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  • Dr. Tim Morrison

Different Faith In Trials

Today we begin a new series called Different. It is going to be based on the book of 1 Peter. Today we are specifically looking faith in trials. For those facing a trial it often seems unfair. You wish you could change it. And it's frustrating because we don’t always have answers.

There are people trying but they can’t conceive, others have financial obstacles and struggling to pay your bills, some are battling cancer, or a child is making unwise decisions and you feel helpless. Well peter is writing to us in this book.


Let’s take a quick look at the Context of 1 Peter. 1 Peter was written by (spoiler alert) Simon Peter. Peter is often described as an uneducated fisherman, however he was sharp. He was a tremendous businessman and leader.


Peter writes to hurting Christians: He touches on topics of Election, Foreknowledge, Sanctification, Obedience, the Blood of Christ, Trinity, Grace, Revelation, Hope. What’s most clear in his writing is when he is speaking to those who are suffering.


We are not sure when 1 Peter was written. Most likely between 60-65 AD during reign of Nero when Christians faced extreme persecution. In July of 64 AD there was a fire in Rome burned out of control 6 days and then another 3 while they were fighting it. It is believed today that Nero started fire because of his insatiable lust build. However he blamed Christians. It was a win win for him because he got the destroyed land from the fire to build on and he could get rid of the annoying Christians by blaming them.


When the Christians were blamed Nero tortured them. Some he sowed them up in animal skins and then set wild dogs on them and they people were eaten to death while Nero and his house guests watched from a dinner party. Others were crucified to trees, covered in hot wax and set aflame to light the streets of Rome. Pretty horrible right?


So Peter’s message is to people who need hope or for people who are going through a trial. So no matter what we are going through we want to hear God’s word to us in these moments. So let’s dig into 1 Peter: This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 1 Peter 1:1


So Peter says we are foreigners… we are DIFFERENT! He’s saying because you are not from here—You don’t live like those from here. As followers of Jesus—we are not called to look like the rest of the world. We are strangers in this world. This is not our final place. We are a heavenly creature passing through this temporary dwelling place. We have Different values, Different standards, Different goals. We are different. So over the next few weeks we are going to look at these things…


WEEK 1: Different Faith in Trials

WEEK 2: Different Values in an Unholy Culture

WEEK 3: Different Calling in a Dark World

WEEK 4: Different Perspective in Persecution


DIFFERENT FAITH IN TRIALS

Trials are bad! If that’s the case why would a good God allow them to happen? If you are in the middle of a difficult time your faith is being tested let’s look at vs. 6 and 7

6So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 1 Peter 1:6-7

If there is a “genuine faith,” that must mean there’s also a false faith. One of the biggest challenges I see in churches today: False faith. Let’s look at three different types of false faith.

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FALSE FAITH

• Inherited faith: My Dad was a Methodist, mom a Baptist, baptized as a baby

Talking to a 19-year old college student raised in Christian home—Never missed church—Not sure I believe all this...

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• Shallow faith: Sower sows seed—Takes root—worries of life, deceitfulness wealth, desire things choke word.

Some of you won’t be engaged with things of faith in six months

People just confess things to me: Student-GSC—Not in a while/year. Busy with school—Student loans—Car payment—Partying—Pot.

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• Conditional faith: I will believe as long as things go my way

Guy gym—Wife left me, struggling financially—how can I believe God?

Every trial is testing my faith!

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HOW DOES GOD USE YOUR TRIALS?


1.) TRIALS REVEAL YOUR FAITH.


7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. 1 Peter 1:7


So here’s the thing...A faith that has been tested is a faith that can be trusted. Let’s look at Peter’s life for a moment. When Jesus was with him in the upper room he said this to Peter because he knew Peter was about to deny him three times: 31“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32


In Peter’s early years—Obnoxious: Impulsive, Cocky, Very inconsistent

But in Peter’s Later years—Faithful, Devoted, Patient—Bold.


You talk about life transformation look at Peter. He Denied Christ 3x… and remember that pesky Young girl who kept saying to people… he hangs out with the disciples? She kept outing him. Then by the end of his life he was willing to die death as a martyr.

Look at what James says about trials…


2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4


Are you Wrecked with pain—Promise you: there is purpose in your pain! God never wastes a hurt!


2) TRIALS DRAW YOU CLOSER TO GOD.

8You love [God] even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT


The good news isn’t that God saves us from our trials.

The good news is that God saves us from our sins!


One of the biggest lies that Christians tell people is “God won’t give you more than you can handle!” Let me tell you something… God will often give you more than you can handle. Because if we can handle it, then what need do we have for faith in God? God is growing us in the trials that we walk through.


Peter says, As you grow to depend on God “You rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.” This is hard to imagine when you are in the thick of things. I don’t think Peter is saying that we get to the point where we truly celebrate our trials. I think as we look back on our trials, instead of looking back in disgust and frustration, we do celebrate how God grew us and how we made it through them.


As reported by the Washington Post: Bronwyn’s home was one of the victims of the most recent california fire. She was pulled out in the middle of the night by a Sheriff. She lost everything, she had to leave too fast to take her pets with her and they can’t be found. When asked how she was doing she said with a smile on her face, I am alive! Yes, I’m sad. Yes, I’ve lost almost everything I own. Yes, I’ve probably lost my pets who were like children to me, but I will move on and God will continue to be with me. The reporter asked… Do you still have hope. Bronwyn said… ALWAYS!


Friends often when we go through the toughest times of our lives is when we are the closest to God. We cling to God because he is our hope. People in this world often refuse to believe in what they cannot see. But for you and I our faith is in the God who was, and is, and who always will be. Our faith is based on a God who promises to always be with us. Our faith is based on the knowledge that when we placed our faith in God he wiped our sins away and gave us an inheritance which is a future with him… a future where there are no more trials or pain, no sickness or heartache. Friends, that is our hope in trials. That is what makes us different. When we place our faith in God our citizenship passes from this world to the heavenly kingdom. And we become foreigners in this land. Has your citizenship transferred? If not it can today! For free! No red tape… no hoops to jump through… just freedom in Christ! Yes, we are different in trials we go through because we have faith and we have a great and glorious hope in Christ! Pray with me!

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