Faithlife Sermons

Our Living Hope is Our Antidote for Trials

Understanding Adversity Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The book of First Peter starts out like “I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news” story. We all know about those kinds of stories don’t we? One of my favorite’s is about Abe and Ben, two New Yorkers who loved baseball. . .
Ben, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is there is baseball in heaven. The bad news is you’re pitching tomorrow.
Let’ read this good news bad news story found in :3-9.
1 Peter 1:3–9 NIV
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
The good news is really great!
We have been born again, by God’s great mercy and have a living hope, the eager expectation of the life to come.
After church today Margaret and I are going to a wedding of a family we’ve know for many years but haven’t seen in a long time. We are eagerly looking forward to seeing them and other friends we haven’t seen in a while.
What are you eagerly looking forward to today? A restful holiday weekend?
As Christians we have a real living hope that is all about our future, our inheritance. The inheritance has become ours by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The inheritance is really something. It is
imperishable - ἄφθαρτον refers to freedom from death and decay; incorruptible, cf.
undefiled - ἀμίαντον to freedom from uncleanness or moral impurity; unpolluted and fresh, will never spoil or decay
unfading - ἀμάραντον to freedom from the natural ravages of time; bright, vital,
reserved- guarded, kept watch over  
Not only is our inheritance safe, so are we, safely protected on our journey that will lead to the day when we get our inheritance. Peter says we are shielded, kept safe through our faith by the power of God until we receive that inheritance. Wow! That’s a lot to rejoice about!! That’s the good news. But we can’t go home yet, we have to get to the bad news.
The bad news is we experience trials. But the bad news isn’t all bad. Our living hope because of Jesus is enough to counteract the bad news of trials.
Let’s take a closer look at what Peter says about trials.

For a living hope

1. Trials defined:

Trials are various undeserved and unexplainable external negative events that may cause mental, emotional or spiritual pain, that all Christians need to occasionally experience. 
A flat tire, a hurt back, a broken water pump, . . . are all trials.
A living hope
An inheritance
2. Born with an inheritance
For an inheritance
Trials are different from the inward spiritual attacks from the world, the flesh, and Satan.
A shield of protection

2. Trials are necessary.

εἰ δέον - first class condition, "since it is necessary"
This isn’t the way we think about trials. The prevalent attitude is there bad and we should do everything we can to prevent them. What Peter says contradicts our popular thinking. It isn’t just Peter. Jesus and Paul agree with him.
Though we may be have trials
That grieve us.
A. Jesus had to suffer
That are necessary
Mark 8:31 NIV
He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
B. Paul said we must experience tribulations
to prove and improve our faith
Acts 14:19–22 NIV
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
to result in praise to and from God
C. Don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal 
1 Peter 4:12 NIV
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
Loving Jesus
3. Loving
This is true even though

3. Trials may cause pain.

A. Not just grief
Though we haven’t seen Him
1 Peter 1:6 NIV
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
λυπησέντες refers not so much to grief, as when a person grieves for a lost friend, but to the actual pain or suffering of persecution. 
With inexpressible joy
B. Trials may be mentally, emotionally, and spiritually painful.
Anticipating our salvation
There must be a good reason why we need to go through painful experiences.

4. Trials show our faith to be genuine.

1 Peter 1:7 NIV
7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Like gold is refined through fire and because purer, more valuable.
Our faith is refined, made purer, and shown to be genuine by trials
Louw-Nida "genuineness on the basis of having been tested—‘genuineness, genuine.’​

5. Trials result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus.

A. Praise to God for our faith
B. Praise to us by God for our faith
We will celebrate that our faith got us through all the hard stuff!

6. Trials don't have to steal our joy.

A. Are you rejoicing when the trial comes? Always rejoice in our favored status with God because of your living hope.
B. Continue in inexpressible joy because of the living hope which will result in the salvation of your soul.
C. Our living hope is the powerful antidote for trials!
Discussion questions:
Why is it some trials seem harder than others?
Why do you think some people handle trials better than others?
What have you learned that helps you to get through trials and to rejoice in them?
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