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March 17, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Bruce Meyer, a seminary professor at Bob Jones University, will continue a short series titled “Developing a Healthy Mind” with a message titled, “Refreshing Truths for Anxious Hearts,” from 1 Peter 5:6-11.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today on The Daily Platform were continuing a short series on developing a healthy mind today speaker is Dr. Bruce Meyer, a seminary professor at Bob Jones University I anxious today.
We talked about that starting yesterday and I was shocked to find out how many of you are feeling stressed, it is at least one of our goals is the faculty to try to eliminate all of your stress. Have you noticed that you have a notice that I can even say that with a straight face. Frankly, stress is a part of life and by now you have discovered so many stressful situations. The University first day of school.
You are introduced to your syllabi. All of the semester work piled all in one piece of paper that was stressful, perhaps watching the news is what stresses you.
I gave up watching the news a long time ago because I discovered their sole job is to scare the living daylights out of us every single day. You notice that as well so I don't watch much news about freshman speech. Many of you are taking freshman speech right now and quite a few stress absolutely asking a girl on a date still don't do the no system here. Do you now you have to actually ask face-to-face.
Sergio: what's the preferred method. Also, instant message, good idea. And then if you get shot down is not nearly so painful guys you should think about what about that girl accepting the date that stressful or what if she's trying to figure out a smooth way to shoot you down. That could be stressful even more strength stressful for you about this one. Life after graduation. So thank you Dr. Meyer you had to remind me of that one right there is life after graduation and you need to start thinking and there is stress after graduation here some very serious ones, though, what about a family member who is battling a chronic illness, maybe even a terminal illness financial concerns at home. Maybe your own financial concern grades that one class that you have that is considered a killer class and you're feeling all of that I can add to your stress and course. We had coven. It is our reactions to stress or anxiety. That is a potential threat to the health of our mind and that's what were talking about yesterday and today and this week it is our thinking. After a couple of hard years. We need to hit the refresh button to think accurately about our responses to anxiety because were always going to have anxiety with us. So it's what we do with that anxiety that really determines how we come out on the other side in dealing with those stresses were going to look at a book today, so if you would turn with me to the book of 2nd to 1st Peter chapter 5 verse Peter chapter 5 while you're turning there.
I want us to consider the context. These were believers who were experiencing serious persecution that had risen to the level of the arena and animals and gladiators wasn't quite there yet but it was serious persecution. A lot of these believers were overlooked intentionally for a promotion at their job.
Maybe they were refused service at a particular store because they were Christians discriminated against. And so Peter writes this entire letter to encourage them. In fact, starting in chapter 1 he reminds them. You need to live in the context of holiness, even though your suffering chapters 2 and three. He reminds them of the example of Jesus as he suffered. That's the pant pattern for our suffering any closes this letter in chapter 5 by reminding them of some very important truths truths that would give them both encouragement and direction as they live through those stressful moments of persecution I find these words to be highly encourage use them frequently with counselees because they just give us such a wonderful view of who God is. Dr. Pettit began that yesterday he set us up wonderfully and Isaiah 26 understand how God fits into our suffering and how we should view him.
And I remind folks frequently that too often you and I have glasses that I call your glasses were looking at the world around us through a lens of fear rather than faith glasses that allow us to see this world the way God sees it, that allow us to see him as huge and is impressive as much use this word infinite because the truth is, our problems are finite stresses that we face are relatively small compared to who God is relatively small compared to his plan for us and especially relatively small compared to eternity. So let's take a look at this passage and as we do. I want us to consider freshly verse seven because they are we are introduced to our cares. We use this word, our anxieties or fears or worries and so Peter is going to funnel us towards that concept of how to handle those fears. Those anxieties of stresses.
You know the butterflies that you feel when you stand up to get that speech.
The butterflies that you feel when you're wondering, how do I pay for my school bill this month when you're wondering what's going on with mom and dad back home for that illness.
Let's take a look at this. I'm actually going to wait until the end of the sermon to wrap it all up in the one nice neat slot, a take-home truth for us, but I want us to see these three truths and you'll notice the first two truces involve imperatives, commands that Peter wants us to do so, only it out that way. As we work our way through this text so the Bible actually teaches us what to do with our fears is wonderful, because not only just here, but the book of Psalms Philippians chapter 4 which Isaiah 26 yesterday.
So what are these truths that Peter lays out for us. Let's notice them. First of all, we have a powerful God who cares. Therefore, depend upon him, would you look with me. Beginning chapter 5 verse six humble yourselves theirs are imperative. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God. And then we have a purpose clause that he may exalt you in time and those are comforting words, but perhaps that first word humble is a word that we stumble over because it's one of those words that we don't much care for ancient society. When Peter was writing these words, the Roman Greco world dating like that word. The Roman Greco world was all about getting glory for oneself and so when Peter wrote that word humble yourself. I'm sure these folks were thinking oh boy, I'm not sure I can do that. What does that word mean word simply in this context means this idea depending upon the Lord, how do we know that because he's going to tell us what we do in response to God and that is cast all of our cares upon him for he cares for us. That's the dependency that Peter is talking about here.
