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April 14, 2021 2:00 am
By and large, people hate suffering of any kind. There is even a theology that says God doesn't want us to suffer—ever. In the message "Why We Hate Trials (And Why We Love Them)," Skip shares how rejoicing and trials can go together.
This teaching is from the series Rock Solid.Links:
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You know something.
Grief is a normal and healthy human expression. Anybody that tells you all of your Christian you want to put on a fake smile on March through life, brave face, so the more spiritual they don't know what you're only making the trial worse thing to do is be honest and say with the Bible. I believe Jeremiah the prophet said why is my pain on ending in my womb, Beavis, and in your will go through times of great pain, but God can work through even your toughest moments to accomplish something beautiful in your life today on connect with Skip Heitzig Skip shares how God can use the struggles you fix to make you the person you will need to first we want to share about where you can you even more uplifting teachers from now. I just want to let you know how we can stay connected on my YouTube channel. Just search for Skip Heitzig sick that Skip HEITZI you'll find in-depth Bible teachings and insightful interviews. And don't forget to subscribe. Thank you, Skip first Peter chapter 1 as we dive into the teaching with Skip Heitzig. There's two words in verse six, verse six and seven over and look at the first Peter chapter 1, October words in verse six that just don't seem to together word rejoice in the word trials are in the same sentence.
Rejoice trials is that even possible. Should those words even be together mean are certain words that just when you see them together to go. They don't fit airline food is an example never work for me.
It's disputable as to whether really is food or not to say that with hospital food. I think as well on political science are two words that don't fit pretty ugly Microsoft Works and there are several other examples but rejoice and trials you know we we rejoice when the trials are over. We get happy if we can avoid our trial, but the fact that Peter would write about these two ideas in the same breath these two life experiences in the same sentence shows as it is possible in the midst of great suffering to have great joy. There's a couple of giveaway words that you need to notice in verse six.
Look how he begins the sentence in this you greatly rejoice course question is in what this where you need to have been here for the previous studies to understand what this is all about is what he has written about in the previous verses in this you greatly rejoice, and if you recall, last week we noted that God has the power to save you the power to secure you the power to send you to heaven. So as you look around you can't rejoice much and what you see in your trials, but if you look ahead you can. We want examine your favorite subject this morning.
Trials we hate trials, but we also love them we love them because of what they produce.
We don't love it when were going through them but we love it when it's all over the pain stops and we've learned lessons from so the name of my message is why we hate trials and why we love them to give you five reasons five characteristics of trials, beginning in verse six, characteristic number one trials are diverse. Look at it with me.
Verse six in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be. You have been grieved by various trials.
If you have an old King James it says manifold trials. Did you know that the word actually means many colored variegated many colored manifold. Various colors as many colors as are on a Pantone chart of colors which are, by the way, 1114 because I checked as many colors as you have on that chart are kinds of suffering kinds of trials that you can experience, you discover the trials come in all shades and all hues.
Some are small, some are big, some are short-term are very long.
Peter just sort of sums all that up by saying in this you greatly rejoice, though now for all while if need be. You have been grieved by various trials because of what I do. I speak to people every single week.
Almost every single day about some trials that they face death of a loved one loss of a job emotional heartache, depression, it's what we do as part of what we do and as I was on in the earlier years of my ministry. I decided to keep a little Journal of trials may decide to 71 weeks worth of stuff that I in dealing with and encountering just accounted to get an understanding a handle on on that volume and so I wrote a few things down that happened in a one-week period of time a few years ago and I kept that Journal of first of all, is a Saturday evening phone call a chaplain of the local hospital called me to come down to the emergency room. There was a couple from our church that was there with her baby. By the time I got down there. The baby had died.
There was a mother holding that little infant in her arms. She didn't see it coming.
None of us are coming, but it was this huge weight and heartache during the same week I got a phone call that somebody in my own family had died during that same week I was informed and got involved in a counseling session for childhood been molested by a family member. During that same week I spoke to Christian parents whose daughter was arrested on prostitute charges. During that same week I got a letter from missionaries. I had just been with in the Philippines they were burning houses around their house. Their lives were threatened. During that same week, a couple in our church was going through a divorce would been married 20 years. During that same week a Christian woman in our fellowship was in a serious automobile accident was in the hospital in stable and recovering condition. Trials don't come in one shade they come in a variety of colors. Pain wears many faces.
I suppose of working to categorize the various trials we would say there are physical trials. There are mental or emotional trials in their spiritual trial.
