This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
1 Peter 1:3-9 God’s Survival Guide for Times of Trial
you ever had problems or trials in your lives? We often have times of trial and
difficulty in life. Sometimes they are the result of things we have done, and
other times they are caused by God. All of us know what it is like to be hurt.
It is part of all cultures, and it can only be cured by a powerful potion. In
the case of believers, that potion is faith. Christian hope is grounded on the
reality of Christ and his resurrection. Christ will protect us from persecution.
He will protect our souls while allowing our trials to strengthen our faith.
Trials humble us and prove the genuineness of our faith, but we can rejoice in
suffering because of our faith.
of our trials are temporary, because our life on earth is like a snap of our
fingers-over in a flash. Our sufferings pale in comparison to the glory we will
receive in heaven. We do not have to wait to catch a glimpse of God, because
Jesus has told us about God. If we have faith in Jesus, we have faith in God.
Faith makes us certain of the realities we can’t see, including God. When all
seems hopeless, faith gives us the strength we need to keep going. Faith gives
tests our faith so that we can experience his love.God will be with us as we face life’s
challenges. We must not let our trials take away our joy. In fact, a good sense
of humour can help us cope with life’s challenges. We can receive joy in the
midst of our trials because God is with us. The power of God keeps us strong
through faith and will continue to do so until the Second Coming. Our faith
might be weak, but God is strong.This
joy is unspeakable and full of glory because it comes from the Holy Spirit
within us. This knowledge comforts us along with the knowledge that our trials
are temporary. Our hope is in Christ alone. Hardships can strengthen our faith,
and suffering can strengthen our character. Suffering can make us more
sensitive to others. All of these refinements cause us to be more like Christ.
matter how bad things get, we are to keep trusting in God, because God keeps
his promises. He promised to be with us always, and he is with us always. We
who trust Christ must praise God for keeping his promise of salvation. We must
also live out that salvation in our daily lives. Salvation is a gift from God,
and he gives believers this gift because of his mercy, grace and sovereignty.
The world puts its hope in things that decay but Peter reminds us that our
sure, secure hope is in Jesus. This hope allows us to face life’s challenges.
Having hope does not mean that we won’t have problems, but it does mean that our
sorrow will not last and that joy is central to our hope. Suffering leads to
praise, honour and glory.
wrote his first letter at a time when early Christians were being persecuted.
The early Jews gave a living testimony to Jesus as the long-promised Messiah.
Thousands came to Christ, but the early Jews were under a lot of heat.
Christians are still being persecuted today, especially in the developing
world. Like the early Jews, they can take hope in the knowledge of Christ’s
resurrection. When we are asked why we have hope, we can say that it is because
of Christ’s resurrection experience in our lives as we are born again in the
Spirit. The rebirth gives us a heavenly inheritance that will never perish,
will never be polluted and will always be bright. That living hope is also our
shield against the perils of our sin-filled world.
we face trials, it’s only natural for us to grieve, but we have the best
comforter of all-Jesus. He has promised to be our Comforter and Encourager. He
will be there so that our faith may be proved genuine. He will be with us so
that we can gain praise, honour and glory at the Revelation of Christ. When we
turn to Christ, especially in times of trial, we get to know God, we get a new
life in Christ and we get a future in heaven.