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Reassuring factsTo Help in Times of Trial

Handling life's trials  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
Is it possible to face our trials with assurance? Do you ever find yourself living in fearThat you might failYour time of testing?
Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Surely If I blow this test, God Will never be able to use me again? Have you ever felt your failure is just"too big" for God to be willing to use you?
Personal experience –Thought God had put me on the shelf.
The life of Peter can serve as an encouragement to you and I.
Let's take a look at some encouraging facts for facing our trials:

I- Jesus takes you where you are and does not require you to be perfect ().

Luke 5:1–3 NLT
One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
A- He knows where you are in your personal relationship with him.
1- He knew all about Peter.
2- He knows all about you.
B- He knows how strong your faith really is.
1- Peter's face was small at this time
a-. Only required a couple of small tests.
2- Your level of faith is directly linked to:
a- Your level of intimacy with Christ.
b- For personal spiritual growth level.
C- He does not require you to perform above your level of spiritual growth.
Parents don't require an infant to feed itself, or a young child to make complicated decisions.God gears requirements to where we are at.
1- Jesus did not require Peter to walk on the water here.
2- This is a good principal to remember with fellow believers ( ; )
Ephesians 4:1–3 NLT
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Galatians 6:1 NLT
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

II- Jesus will progressively take you through different tests of faith that are designed to take you to new levels of maturity ().

Luke 5:4–9 NLT
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.
A. He begins with simple commands for the infant Christian.
His first command was simple–Or was it?
It was inconvenient to leave the dock.
May have cost him money for workers.
His second command was more difficult.
Called on peter to disregard his own failure.
Called upon Peter to Trust him.
B- He lead you onto progressively more difficult test of faith.
Over the next 3 1/2 years more tests followed:
Feeding the 5000 people()
The test at sea ()
Come to him on the water ()
The test in the Courtyard (, )
C- The goal is to help you become like Jesus (; )
Romans 8:28–29 NLT
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Ephesians 3:16–19 NLT
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
D- He will use you in amazing ways along your path of growth.
1- He used Peter along the way.
a- Peter made the bedrock confession ()
Matthew 16:16 NLT
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

III- Jesus will lead you to the place you need to be ()

Luke 5:10–11 NLT
His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.
A- The place of absolute surrender.
1- What does that place look like?
a- Being willing to suffer for Jesus (; )
b- Being willing to die for Christ.
Church tradition tells us that Peter was crucified upside down– fulfilling .
John 21:19 NLT
Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
B- Jesus will continue to use you even though you falter and fail tests along the way.
1- Peter failed some test:
a- Sank on the water.
b- Denied Jesus in the Courtyard.
c- Reacted in fear of the Jews ()
Galatians 2:11–16 NLT
But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? “You and I are Jews by birth, not ‘sinners’ like the Gentiles. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
2- God will not cast you off, But will lift you up ().
John 21:15–19 NLT
After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”
Conclusion:
Three encouraging facts for facing our trials:
I- Jesus takes you where you are and does not require you to be perfect ().
II- Jesus will progressively take you through different tests of faith that are designed to take you to new levels of maturity ().
III- Jesus will lead you to the place you need to be () .
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