So humility. That's one of Peter's emphases throughout this book, he at least two other times mention meekness or humility in this letter. You remember that Peter wasn't well known for humility in the Gospels.
There were times that he would launch out in such brazen ways to even challenge the Lord Jesus, you shall not surely die, and you Peter I think has learned now that there is this dependency upon God that is so vital for us and it helps us when we are feeling those pressures. Those those challenges to our Christian walk with the Lord.
Those fears, so humility well, it certainly does work against what you and I face even today.
Our culture is one of solving their own problems. Rugged individuals who can launch out and solve the problems that we have and we can depend upon man and science to solve our problems when were discovering very quickly that that doesn't work man really doesn't have his solutions for his problems. It's also my way. I don't need anyone telling me what to do. God would say yes you do. I created you as a dependent creature and so you as you stand before me. As you walk before me, God says walking humility that is this dependency and so what I've learned is that worry and anxiety festers the more we exclude God while endeavoring to solve her own problems, our own way.
Meanwhile, God says you know what you can come to me. So the way to be humble is the response that he tells us here by casting all of our cares upon him. This is a word that is this idea if you had think of it this way, three backpacks full of books. I've noticed some of the heaviest books in the University are the nursing books, counting books, find any science book. We have some heavy theology books. Let's imagine three backpacks full of those books and you're trying to carry them all over campus and you suddenly realized my baggage is worn out and you take those and he suddenly cast them away from you what God is calling us to do with the heavy burdens that we carry. We cast them on to him.
Why, because he cares for us. Sometimes we think of this mighty hand of God's Peter says here. Humble yourselves or the mighty hand of God is in itself frightening sounds like at any moment he's ready to squish us. And yet, in this context that mighty hand of God is a hand of care. How do we know the context again. You notice in this verse he says and I will lift you so you humble yourself. One of the mighty hand of God, and he lifts us up.
Why, because he cares for us. We need not fear that mighty hand of God, that mighty hand of God is strong to say strong to deliver strong to uphold us and that lifting up may or may not come today or tomorrow or this week or even this year or even in this lifetime. As you read through this epistle of first Peter, you'll see several times where Peter talks about that coming of the Lord Jesus when we are glorified when we see him and that's when we will be ultimately delivered and so it's not always in this lifetime that we have certainly in the next where we see our hope. We see that hope in Jesus and what he is done for us in the past and if he is mighty to save us from the worst of our problem. Our sin problem.
The penalty that comes as a result of that sin than he's mighty to save us from the lesser problems today. One of my favorite verses and I have many of them, but Romans chapter 8 verse 32 Paul said this, he who spared not his own son for us. How shall we not also freely give us all. That's an argument from the greater to the lesser what Paul was reminding us that there is if he takes care of the worst of our problems and he'll take care of those lesser students. You and I can find great comfort in him today because it is his nature to care that's easy to hear those words and maybe think boy, I can just kind of sit back and relax and let God handle everything.
I call that hammock theology, but you think it be nice on a day like today to be at the beach have a hammock strung up between two trees and just be swinging in the breeze, enjoying the sunshine and let God handle all micro may be sipping on a Pepsi colada. I don't know what that is but it sure sounds good doesn't know what God doesn't call us to hammock theology and you'll see this in his next point because in contrast to the loving God that we serve. There is somebody else who enters the picture and that's Peter's second point here so we have a powerful God who cares we should depend upon him, but at the same time we have to be on agar want you to notice what he says here than in verse eight be sober. Here's the second command, be vigilant, why because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. So the second truth, Peter shares for us is this. We have a ferocious adversary and his his goal is to devour us to destroy the command resistant and gives us three words here.
The first two are very similar in nature. So there's some overlap between those terms but you notice that first term lease sober. The idea here is to curb the controlling influence of inordinate emotion or desires, and therefore become reasonable.
Here's where this passage that fits our theme this week if were talking about thinking correctly Peter would say wait a minute. Be sure to focus your mind in such a way that you are rejecting those attempts to destroy your life.
We know that especially is acute when were upset when were suffering when were anxious or worried or fearful. That's when we make dumb decisions. So Peter says, be sober, think carefully. In fact, as you read through this epistle, you'll see him using that word at least two other times I captures my attention because Peter wasn't known for sober thinking always.
And yet I think he's learned.
By the time he writes these letters he's learned how valuable it is to be thinking correctly to orient our minds around the truth of God's word. That's the worldview that we so often talk about here that Bob Jones University.
So be sober second word is this idea vigilant, be alert police officers will tell you that you can't be on red alert all the time. We don't have the energy for that to be hypervigilant your tense your uptight here like this all the time so they will tell you be relaxed but be alert yellow alert. That's what Peter is calling for us here to be relaxed, but alert and be sober. Thinking constantly truth that orients my life the way God wants me to be oriented, even though I have this enemy. So the reason because I have a vicious adversary to sell Peter described them here.
