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A Proper Perspective in Trouble

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 14, 2022 12:00 am

A Proper Perspective in Trouble

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, July 14th. Today's lesson continues the study of 1 Peter chapter 1. Let's see God's purpose in pain as we learn how to maintain the proper perspective in trouble. If you'll turn to 1 Peter, and we want to begin tonight with the sixth verse to go through the ninth verse, and that is, we're able to live triumphantly through our trials when we keep our perspective right. So let's begin with verse 1, just to sort of get ourselves back up to where we were. Remember that Peter's writing to those Christians who've been scattered all over Asia, which is now Turkey. But I want us to read that and just recall verse 2, 3, 4, and 5, because I want to begin in those verses again.

He says, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood. May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you. That is, for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Now, in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. That the proof of your faith, being much more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation or the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And though you have not seen him, you love him. And though you do not see him now, but believe in him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. Now, the key is not how do you and I look at trials and tribulations and heartaches in our life, but the truth is, what we have to ask as a believer is how do we respond to them? That is, how do we react when things don't go our way? That is, when we're facing opposition and trials and heartaches and all kinds of disappointments and disillusionments in life, and sometimes it may be persecution, but sometimes it may be just that part of life that just doesn't seem to be going our way.

How do we respond? In order to keep the right perspective when the bottom's dropping out and the sides are caving in and we don't know what to do next, the key to keeping the right perspective, as he says in this passage, is first of all, we need to reaffirm our position of security in him. Whenever you and I are facing hardship, the first thing we need to do is to reaffirm that we are secure in him. Why are we secure? We aren't secure on the basis of our performance, our conduct, or our behavior.

We aren't secure on the basis of how we respond to trials and heartaches. We are secure in the person of Jesus Christ on the basis of his sacrificial, all-sufficient, substitutionary death at Calvary. And the moment we received him, having been chosen by him, a new birth experience took place in our life.

And God, listen, God assumed the responsibility of protecting us. The second thing, we need, listen, reaffirming our position in him. Secondly, reaffirming that our trials will be profitable. Now, first of all, he describes the nature of these trials that we face. Now, these people were undergoing not only persecution, but the word he uses for trials here, not the words he normally used for tribulation and persecution. It is the same word for trials that is found. Turn back over, if you will, to James chapter one for a moment.

You remember what he uses? The Greek word, he is parasmos, which is the word for testings and temptations. He says in verse two, count it all joy when you encounter various trials. Listen, count it all joy when you encounter, when you run into, when all of a sudden you're confronted with these various trials.

Well, go back over to 1 Peter chapter one, verse six. In this, you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials. So he says, first of all, talking about the nature of the trials, because they're the same kinds we face. He says, first of all, they're various.

And that word is many fold. That is, they come from all directions. They come from all kinds of sources. They hit us when we expect it, when we don't expect it.

There's no way to foretell the kind of troubles and heartaches and tribulations and trials that we'll face in life. Sometimes they come, they're private. Sometimes they're family. Sometimes they're finance. Sometimes they're relationships with other people. Sometimes they're vocational. It doesn't make any difference where they come from.

That's not the issue. The issue is, he says, when you encounter various, various kinds, many colored, many sources, many avenues of trials. He says, so you can look for them in every direction. Secondly, he says, they're grievous. Listen, he says, in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed. That is, you are, listen, you are grieved about what's going on. You're feeling the burden of it. He says, even though right now you are undergoing the heaviness of it. Now, sometimes we face situations and circumstances that become very heavy. It's one thing for us to go through something a day or a few hours.

But you see, the longer you undergo and the longer you walk through the tunnel and through the valley, oftentimes the heavier and heavier and heavier the weight of the burden is. That's why believers need to be sensitive to one another and to be able to discern in each other's life when we are going through troubles and heartaches and trials. And he says, oftentimes they are distressing. They bring great grief. We weep over them.

We cry about them. Sometimes we plead before God, God deliver us from these things. Not only that, he says, if necessary, some of these things you and I go through are necessary. Haven't you said to the Lord, Lord, is this necessary? And oftentimes God would probably say, yes, it is. And we'd like to say, well, God, tell me why. And God says, you don't have to know why. And so all of us think sometimes the things we go through could be avoided.

