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Not only is praise what I do but I'm glad about it!

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·         Open your Bibles to 1 Peter 1:6-12 and stand with me.

·         This is what the Lord says

 

1 Peter 1:6-10
6
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

·         My subject is; “Not only is praise what I do but I’m glad about it!”

·         Peter starts this sentence of his letter with these four words; “In this you rejoice”

·         To which we must ask some questions

·         What is the antecedent of ‘this’ or to what is it referring to?

·         And, what is meant by ‘rejoice’

·         The statement ‘In this’, is referring to what Peter has said in opening up to this point.  Listen again to it


Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

·         In this you rejoice!

·         We are God’s elect, we are the born again new creation, we are the people of faith, we have faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, we are God’s elect adopted into His heavenly family and waiting for each of us is an imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance, one day we will leave this place and go to heaven to claim this inheritance one day.

·         So not only have we been born again, we have been saved!

·         We are also being guarded and kept by His Holy Spirit, we are being saved!

·         But in the future, some glad morning, we will go to our home in glory, we will be saved!

·         What a wonderful salvation!

·         This is what Peter is talking about when he say ‘In this you rejoice!’

·         Rejoice, what is meant by rejoice?

·         It’s a verb therefore it speaks of action, action on your part; ‘in this you rejoice!’

·         Rejoice means to be glad; take delight; to make joyful; gladden

·         Joyful means full of joy, glad, delighted

·         Joy is the emotion of great delight, a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment.  It is something that gives great pleasure, the state of being pleased, satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking; gratification; delight

·         In this you rejoice notice what Peter did not say.

·         He did not say words like; In this you should rejoice or you ought to rejoice

·         He is not telling them to strive to rejoice but his statement comes to us in the English language as “In this you rejoice”

·         In the original Greek the verb that is translated rejoice is in the indicative mood and that mood by definition as

·         The mood in which the action of the verb or the state of being it describes is presented by the writer as real. It is the mood of assertion, where the writer portrays something as actual (as opposed to possible or contingent on intention). Depending on context, the writer may or may not believe the action is real, but is presenting it as real.

·         So not only can I say “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me!”  I can say it with great joy, I can say it with great pleasure, in other words “I’m glad about it!”

·         And you know my brothers and sisters, you can say that with the simple things, the things you took for granted at one time

o   He woke me up this morning, and I’m glad!

o   He gave me clothes to wear, and I’m glad!

o   He gave me food to eat, and I’m glad!

o   In fact, I’m so glad to be here!

·         So, my brothers and sisters, we can talked about praise is what I do and praise is who I am and that is all true but we just can’t stop there the question before us is also this

·         Are you glad about it?

·         Do you rejoice in it?

·         And don’t shout out your answer too quickly for there is more to the passage

·         “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,”

·         Listen to what else God says and the first Scripture that usually comes to mind is James;

James 1:2-4
2
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ESV

·         James talks about how to react and relate to trials of various kinds like Peter but the difference is in the verb; count it all joy is an imperative verb meaning that this verb is expressing a command, intention or exhortation.  This mood (imperative) is therefore not an expression of reality but possibility and volition

·         But here are two others – listen, listen to what God says

 

 

 

Acts 14:21-22
21
When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. ESV

Romans 5:1-5
1
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ESV

1 Peter 4:19
19
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. ESV

·         Grief and being grieved is real and it does not feel good, it hurts and it is painful

·         If it didn’t it would not be called grief and I could not say that I am grieved

·         The Greek word that translates into grief also means cause sorrow, and be distressed.  Some translations use the word ‘suffering’

·         There is a variety or various kinds of trials that will produce grief

·         Everything from a paper cut to the lost of a love one, from being talked about on your job to being fired from your job, from a simple medical checkup to a major medical procedure that sustains your life,  from the simple to the complex and everything in between

·         Trials as C.A. Tindley says; ‘trials dark on every hand and we can not understand, all the ways that God would lead us to that blessed Promise Land’.

·         Each one of you have been grieved by various trials and you are being grieved by various trials

·         And when you get through these there are more waiting with your name on them

·         In the same song that I quote there is another verse that says

·         “Temptations hidden snares often take us unawares, and our hearts are made to bleed for many a thoughtless word or deed, and we wonder why the test when we try to do our best.  But we will understand it better by and by!

