We start a NEW sermon series called ‘Joy Bringers’. This week’s preaching is from Nathan Gordon.
We all strive to be happy and healthy in this life and sometimes the pursuit of happiness can lead to frustration when the ideals of what we think happiness looks like are not attained. The reality is no one is truly happy all the time, we all face difficulties and challenges that alter our moods, however for the Christian, the apostle Peter highlights the importance of God’s joy that indwells every believer, that is all-season proof! In good times and bad, we can bask in the glory of God’s joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. There is simply no limit or barrier to the divine joy that fills believers’ hearts, knowing that even through trials and tribulations the Christian can be confident in Gods benevolent grace through our Lord Jesus Christ and the bright future of heaven and eternal life.
Purpose of the letter?
To encourage Christians throughout Asia minor who were facing severe persecution to continue serving Christ in love, patience and perseverance. Despite the challenging climate of persecution, Peter encourages the believers of their glorious inheritance and eternal reward to come.
– Christians can expect suffering/trails as a natural part of a life dedicated to Christ. Suffering is God’s tool to shape godly character within the believer. (1:6, 7;3:14;4:12-14)
– No matter how tempting Christians should avoid returning evil for evil, instead returning good as a response to evil.
– Peter’s letter dispels any false notion that becoming a Christian will result in a perpetual happy and prosperous life on earth with no struggles.
Why can you have Joy amid trials and tests?
1) The trials have a purpose – v6-7
– For our faith in God to be proven genuine
– Through trials and tests, our response can bring praise, glory and honour to Christ.
2) The trials of life cannot diminish your joy in Christ – v8
3) You have a future inheritance – v9
Take-Home – “The Joy in trials and challenging situations is knowing the God who you serve is greater than the test or situation that you face.”
1 John 4:4
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
- Other than your salvation and relationship with God what makes you happy?
- Linking in with question 1, now compare with your salvation and relationship with God, discuss the difference between the two.
- Whenever you experience trials and testing seasons in life, how does your relationship with God sustain you through such periods?
- The very fact that nothing can separate you from God’s love, discuss how you can respond to challenging seasons, taking into consideration Peter’s admonition to repay evil with good?
Title: Beyond Happiness
Reading: 1 Peter 1:6-9
Preacher: Nathan Gordon