS WELL!!!!
D) That is why Paul says that in Hope doesn’t disappoint or it doesn’t make me ashamed
1) So in the mist of the trial – I can rejoice / instead of being disappointed and depressed / I can glory in it – instead of feeling ashamed
Now I can look back at times in my life when I didn’t have hope in the mist of my trial – so ashamed – acted like a Baby
Pastor Brian told me – Best staff he ever had.
B) I thought great – for most of my time in OR. I didn’t have a staff really just one guy – and some great Volunteers
C) So I was excited about having a staff – a group of guys to partner in ministry w/. ( Fact that it was Brian’s best staff ever – really excited)
1) But it didn’t last that long / the Lord started moving guys on –Brian asked 5 guys to come over to London to work w/ Him.
D) A couple of other guys – moved on to work in other ministries / John Randle moved to Florida to Start a Church.
1) Do you realize that we went thru – 11 staff changes in the course of a
year and a half.
E) We lost our High school pastor / College Pastor/ our Assoc. pastor and Children’s ministry director – all in a two month period
1) Most Churches don’t survive that type of Transition – But God was doing a work /
Now When all of that was going on / at times -I was bummed – depressed – panic / I was complaining to the Lord
A)I thought the Church is going to fall apart ––because I couldn’t see what He was doing
B) All the while the Lord was saying to me Trust me Rob / Keep your eyes on me / Keep the people’s eyes on me / It is my Church
C) What was God doing ? Well – God established a Great work in London
1) Ken Sutton is in Stockport / John doing great Florida / Chris is in NC
Tony Smith / Linns/ Lyolds/ Gaylord now w/ Brian at CM/
God was doing a Work in all of our Lives in Preparing us – for the next step in His Plan for us – ( For some it was – Serve in London)
A) That was their Training ground for where they are at now
B) At the same time –God was developing this Awesome Staff that we have here Now – Great group of guys
1) Tremendous what the Lord has done – United our hearts / AWESOME STAFF.
C) Talking to Brain the other day –he was Commenting on the– Great group of Guys / Other Churches asking for some of our guys
D) That which has DEVASTED many other Churches – only Caused us to Grow and be Strengthened -
So when I see how the Lord has brought us through the past trials it gives me a Confidence that he is going to bring us thru the Present
A)Reminded that it is His Church – using these things to build in us
Perseverance / Character & Hope
B) James gives a similar teaching : James Ch. 1
2My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
1) The Greek literally means many-colored.- The trials that we go thru come in many different colors / Shapes & Sizes
D) Now Peter uses that word only one other time and it is to describe the grace of God (1Pet 4:10). ( Manifold – many colored Grace of God)
1) The Connection presents an awesome truth !!!
Our troubles may be many-colored, but so is the grace of God; there is no color in the human situation which that grace cannot match.
A)There is a grace to match every trial and there is no trial without its grace.
B)As we go thru the Trial – the Lord reveals that His Grace is Sufficient. His power is made perfect in our times of weakness
1) Paul says therefore I will glory in my infirmity – for when I am weak then I am strong – His power working in my weakness
Which leads to 2nd reason glory – Deepens our love v.8
A)Whom having not seen YOU LOVE – their faith wasn’t built upon sight – they hadn’t seen Jesus like Peter had –
B)But they believed in Him because of the Resurrection. – Empty tomb – They embraced the Gospel Message /
1) They had experienced His Love & Forgiveness in their Lives / they were Cleansed
C) God had done a work in their Lives & they were ready to die for the Lord they Loved Him so much / and thru the Trial their love was deepening –why
1) Many of You have experienced it – In the mist of the trial – God’s Presence is so Powerful – that even though can’t see Him/ sense Him
D)Peter called it a Joy that is inexpressible & full of Glory – Paul called it a Peace that surpasses understanding – Guards our hearts
1) Can’t explain it – really – overwhelming Peace & Joy
When we grasp what God is doing in the mist of these Trials in Building Perseverance & Character & Hope / Showing Many colored Grace
A)He Reveals Himself to us – in way that just causes us to Fall in love w/ Him even more –
B)You kind of feel like saying at times -Lord just keep me in the fire – so you can do what you need to do in my life
C) Rather be in the Fire experiencing the Presence of God / than on easy street – not see the Lord working or experiencing His Presence
1) Wiersbe – How is the Battle going ? IT IS GOING – not something is wrong
D) Talking to my wife the other day – Haven’t really had a season of rest here at Vista sense we have come back
1) What I meant by that – is although being here is incredibly refreshing and I just love being a part of this Church family
E) There is always something – major happening – some area of Attack or Conflict – Some Crisis – stuff that – we as a staff deal w/
1) So I was complaining to Denise about that – she said – Yea and we didn’t have any seasons of rest in OR.
F) What she was really saying – was Grow up – Part of the territory – part of the ministry / especially in a Church this size
But I can honestly say that my love for the Lord is deepening because in each trial – I know that He is working / sense His Presence
A)Afterwards I so often say – Lord I had no idea what you where doing back there but – I see now it was EXCELLENT Bring on the Next one !!!!
TEXT BOOK – ( Not just learning theological pts of Ref.)
1) But it is about EXPERIENCING GOD
1 Peter 1:9 can be translated, “For you are receiving the consummation of your faith, that is, the final salvation of your souls.”
A)In other words, we can experience today some of that future glory.
B)Charles Spurgeon used to say, “Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.”
D) It is not enough that we long for heaven during times of suffering, for anybody can do that.
1) What Peter urged his readers to do was exercise love, faith, and rejoicing, so that they might experience some of the glory of heaven now in the midst of their suffering
The amazing thing is that this “salvation” we are awaiting—the return of Christ—was a part of God’s great plan for us from eternity.
A)The Old Testament prophets wrote about this salvation and studied closely what God revealed to them.
B) They saw the sufferings of the Messiah,& also the glory that would follow;
but they could not fully understand the connection between the two.
C) The Old Testament believers looked ahead by faith and saw, as it were, two mountain peaks: Mount Calvary, where Messiah suffered and
1)and Mount Olivet, where He will return in glory (Zech. 14:4).
D)What they couldn’t see was the “valley” in between, the present age of
the church. ( at least a 2000 yr. Gap)
1) They didn’t understand it / but we do – We see God’s Plan – Before Glory came / the suffering for our sins was needed – ( Partakers)
First Coming – suffering Savior / 2nd Coming Conquering King
A)He is our living Hope – Risen like He said – He will return like He said – Thru Him we are saved – Waiting –take us to glory
B) When we trusted Christ, we were born for glory. We are being kept for glory.
1) As we obey Him and experience trials, we are being prepared for glory.
C)And When we love Him, trust Him, and rejoice in Him, we experience the glory here and now.
1) Joy unspeakable and full of glory!