A Bad Day
Introduction: Bart Millard testimony on YouTube singing “Even If”.
Transition: We all have bad days. Let’s look at the challenges that Peter gave to the Christians who were having a bad day and see what encouragement we can glean from the scriptures today.
The first challenge is to:
I. Prepare yourself- vs 1
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1 Peter 4:1-3
arm yourselves also with the same mind
Example- Jesus suffered, he knew he was going to suffer
imagine knowing how you were going to die, the day, the hour, the minute
imagine knowing your friends would betray you
imagine knowing the ones who you were going to give your life for hated you
yet he still willingly went to the cross, he willingly suffered.
Jesus had many bad days, yet his suffering didn’t go in vain
If you say you’re a Christian, then Peter has challenged you. When you are having a bad day, when you get bad news, when life isn’t going your way, Peter says don’t give up:
wasted too much of our lives living in sin
Peter gives us a list of self-destructive behaviors that we are all guilty of one or more of these
lewdness/ lasciviousness- loss of self control, usually in a sexual nature
lusts- desire, coveting, wanting what someone else has: this is huge when it comes to having a bad day
drunkenness- self-medicating, drowning your sorrows will not solve the problem only compound it
abominable idolatries- sadly the first thing that happens is a loss of interest in worshipping God because you are mad at him. When you stop worshipping God you find something to replace him with.
The challenge for the believer is how you handle yourself during these trials in life. Have the mindset that you are going to persevere because you have faith in a big God who can handle anything and is in complete control even in the midst of your chaos.
Illustration: Backside of a cross-stitch. We see the underside, the side that looks rough and ragged, ugly even. But with every punch of the needle God is making something beautiful.
Transition: First challenge prepare yourself and stay in the right frame of mind, the second challenge is:
II. Have the proper outlook- Vs 12, 13
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But 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.
1 Peter 4:12-13
Peter basically says don’t fool yourself- don’t think this came out of nowhere
This fiery trial- this is a heavy burden, something that Peter is trying to convey is that whatever it is that you are going through isn’t going to be easy. There will be pain involved
Understand that you don’t have to go through it alone- the way he describes this, he wants them to know the weight of the trial that they are facing or about to face is one that is greater than they can handle by themselves.
Faith is the strength that keeps every believer pushing on. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute
Peter writes instead of being confused about it, if you are prepared for it, you can even find joy in it.
this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to comprehend. No one finds joy in pain, no finds joy in suffering, in the midst of trials, that person has to be a little bit insane right. Wrong.
When we look at it in the perspective that we are found worthy to suffer, that God is only making us stronger, and when we see that outcome we can rejoice even more.
Illustration- Go back to the Bart Millard story of his son and diabetes. It wasn’t the news he wanted to hear, but over time he was prepared to make it the best that he could, and he found joy in the midst of this trial.
Illustration- We can find joy because we have a savior who experienced the pain that we go through. Joe Scriven was a missionary from Ireland to Canada, working among the Iroquois Indians. He was joined by his fiancé who was also from Ireland. Just before the wedding, she was killed in an ice accident. Joe buried her with his own hands, and a broken heart. A year later, in a letter to his mother, he reflected,
"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer." Joe was on the road to triumph, even though there were times when the road was rough.
Transition: First challenge, stay in the right frame of mind, second challenge, prepare yourself. The final challenge that each one must accept today is this:
III. Be there for one another- Vs 8-11
8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:
No greater encouragement can be found than that of a brother or sister in Christ coming to the aid of another.
A shoulder to cry on, an ear to vent to, or even just the simple act of being there.
Fervent love- an intense love, a love that never fails, never sleeps, never stops.
A love that sees past their sins and shortcomings, that sees past the past grievances and issues you may have had with one another, a love that can only be explained by the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Be there for one another- I love how Peter explains it, open yourself up and don’t complain about it. Do what you were created to do!
But how, I don’t know how to minister to someone, I don’t know what it means. It simply means putting someone else first.
I don’t know if I’m strong enough- the power doesn’t come from you, it comes from God…let him do it with the ability which God supplies!
Conclusion: Peter closes out this section of his letter with one final thought, that thought is commitment. Verse 19 says to commit their souls to Him in doing good,a s to a faithful Creator.
God created everything we see and everything we don’t see. Peter admits this here. He even created the trial that you’re going through and as painful as it may be right now, God has something beautiful in store for you on the other side.
He sat by the fire of seven-fold heat,
As He watched by the precious ore.
And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test
And He wanted the finest gold,
To mold as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems of price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Though we fain would have said Him, "Nay."
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
As it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter, and yet more bright
And our eyes were so dim with tears,
As we saw the fire, not the Master's hand,
And questioned with anxious fear.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above
That bent o'er the fire, though unseen by us
With a look of infinite love.
Can we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause a moment of pain?
Ah, no, but He saw through the present cross
The bliss of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat
Than was needed to make it pure!
Are you ready today to commit yourself to Christ. Will you put your faith and your trust in Him?
Will you prepare yourself for your trials, will you have the proper outlook and will you be there for one another.