Struggle for potential Pt III
“There is a blessing in it”
Synopsis of sermon 11/15/09
1 Peter 4:12-13: 12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
The most difficult areas for us to deal with in life is with the sovereignty of God. It is the sovereignty of God that stretches most of us in here. Remember the Sovereignty of God reserves the right to do what he wants to do without giving us an explanation. This can stretch you, but God knows what he is doing. Sometimes God will allow certain things to happen in our lives simply to mature us. Look at Paul when God does not remove the thorn out of his flesh. God keeps it there and says that his (God’s) grace was sufficient. It was about Paul maturing. Paul says as a result that he will glory in his infirmity. Other times he will allow things to happen to make us examples of faithfulness. Look at how God dealt with Abraham. God used this principle regarding Abraham dealing with him sacrificing his son. Sometimes God will allow things to happen just to send the devil a message. God wants to remind the devil that he is in control and that God has his hands on his anointed. God will prepare a table for us in the presence of our enemies. God will keep us and protect us so the devil will know that they picked the wrong person. God has our destiny in his hands. Sometimes, it is hard to see how this experience with our trials will come back to bless us. It is hard to factor in how this will bless us. Know that if God allowed it, it will bless you. Often it is in hindsight that we see where the things that God allowed in this season came to bless you. It might be hard to see it while you are in it, but many people can testify that they thank God for what other people complain about!
It is important to put this text into context. Peter is writing to 1st Century Christians. This is the same Peter that Jesus drafted to be a disciple. This is the same Peter that walked on water and fell. This is the same Peter that pulled out his sword on the Roman soldiers when they came after Jesus. This was the same Peter that denied Jesus 3 times. Now if take look at the context at which 1 Peter 4:12-13 comes from, we will have to take at look at our biblical history where we would notice one leader of Rome named Nero. In 1864, this leader burned the city of Rome. This is a historical fact with theological implications. Nero was a renegade leader and he has aspirations to rebuild Rome in his own honor. The people of Rome are upset over this. They ask why Nero would burn Rome. They are losing their houses, their possessions, and temples of worship all because one man’s ego. Nero is a manipulator and he decides to use early Christians as scapegoats by spreading lies and blaming Christians for being responsible for the burnings that were taking place in Rome. As a result, this turns many people against Christians because they think they are responsible for these burnings and they began to call them cannibals because they would over hear them saying ”this is his body take and eat all of it and this is his blood take and drink” while they were taking communion. Now early persecutions begin against Christians because of this and Christians were set on fire. Nero would actually use them as human torches to light up his festivals. He takes Christians and crucified them upside down. He also would take Christians and tie wild animals around them and send them out in wilderness so they would be hunted by wild dogs. This was all because of one man’s’ egotistical plight. It is in this context where Christian’s are being set on fire, Christians being crucified upside down, and sent in the wilderness to be hunted by wild dogs that Peter pins this epistle and says thing it not strange concerning fiery trials which come to try you! Peter says rejoice because when his glory shall be revealed, you will have great joy. Some of you are going through something right now that has nothing to do with you. You are a victim of somebody’s egotistical plight and schemes, but know that God says whatever the enemy does in your life; God will make sure that you get a blessing out of it.
I. You must submit to the test.
1. Tests are a reality and so are trials. If you can’t change a thing, then you must deal with the thing; Remember the serenity prayer says Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. We know that in this life, we are going to have trials. Job 14:1 says1Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. Psalm 34:19 says 19Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. 2 Timothy 3:12 says 12Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. – If you are not experiencing trials or test, you ought to be nervous. This means you are not a threat to Satan. View persecutions as confirmation of what God is going to do in your life. The more the devil brings in your life it is an indication that God has a lot in store for your life. Tests are important and this is why Peter the apostle tells them that they must be ready and prepared for.