Well, it could be avoided, but, you know, oftentimes the things we'd like to avoid are the most profitable circumstances we go through. So he says here in this passage, he says, if necessary, some of these trials are necessary. Listen, what is it necessary?

It's certainly not necessary to my convenience or my pleasure or my comfort, but necessary to our spiritual growth and the building of Godlike character in our life. When we respond properly, we grow. Now, listen, God can have you over here and want you over here and say, all right, down to the valley. And if you manipulate and run and blame and cry and weep and blame somebody else for your troubles and don't respond right, you know what happens? Listen, you know what happens when you do that?

You get the valley treatment without getting the reward. If you don't respond right, God, I don't like it. It's his fault, her fault. I don't know why my life is this way and we blame, blame, blame, blame, blame somebody else.

What happens? Well, you're spending all the time that it would have taken you to get over here, over here, same amount of time. And when it's all over and God lets up the pressure, you don't have anything. But oftentimes a guilty conscience and you're deeper in the rut and feeling worse about everything. When if you and I could reaffirm our position in him, I am chosen by him. I am born again, I am protected by him, and I want to reaffirm that through these days of trial, I'm going to profit from this. He says sometimes it's necessary.

There are various, sometimes they're very distressful. But listen to what he says, and this is the part I like. Don't always get it that way. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a what?

Little while. Against the background of eternity, what is 30 minutes of suffering, 30 days, 30 weeks, 30 months, or 30 years against the background of eternity? And Peter is saying here in this passage, he says, in this you have a right to rejoice. Now he says greatly rejoice, that is with great jubilance and confidence and assurance and rejoicing and happiness in your heart.

He says rejoice, even though now for a little while, that is a little season of time in your life, because of necessity, you are going to be and have been under distress and great burdens because of these manifold trials, these heartaches, these times of temptation and suffering that you're undergoing. Now he says, what is the outcome of this? He says, now here's the reason you and I have a right to rejoice.

We have a right to expect and anticipate every trial to be profitable. That is, I'm going to be better off as a result of this. Well, listen to what he says, verse seven. He says, first of all, here are the results that you can expect. Now watch this, here are the results you can expect in your faith. There are several things that are going to happen to your faith. First of all, he says, your faith is going to be proven. Listen, that the proof of your faith and that word is the Greek word dakimadzo, which means to put something to the test, anticipating that it will come through victoriously. That is, anticipating that that which is being tested is going to prove trustworthy and worthy and responsible and reliable. He says that the proof of your faith, that is the testing of your faith, he says, being much more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire.

He says, for example, how do you purify gold but with fire? He says, your faith tested by fire is much more valuable than gold. He says, now, the key, the key to growing in our Christian life and the key to facing trials is responding correctly. And how am I going to respond correctly when I reaffirm in my mind in the middle of this trial, I'm going to listen, I'm coming at a winner in this deal. I am going to profit from this period of suffering. Now, he says, first of all, the proving of our faith.

That's the first result. Now, when he proves us, he strengthens our faith. So here's what God does. Here's how God operates in our faith. The Lord takes your little faith over here where it is, and his goal is to ever increase the strength of your faith as long as you have breath within your body. God will never be satisfied with you being able to believe a little bit and believe more. Listen, he wants you to believe more and more and more and more and more and more so that we are literally doing what we say, walking in faith and walking by faith. Now, as I was looking at that passage of Scripture, I was thinking about the things in my own life that God has used to lift and to build my faith.

Well, I don't have time to give you all of those tonight, but I can look back in my life and every single time the test got harder, the opposition to overcoming it seemed to be greater. And each time the end result, two things, but one of them was stronger faith. Now, God did the same thing in your life.

In fact, that is what he's doing. And if you look back in your life, I bet you could count some things, too. And back yonder when you thought, oh, God, how am I going to handle this?

Now you think, my goodness, man, that's for kids back there. But be careful. He may bring you another one of those up on your blind side and check you out because, you see, God wants to strengthen our faith. But he isn't just interested in us being where we are. He's interested in us becoming who he is because of his life within us. So first of all, he says our faith is proven.