The Bible speaks about all three. First of all, there are physical trials.
We know the reality of cancer, strokes and heart attacks, birth defects, automobile accidents in the Bible.
People suffered. Job suffered.
He had a deteriorating, debilitating long-term skin condition in the New Testament, the great apostle Paul had what he called a foreign in the flash.
Most scholars believe it to be a lingering eye disease.
There was Simon, who was a leper. There are chapters written about diseases and physical conditions that affect God's people. So there are physical trials then are emotional trials. One of the reasons we love the book of Psalms so much as we think that's in the Bible.
This dude suffered like that but I felt that same emotional trauma before I one occasion. David even said I make my own bed to swim in my own tears.
That's in an emotional trauma. Elijah the prophet besides being a dynamic spokesperson for God experienced both exhaustion and depression.
And when he ran away down toward Sinai eventually cried out to God and said it is enough. Lord, take away my life so absolutely distraught that he wanted to die.
It's an emotional trial. I think that dedicated believers are susceptible to this. I think if you have a dedicated believer somebody who has nose to the grind stone kind of a work ethic and just pushes it and pushes it they can get exhausted when you are physically exhausted, you open yourself up to all sorts of issues, including depression, the great missionary to India.
E. Stanley Jones spoke of a minister who is preparing a 10 part series called how to avoid a nervous breakdown before he finished the series. You know what happened you got one. He had a nervous breakdown, minister of the gospel, pushing it, pushing it, pushing it nervous breakdown. Then there are spiritual trials. We often don't think about those but they are very real.
That's when we struggle over our own sin in our own guilt, for we wrestle with doubts about God when we wrestle with on expectations, we may have of God's spiritual expectations that are unrealistic expectations and we feel let down when then I realized John the Baptist. I think was going to a spiritual trial when he was in prison and he believed in Jesus and he thought Jesus was the Messiah Jesus was in making things happen like you thought they should happen so he sends a messenger to Jesus and there's the question, are you really the one or should we look for somebody else is her spiritual doubts. Those are spiritual expectations that weren't met. Those were trials. The trials are diverse. There are various trials. The second characteristic and probably the reason we hate trials the most is because trials cause grief. Notice the wording in the text in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a while if need be. You have been grieved a better translation would be distressed made happy is the idea is like your your walk around life carrying you your loader burden summary put something on your something comes upon you, and it's unbearable. It's weighing you down, it's crushing you.
You are grieved by when things happen to you. It grieves you got to know something.
Grief is a normal and healthy human expression. Anybody that tells you all of your Christian you want to put on a fake smile and march through life with a brave face so that you look more spiritual. They don't know what they're talking about your only making the trial worse. Best thing to do is to be honest and say what the Bible says I'm grieved Jeremiah the prophet said why is my pain and ending in my wound grievous and incurable. Even solid.
So there's a time to laugh, and there is a time to weep and mourn greed. In ancient times, the Hebrews when they would lose somebody in their family or a loved one, they would have a public period of grief that lasted 30 days.
In other words society expected you for a month to show emotional grief they gave you a month break did me get a month off but it means you can publicly grieved with the wearing of sackcloth and ashes. The ripping of the garments there was a public display of grief 30 days. The Egyptians did it for 70 days. I had a friend visit me from another country music you know of all the things I notice in the differences between where I live in America is you Americans are like really low on the emotional scale. I mean it's like a funeral. It's like the weirdest softness, glorious music and everybody's is yours in the country that I live in.
We gives full vent to our grief and our emotions when somebody dies is a whale that takes place so trials cause grief is the third characteristic.
This is gonna take a little bit off guard trials can be helpful. They can be helpful. They can be so good for you I know is unlike your mom right take this medicine a really, really taste bad, but it's good for you. Sorta like that. But what the text says in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a while. This phrase, if need be given thought about this you think Peter is actually saying that there are times when God knows you need a trial noticing exactly what he said. Listen to Philip Yancey who writes a lot about suffering. He said if you pin them against the wall in the dark in a secret moment.
Many Christians would probably admit that pain was God's one mistake.
He really should've work a little harder and invented a much better way of coping with the world's dangers with Peter by that little phrase if need be, is indicating that there are special times when God knows we need trials that they can in fact be the will of God that is contrary to a modern state theology that says it's never God's will for you to suffer. They have never read the book of Peter very well. If they say that Peter writes a lot about suffering, but more specifically suffering. According to the will of God hears two examples.