2. Test comes to:
a. Mold us -There are things resident in our life that will never come to pass, without God molding us. Ex-Kids will take Play Doh and press on it and mold it and do almost everything with it. Just like the Play Doh, it doesn’t matter if God presses on us as long as we remain in his hands.
b. Matures us-Some of us would not be reading this if it had not been for our trials.
c. Manifest us-God puts us on trail to get us to the next dimension. It is just like taking a class in school.
d. We must have the Right perspective. Just like in school, if we can pass this test, we know we can pass this class. We often look at the curriculum ahead of time to see how many test we will have during the class. Don’t curse God for the tests. Know that you are in a university for adversity.
e. We experience Rigorous preparation- You will have to focus for the test. You have to study and you have to be willing to miss going out when everyone else does. Your Pastor is only an instructor, but you have to open the book for yourself. Your Pastor can’t give you all the answers on just Sunday morning. You have got to study. Ask this question, “Why can’t people pass an open book test?”
f. Must be ready to perform.
g. We must be Resolved to pass-We are determined that we will pass this test. We are coming out!
h. We will Receive promotion-God doesn’t promote based on tenure. God can’t promote you until you pass some test.
II. You will have substance in your testimony
1. Many of us want a testimony minus the test. The revelation is there are some things you need to get. 1 Peter 4: 13b says we must be partakers of Christ’s suffering. 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings;
2. If we don’t suffer with him, we can’t rein with him 2 Timothy 2:12: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: – If we deny Christ, he will also deny us: We hate on people who are blessed, but we don’t know what they have been through. God said he is willing to put his reputation on the line through us. Look at Job and all the loss he went through. God told the devil if anyone will bless him (God), it will be Job. Job doesn’t even know this conversation is going on. The same conversation may be going on over you right now. The devil intensifies his attack on Job, but job says though he slays me, yet he will trust him. Some people understand that they are a testimony in the making. You move from testiphony to real full fledged testimony. Some people wonder who are those who have this true testimony? Well the answer is simple. Let the redeemed of Lord say so!
III. This will stretch your theology.
1. Theology is the study of God. When the glory shall be revealed, found in the c portion of text, God wants to prove the power of experiential knowledge. 1 Peter 4:13c: When his glory shall be revealed, we may be glad also with exceeding joy.
2. We don’t know God like you should, but because our experience in him his growing, our knowledge expands every day. Philippians 3:10: 10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comfortable unto his death; -We have to go through some stuff, to get to know him. The challenge with our theology is that it has been held hostage by ecclaostoloy. Ecclesiology is indoctrinated upbringing. This is why some people can’t experience God out of their denomination. Their theology is held hostage as a result of the ecclesiology. You don’t’ believe God can turn a situation around. God says, he is trying to get our theology to transcend the ecclesiology. God gives you your own set of expererinces so you can say you are bigger than your theology. You don’t believe, until you see Gods power for yourself. God takes us through test to expand our theology.
3. Why does Peter call it fiery trial. Maybe it was Peter who saw a Christian being set on fire and was so horrified, he pinned this text for encouragement. We don’t’ know for sure, but the scripture strongly uses the word fiery. This word must have some relevance. Fire and heat are synomounous. Where there is heat, there is fire. Fire and heat are necessary if they are properly regulated. Without being properly regulated, fire couldn’t burn. The delicate balance is of importance. Ex-When you took a shower this morning, you didn’t take a cold shower. You turned on the heat, so it would be regulated so that it would bless you. When you got up and cooked and put fire to the food, you properly regulated the heat on the burner so that the food was cooked and not burned. You ironed your clothes and the heat properly regulated so that it wouldn’t burn your clothes. Some sister today can thank God the hot curling iron was regulated so you could have a blessed hairdo. Properly regulated heat has a blessing in it, if there is a balance. God put the sun on the proper axis. If it had been placed too far away, we would freeze. If it had have been placed too close, we would have we burn up. Shedrack, Meshack, and Abednego was placed into the fiery furnace and the heat was turned up twice its normal temperature, but God regulated the heat. He didn’t bring them out; he regulated the heat so they could stand it. God does us the same way. God might not bring us out of the fiery trail, but he will regulate the heat so that we can stand it. You think it will hurt you, but know that it is properly regulated.
4. Why does the trial come? There are some members that go thru the fiery trials and they don’t understand why. The gold smith said he must place the gold in the fire to take out the impurities. Like gold, there is some mess or impurities in your life that only the fiery trial can get out. Just because the impurities are off of you, it doesn’t mean God won’t put you in the fire. Don’t miss this blessing. Like gold, he keeps us in there and then he takes us out. The blacksmith takes the gold in and out until the gold his pure enough that he can see his reflection in it. God is just like the blacksmith. He says he will tell us when we are ready. Just like the blacksmith, when God sees his image in us, he takes out. God will keep you in there until your praise looks like him.