Secondly, notice what he says. He says it is purified that the proving of your faith being much more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire. Now, here's what I've discovered my own life. When the test comes, not only is my faith strengthened when I respond correctly, but there's a purifying process that you face.

Because what happens when you face something you can't handle? What happens is you think, oh, God, and you on your bended knee, you're crying out to God, searching your heart, searching your life, checking up on your life, repenting of sin, getting things cleaned up so that, you know, absolutely without a shadow of a doubt. God, I want to be sure that I'm hearing you.

I'm not hearing anything. This isn't my personal opinion. I'm not being influenced by somebody else. God, this is of you, and I humble myself before you, search my life, cleanse my life, purify my life. God, whatever's necessary, do it. I want to be sure I am ready for what I'm in the middle of.

There's a purifying process that goes on. This is why the Psalmist says that it was good for him to undergo suffering and trial. Because suffering and trial has a purifying effect upon our faith.

Now, let me ask you a question. When are you able to believe God for the most? When you're living in sin or when you're living in obedience? Man, listen, rebellion against God and disobedience to God, you know what it does?

It just pull the plug on your faith. It's very difficult to believe God in times of trial when you're not living obediently to him. So that the trials not only prove and test and strengthen our faith, it purifies our faith.

Well, there's something else interesting that he says here. He says, tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only is it proven, not only is it purified, but he says, our faith is going to be praised. Listen, he says, the result may be not only the proving of our faith and the purifying of it, but the praising of it may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen, you know that God is excited when you and I are obedient to him and he gives us these big tests and we plunge through trusting him and come out on the other side.

What? Stronger in our faith, purer in our faith. God wants to bless. He is ready to bless.

He listen, he anticipates the blessing of his children. So one of the results of focusing my attention properly and anticipating that my faith is going to grow stronger and I'm going to come out a winner in this situation. That's the second result besides what happens to my faith. And that's what happens to my relationship to Jesus Christ.

Listen to this. Verse eight, and though you've not seen him. Now, listen to what Peter didn't say.

Peter didn't say, though we've not seen him. He was writing to people who had not seen the Lord Jesus Christ because he had. He says, and though you have not seen him, you love him. And though you do not see him now, but believe in him, you greatly rejoice with joy, inexpressible and full of glory. Listen, when you and I go through difficulties and heartaches and trials and we respond correctly. And God, who saw us over here and takes us through the valley and the hardship and the trial and the heartache and the difficulty and brings us out over here. Not only is my faith proven and found trustworthy, not only is it purified and not only is there praise from God for it, but my personal relationship to Jesus Christ.

Listen, there's no way to go through heartaches and trials, tribulations and all the rest without loving Jesus more and believing in more. And listen, being contented with him and rejoicing. So what does that do? Makes you love him more, makes you believe in more.

What else? It just makes you get more and more satisfied with just him. Listen, the more you love Jesus Christ, the less you love this world.

You know what? Because you don't need it. The more you fall in love with him, the less you need of everything else in life. That doesn't mean that you to shut all the folks out. It means that things don't have their place in your life. God does.

And naturally, other people will because he's living in them. So when you think about it, trials really aren't so bad after all. That is, when we count the end result, what's the end result? My faith is going to be proven and stronger. It is going to be purified.

That makes it more powerful. It is going to have the praise worthiness of Jesus Christ. My love for Jesus is going to be greater. My belief in him is going to be stronger.

And my joy and contentment and happiness over him is going to make me contented in life with the Lord Jesus Christ. Bring it on. Amen. Let me ask you a question. How do you respond when troubles come? You want to fight, blame, accuse, run, escape, give up, quit, get in despair, disillusionment, say it's hopeless, blame God, get angry at God. Oh, my friend, do you want the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful privilege of taking a big, giant leap in your faith, in your growth and in your loving devotion to Jesus Christ? Thank you for listening to A Proper Perspective in Trouble. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-25 06:27:19 / 2023-03-25 06:35:01 / 8

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