·         Don’t miss the hope that is in the verse itself; for even if the trial produce a lifetime of grief, Peter can say and I can agree, it’s for a little while

·         Verse 6 must be viewed in the context of verses 3-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,

·         Remember 1 Peter 4:19
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

·         This day may be one of your by and by days

·         But even with the various trials we find ourselves somehow with joy and rejoicing

·         So the question is why?

·         And before going to the next verse, don’t let 1 Peter 4:19 fly by too fast here is a verse that you should mark in your Bible, here is one of those write it out or print it out verse that should go on the mirror or someplace where you can see it and read it often.

·         Listen to it again; Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

·         Suffer according to God’s will

·         And remember this Scripture also

1 Corinthians 10:13
13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. ESV

·         Peter gives his reason in verse 7

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

·         If our faith is to endure it must be purified and stress-tested.

·         For Brother Paul to arrive at the point in his life where he could make a statement like  2 Corinthians 12:9b-10  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

·         God had to do something to him

·         In other words it was not automatic, Paul recognize this;

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
7
So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ESV

·         Your faith, that God given gift that allows you to believe in Jesus who you have not seen nor do you see.  You love Him and praise Him because praise is still what you do and who you are, is contrasted and compared with gold

·         Even today when you talk of gold it has a significance

·         And your faith is more precious than gold

·         Gold is a precious metal but it will pass away, it will perish

·         Your faith is a contrast to this, it has an eschatological connection verse 9 says “obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  The glorification of the elect.

·         Peter also compares our faith to gold.  The precious metal that you see in coins, jewelry and gold bars has gone through a testing and proving process. 

·         That process, that testing is by fire.  Fire burn off the impurities and what comes forth is pure gold

·         One commentator said it this way; “Sufferings (trials) function as the crucible (the container where the melting can take place, the place where the heat can be applied) the crucible for faith

·         Where the impurities of me, myself and I can be burned off, where you learn how to trust, really trust in the Lord and wait on Him,

·         Resulting in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ – His second coming and that’s eschatology.

·         Faith tells us that all of this will be over some day but faith also gives us a foretaste of glory divine.

·         Verse 8 says that we rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.  That awaits us in heaven but don’t miss the fact that in this you rejoice and you rejoice in the present

·         Our songs is one avenue for this, they speak of realities but they are the catalysis for joy and rejoicing

·         The Lord has blessed our choir and you have heard me say that many times.  But in particular they have been blessed to sing songs by Richard Smallwood.

·         One of his song is song by his choir but is lead by three voices singing one song.  And no that is not an example of the Holy Trinity!  But I want to recite the words no not sign them to you

·         Heartache may come, tear drops may fall, seems like no one there for you.  Friends are all gone, you feel alone. Be strong, God has a plan for you.

·         Hold on, hold on to him, let him lead you, your valley is temporary.  This too, this too shall pass, find peace at last, in Him we have the victory.

·         Just be steadfast, just be faithful, God is only teaching you.  Eyes have not even seen, neither have ears heard just what He has prepared for you.

·         Then the choir sing the chores

·         Your trials come to make you strong, seasons will change, it won’t be long!  Hold on don’t let go, even though your heart hurts you so, He’ll never let go your hand.

This song drives home Peter’s point to me.  It brings a smile in the midst of tears.  I know a little about hurting and rejoicing at the same time.  Wanting and wishing for it to workout but learning how to wait for the Lord to wash it out.  Praising God with the pain, with the frustration and the aggravation and then looking back and realizing that I am glad about it. 

·         Glad he will never let go my hand  

·         Glad he will always be there

·         Glad he hears me when the words just won’t come

·         Glad that I can turn all of this over and put it in His hand

·         Glad that one day all of this will be over

·         Glad that Jesus will fix it after awhile

·         Did you wake up glad today

·         If not are you glad at this moment

·         Glad you were blessed to be in the sanctuary one more time

·         Are you glad that you can leave here knowing that all of this is for my good and not for my bad

·         And if you don’t know him you can be glad to know there is still time for you to get to know him

·         And if you are looking for a church home, then you can be glad to know that in this fellowship we still have room

·         Praise is what we do and I’m glad about it!

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