Faithlife Sermons

The Struggle is Real: Week 4 - Suffering, Fear, and Hope

The Struggle is Real  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:16
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Not in fear…but to live in confidence
ME: Inspired by Jack Ryan
Netflix is terrible for my TV watching. On a rainy night, to sit and watch show after show.
A new series based on a character in Tom Clancy’s books and movies Jack Ryan. Michelle and I were binge watching it last night.
It’s a great story…we are in it.
WE: We all love a good story don’t we. Good stories inspire us. I remember my grandfather telling me how he had sold everything he had in order to buy a farm in Mississippi. How he and my dad had cleared the land and built a farm for our entire family. When I think back on that story, it inspires me to believe that I too can accomplish more than I might have believed.
Good stories do that. They inspire us, they make us want ot change, they make us want to believe. They give us hope.
Hope allows us to deal with our struggles unafraid
And one thing the world needs is change. What he world needs is inspiration. What the world needs is hope.
GOD:
God uses the pain for his purposes; sometimes as punishment…
David:
Psalm 23 NIV84
A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
David experienced pain as
But suffering for our mistakes isn’t inspiring. It may be a warning, but it’s doesn’t inspire us to make a difference.
It’s the people who lived their lives for God who overcame the suffering of their circumstances that inspire us.
People like Job, who faithfully served the Lord, lost all he had including his entire family. While his wife and friends urged him to curse God and die, he refused. He was honest with God about his doubts and questions, but he never turned his back on the Lord and God restored him.
People like Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, but God used him to make provision for the people of Israel
People like Ruth who’s husband died and instead of returning home as a young woman to live out her days as a widow, she was used by God to accomplish great things for His people
So what makes the difference in pain being our punishment and pain becoming our platform? Peter described it in out text for today:
Real quick we hear the recipe for our pain to be used as a platform.
1 Peter 3:13 NLT
Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?

First, be eager to do good.

Are you going to be perfect? No, but if you have a repuation for being zealous for doing good, people will know.
1 Peter 3:14 NLT
But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.

Second, don’t worry.

Don’t fear what people fear. This is a quote from the book of Isiah, where the Israelites were about to be over run by
Many people in this world fear tomorrow or yesterday. Many people fear failure, or success, or being judged. People commonly fear being alone or being embarassed. Peter
Sure pain tells you something’s wrong.
Don’t medicate it, face it and don’t worry.
1 Peter 3:15 NLT
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.

Third, Know Christ as Lord

When Christ is Lord, He gets priority. He is our Lord when we surrender to Him.
James 1:2–4 NIV84
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
IF Faith is the most important thing for my relationship with My Lord…then anything good for my faith is good for me.
Pain can be good when it develops perseverance in me.

Fourth, Be prepared to tell your story.

Old Life
Jesus
New Life
1 Peter 3:16–17 NLT
But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
God doesn’t waste a hurt. he uses it.
I know in my life I experienced a real pain in my life when my parents divorced. I didn’t understand what was happening. I didn’t understand why she moved away. I didn’t understand why my grandfather would get so angry with my dad. Nothing made sense and it hurt. But what it also did was create in me a commitment to my own marriage so that I wouldn’t allow my kids to experience that pain. It has made me aware fo how much I am like my mom and my dad…especially the parts I didn’t liek then....and you know what I don’t like them now in me and I strive to surrender them to my Lord on a daily basis that he might transform them.

God wants to transform your pain.

We know this hope when we know Jesus.
1 Peter 3:18 NIV84
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
It’s not that we create this platform, but God uses
YOU:
2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV84
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

What’s Your story?

Before Christ, how you met Christ, your new life in Christ.
WE:
What’s your story?
We all have a story to tell. When we face trials,
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