She's on the move. He's looking for the weak and the careless predators don't look for the strongest animal they look for the week one, the one that's not paying attention. The one that's vulnerable. The one that is just kind of going through life without much thought is not alert is not sober. I do notice he's powerful now is not as powerful as God, we said we established that in the first point, but he does have this this quality about him that is fearsome. I notice he's a roaring lion.
I think his job is to paralyze us with fear.
That's what lions do when they roar.
It's like there's something terrifying about that and I think in terms of Satan.
He is a relentless terrorist because what he wants to do is build into us as believers. This terror freezes us that causes us to just be paralyze and instead we can be bold and so Peter says, resist him, but how are we to resist. You notice he doesn't say resist him in your own strength. This is a theology that you can see all through the Scriptures. In fact, Paul's teaching in Ephesians chapter 6 be strong in the what say the Lord be strong in the Lord here. It's resist him in the face. So this persistent faith and he calls it steadfast faith. It's faith. It's not moved by the roaring of Satan. It's not moved by the turbulent times that we face, but I can stay in bold. So it's not because okay I can mention 90 pounds.
So take that Satan now this is my own power.
This is of my own strength that will never stand against Satan. It is the faith that I have in the powerful Lord Jesus the salvation that he has wrought for me that's steadfast in faith and in fact that links us to the previous point that we observed.
This is where now again we need faith glasses not fear glasses were viewing the world around us is that which can be conquered because Jesus has conquered so it will powerful God who cares. We have a ferocious enemy who devours the fort first point overrules the fears and the second point, but there is a wonderful assurance. In this text and I want you to see it as we head towards her close here number three and this is the assurance it's not a command. The commands we are to resist the devil were to depend upon our heavenly father. But here's the assurance number three we can trust our powerful and loving God, we come full circle now because he began with dependency brings us right back to the trust. Why should I trust him. In what way can I say that God is the one who is in fact going to deliver me from these fears from these troubles. This is Peter's call to action and I want you to notice with me versus 10 and 11 but the God of the next two words say everybody all grace I was very good.
Let's try that again, the God of grace. This is not a God who is stingy with grace. This is a God who is the God of all grace, so much so that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Once again, if you can handle that problem than he can handle my daily problem.
So how does he define him well. We can trust our powerful and loving God with us. This look like them. Think of trusting his power. Verse six we Artie saw his mighty hand trust his goodness he cares for us. I can cast all my care on verse 10. He's the God of all grace I can trust his purposes. Why because he is called us to his eternal glory in Christ.
Look at verse 10 how he words it who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ eternal glory. That's what we look forward to young people. That's what where where we can enter into his glory and say we have conquered because Jesus is the one who saved us. Trust his purposes. Trust is work what you notice this. Look at verse 10. After that you have suffered a while, how long is that we don't know. Might be a short time might be a longer time, but I'm finding the older I get, the more I suffer aging is taking over.
But here's the promise. There is an end sometime. Look what he says we suffer while he will make us perfect. He will establish us.
He will strengthen us and hills us. What wonderful promises.
Those words are all these words are assurance of restoration. What I have with this is, in the end there is something better coming and then he closes this way in verse 11. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever and ever and ever.
That's not an accident that he closes that way. These were folks who were experiencing wrong Rome was in charge.
The people persecuting them were in charge and Peter reminds them another not. It is the God of heaven, who's in charge.
To him be dominion. This is not a wish for more power to recognition that he already has all of this power. All this dominion so I can trust him and I can trust his timing in due season. So how would we summarize all this. Let's put it this way, we refresh our anxious hearts when we trust our infinite God to handle our finite cares. Notice the words he is the one who is infinite.
My problems finite and so often we reverse those when we ought to be saying wait a minute. I have a huge God and my problems, though they feel and seem large to me to him. They are nothing.
All I need to do this depend upon trust and be actively resisting the one who seeks to destroy me.
So what about today is the call to action.
I want you to think.
What are your top three problems that you face today and then how can use bringing the action to make sure that you are doing your part to solve those problems as you trust the Lord specifically to guide you through those problems lists those problems and then cast those cares upon him, but don't don't resort to dynamic theology you spring an action say Lord what do you want me to do in order to handle these problems biblically as I trust you.
We pray together, Lord, thank you so much that in times of uncertainty times full of care, worrying anxieties, fears we have a God who is bigger than all of those in a God who stands ready because he loves us to solve those problems, and so help us to cast those cares upon you realizing that your love is so define for us through the cross that these little problems we face today today are nothing so we depend upon you help these young folks to develop that spirit of trust that gives them the bold confidence to rest in you and the role those anxieties upon you for it. In Jesus name we pray.
You been listening to a message preached by seminary professor Dr. Bruce Meyer join us again tomorrow is we continue the series, developing a healthy mind here on The Daily Platform