First Peter chapter 3 verse 17 for it is better if in the will of God to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. Chapter 4 verse 19. Let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to him. In doing good. When we suffer, we have no idea what need in our life is being met by a sovereign God and you need to know something Christian God is in control. He is in control.
He's got you covered. He has this wired he's been doing this a long time before you and I ever got around her is in control. He knows what he's about I need is being met. You don't need what what what need could I possibly have that suffering would help. Let me answer that for you. It's quite simple actually trials correct us a course correction. If you're a parent you understand you get this. Your kids are growing up and exerting their own private will. They don't want to do what you want to do and they get really hard and really recalcitrant, if you're a good parent. At some point in their life to spank the child if you don't spank a child we need to spank you.
Perhaps you need to correct the course of that child you want to break the spirit definitely want to change the will that comes through a course correction give that child the trial David said in Psalm 119 before I was afflicted I went astray.
But now I keep your word. There it is. He said it before I was afflicted before I got spanked by you, God, I went astray. But now I keep your work trials correct.
CS Lewis eloquently said it this way, pain plants, the flag of truth in the fortress of a rebel soul so that's why it's needful.
It corrects us. Her son also does. It humbles us. I tell you, pain does something to just sort of get us right back down to the ground.
Even Paul the apostle was humbled by a trial in second Corinthians chapter 12 Paul indicates that he had so many revelations from God.
The God needed to keep them humble.
Now, just listen to this. According to the Scripture. Paul had for personal revelations from God. God spoke to Paul. I don't mean he had a pizza late at night.
We woke up and exiting. I think God speaking to me. None of God spoke to him on one occasion he was taken to heaven.
The third heaven and it was just so amazing. He said it was just so cool I can even tell you how cool it was and I've always hated that person Scriptures like, what was it like I can't even tell you what is so great, but this is what he does say last.
I should be exalted above measure a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan was given to me to torment me for three times. I asked the Lord to remove it and he said my grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in humbled him. I guess God talking to you could could pump you up, you have lunch with a guy flying star you think about your sandwich or salad your ice cream.
Whatever it is all by the way God has been speaking to me and I got taken to heaven the other day really humble by trial the correct as they humble us. Number three. They strengthen us when James writes about trials. He said the testing of your faith produces patience. Now that's pretty needful with any of you struggle with patient's issues, yet your personal life. Got any patients now you have an issue with patient's you know it gives you patient you know it gives you that kind of softening of the character storms, trials, hardship there also needful because they equip us.
They equip us to deal with other sufferers. You're never equipped to comfort suffering person until you become a suffering person. That's why support groups are so Bacons and they work is because you get people struggling with the same issues together sharing their secrets, how they deal with stuff as powerful first Corinthians 1.
The God of all comfort comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can be a comfort to those who are in any trouble with the comfort we have received from God's a bare minimum we go to trial so that we can help people who will go through very similar experiences later on. You can save let me tell you how to get through this and to do it right. As you been there. A.B. Simpson wrote you will not have any test of faith that will not fit you to be a blessing. I never had a trial but when I got out of the deep River. I found some poor pilgrim on the bank that I was able to help by that very experience trials are diverse trials cause grief trials can be needful.
That's why we should love them because we need them number four trials reveal faith. Trials reveal faith. Let me let me be more direct. They reveal what kind of faith you have verse seven that the genuineness mark that word of your faith be more precious than gold perishes, though it is tested by fire. You know how a jeweler could always tell of the gold that was brought to him was real or fake. Now he could tell. Put in the fire, heated up you heated up to the right's melting temperature in a smelting furnace. You can tell if it's fake or if it's real or how pure that gold is you. Now you can tell what your faith is like heated up, put in the fire see what kind of purity or impurity exist in that person's faith, a faith that cannot tested as a faith cannot be trusted. So God tested tested to strengthen us but also to reveal to us what kind of faith we have.
If you recall Jesus gave a parable story about different kinds of people who listen for different ways to him. Not everybody listens to sermons or truth the same way Jesus said some of that seed that was shown fell upon stony places were did not have much earth, and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of her but when the sun was up, they were scorched because they had no room withered away that skintight message from the series locks on no one to share about a special resource that helps you confidently in the face of Jesus and even licensor.
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We want to see time variant God. Isaiah the prophet said truly you are a God who hides himself same sentiment. C. God have a relationship with. So once again I asked the question how have we relationship a personal relationship with being was so different from my cell may Skip presentation of connection communications to guns, never changing to