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Hope When We Suffer - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2021 7:00 am

Hope When We Suffer - Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Christian maybe assayed a different way, the way of several years nursing, for joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt fellowship and alert the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana when Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world one thing is for me to stand and to look at you I see you in a different way altogether than you ever see yourself. I don't think this'll be surprised but you don't all look alike. There are old people and young people.

There are handsome people and less handsome people call people we represent different ages and different races.

We don't dress like we have different jobs. We have different backgrounds. We have different goals and different hobbies but we have two things in common. One is Jesus Christ. How wonderful is that. And secondly, this we all know what it means to suffer.

Suffering is the universal language when life hurts. We may express our anguish in different ways but all of us know the sting of pain or disease, or disaster, Joseph Parker, and a great preacher from yesteryear said this leads to the suffering and you will never lack congregation. There's a broken heart in every few suffering is the common thread in all of our garments. St. Augustine said this, there is only been one person who was ever lived on earth without sin. But there is no one who ever lived on earth without suffering.

It is common to all of us. Open your Bibles to first Peter first Peter we began a series on first Peter last time Peter is writing in epistle of hope that's the theme he wants people to have hope in the context of tremendous suffering. These people are scattered he says will see in a moment. These are people that have been thrown out of their families thrown out of their businesses thrown other towns. These are people who will been ostracized by almost everybody in their lives and their culture. These are people that experienced riots and slander.

These are people that have suffered immeasurably. This is only about three or four years before Nero will begin the persecution of Christians. What's so amazing about this is Peter is writing this and within about three years, Peter will have been executed according to tradition, crucified upside down and yet he writes this epistle of hope and he doesn't try to pump them up with some sort of version of positive thinking. When you read the epistle all the way through, over and over.

You sorta get decided it would Peter is this great Shepherd does is he simply put, in a sense puts his fingers under the chin of those who are suffering and sorta just with their head skyward to see the Lord. 15 times he refers to suffering. In this epistle. He uses eight different Greek words because of the depth of suffering one. Weathersby says that Peter wrote this epistle to encourage suffering Christians to be good witnesses to their persecutors. He wants to put their suffering in their pain and perspective. Peter has really one goal in mind. He wants to give them what they need and what we need hope he wants to give them hope. I am so convinced that there is almost nothing is important in your life. Living in this world is hope without hope. I believe that suffering can overwhelm you. And maybe worse without hope you'll let suffering define you and you will become a victim of that suffering so Peter starts by writing this Peter and apostle of Jesus Christ to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus and Galatia in A decision. Asian Bithynia. In other words that's Asia minor sort of what we call modern-day Turkey.

All of these people were being persecuted they are suffering immeasurably in the very first thing after he addresses them and this is a letter that is handed from one church to another. He says this to them who are chosen know whenever you're suffering that's probably not the first thought you have these is the first thing I want to let you know as suffering believers your chosen chosen by God is first reminder how he says according to the foreknowledge of God the father. In other words, an eternity past, God the father chose and then he goes on and says, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit or the Holy Spirit. The setting apart work of the Holy Spirit when you came to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit convicted you of your sin and then through your faith he set you apart to God and then he says, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood.

What the son of God did for you on the cross. He starts out placing don't you know how special you are to God the father foreknew you chose you the Holy Spirit at the time you came to Christ brought you the Christ. He convicted you of your sin and Jesus Christ himself the son of God died on the cross on your behalf. What he is trying to say is you realize just how close and how special you are to God. You see when we suffer, we don't often think that way doing we keep thinking where is God. Why am I suffering and then he says may grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure you see whatever you're suffering.

What is it you need is a child of God. I need grace I need his unmerited favor because I can see in the circumstances of my life much good at all in any piece, Paul, because of the peace beyond all understanding. I need peace and Peter starts I just in a salutation, and he talks about those things and then he gives them six reasons, just between verse three and verse nine he gives them six reasons why they can experience hope in the midst of suffering. The first is in verse three Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the way, that's praise. He starts off by praising God to the first place and went to start with this.

And remember all the suffering is I want to say, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy he didn't give us what we deserved gave us life only deserve death he said, has caused us to be born again. The same words that Jesus uses the Nicodemus you must be born again. He said God orchestrated that and that we were born again and then these words to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

While we have a living hope amazing when you think about that.

Let me define hope this way the certain eager expectation of life to come. This certain eager expectation of the future. That's what hope is. That's what you and I can have because were children of God.

That's with that world out there needs hope in the midst of suffering. He says it is a living hope it's not the concept of hope is not the abstract of hope it's living hope, because Christ is alive but also it's a hope that grows the amount of hope that you have as a believer is directly in proportion to how mature you are in Christ how closely you walk with him. How well you know him because if you don't know him well when you suffer. You have very little hope. He said it's a living hope we have.

He says a living hope without Christ.

I don't know how people go through certain things I don't. In fact, in the culture in which we live. What is hope. It's it's wishful thinking.

I hope I win the lottery. I hope wishful thinking. HL Mencken American newspaperman and cynic of this hope is a pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible image that it using without Christ. What hope is there, you see pretty much if you don't have Jesus Christ I can tell you exactly what your life is life stinks and then you die. You see, that's the way it works worth a whole. But Peter says we been born to a living hope is a Christian whatever it is that you're going through. It's never the end of your story as a Christian, whatever it is you're going through.

It is never the end of your story maybe assayed a different way. The website is overall the years. The worst thing that could happen to you. Cannot happen to you in what that is. That's hope you see that's hope. James Gray said this, who can mind the journey of life. When the road always leads his home. When a great statement. How hopeful was that we have a living hope we have an ironclad reservation.

We have an ironclad reservation.

Notice the next verse verse four to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you when reservation reserved not to be too technical, but that's a perfect passive participle in the Greek because it's a perfect tense.

It means that it in an eternity past, it was reserved and the results of that reservation go to eternity future reserved in heaven for you, these are people who are suffering.

Many of them are about to give their lives and he says look you have an ironclad reservation.

It's not like anything else anymore. So, must you he doesn't want to talk about us as general group.

He says I want to talk about you.

You need it. Make the personal I have a reservation reserved for me.

Hold your place and go with me to John 14 for a moment, just the first four verses of John 14 Jesus speaking to exactly that reservation concerning death. Jesus says this. Do not let your heart be troubled with the suffering due to was troubles are pain screams source. It seems to be excruciating at time and Jesus said do not let your heart be troubled, peace, and you believe in God but believe also in me. And here's the reservation in my father's house.

He said are many dwelling places. If it were not so I would've told you he said, for I go and I prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself and where I am, there you may be also.

How do you get that I don't care what happens in your life. I don't care how difficult your death is there is a place that Jesus Christ is prepared for you and on that door is your name. You see, reserved by Christ. The let's go back to Peter.

Notice what Peter says about that Peter says that inheritance is imperishable.

It's undefiled, it will not fade away. Nothing can change that. What an amazing statement that is on his part.

Guaranteed reservation like doesn't kinda work that way. Remembering you know when the past and you would travel motels or hotels and to try to get reserve a room ahead and at that time you want to reserve something to say, like non-smoking. Then you pull when 1130 at night.

Extremely tired and in the clerk tells you something like what we we we gave that room away. I had a reservation and I know sorry and if you're lucky you'll get a smoking room for the night you walk into a sporting event, like a Saints game and you have the role in the seat number you stand there look. Donning you see that the people sitting in your chair there in your seat you have reservations see others works sometimes on a human level.

It could be reserved, but it might not be there when you get there.

That's not this case.

This is undefiled imperishable, it can fade away.

That name on that door is yours.

Jesus Christ made that reservation, he said we have an ironclad reservation. We have a living hope in verse five he says we have divine protection, he says, who are protected by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed at the last time that were so patient be also translated for a deliverance that will be revealed at that last time. The ultimate blessing is to be protected by the power of God. That's an amazing thing protected by the power of God. Chuck Swindoll writes this no matter what the calamity no matter what the disappointment or the depth of the pain.

No matter what kind of destruction occurs in our bodies at the time of our death. Our souls are divinely protected by the power of God. James Moffitt said God stands between you and all that menaces your hope or threatens your eternal welfare. You see he trying to tell us I am protecting you somehow for many of us.

We never have a way of appropriating that for ourselves what is it we need why think it's implied in this verse we need to accept our life the way it is. We need to accept that the mystery of hardship and suffering, and misfortune. One of the things we often do us Christians that I just don't quite understand the matter how deep the suffering we always want to explain it, you know, sometimes the explanations are not readily available. See, it's a matter whether I accepted any other thing is the second step would be do I trust God, see do I trust him.

In that sense to ultimately deliver me, and ultimately save me. Yes, we have a living hope we have an ironclad reservation.

We have divine protection and we have but we all know in verses six and seven a developing faith, he says in this you greatly rejoice when a paradoxical thing to say. These people were suffering.

They couldn't wait to hear a word from Peter and he says, and in the suffering you greatly rejoice.

Seems like an oxymoron to us than the he said even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. The implication is that joy is not circumstantial.

You see, that's a different kind that's the kind everybody has. Everybody is happy.

By the way when you're done suffering no matter what the event is in your life. Annette finally comes to an end. You're just so happy the joy that he is talking about here Aguilera all is only in the New Testament. This this word is never used other drinks in their own secular writing because the this word means joy no matter what the circumstances are in the Greeks thought is not possible.

You can have joy if the circumstances are horrible computers that I beg to differ.

You can you see you can any says in this you greatly rejoice, even though now I notice the exclamation for little while qualified if Peter were here today and you were explaining to him your suffering. He would say yes I know my child but it's just for a little while, and you might say what I don't understand that I've been I've been suffering for 10 years. Yes, he said that's just a little while.

See how many say such a thing he sees in light of what eternity you see. Eternity is the absence of time it is forever, but if I were using a number of nice said how does 10 years compared to 10 trillion years. See what percentage of 10 trillion years is 10 is not even a millisecond see that pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike the method one more time. Remember the good of great website called one that's one and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word.

We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible with all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry. Continue with broadcast on this radio station by supporting a monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service of fellowship monitored visit our website FVC that SBC and oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sensors are looking you can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for.

You can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening and remembering all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC for pastor Bill Gebhardt and Jason Gebhardt.

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