How to Be Hopeful in Distress
1 Peter 1:3-9
77% regular physical symptoms caused by stress
73% regular psychological symptoms of stress
48% lose sleep b/c of stress
33% believe they’re living w/ extreme stress
Something bad happens to you
Something scares you – health, danger, finances
Peter wrote to people suffering severe difficulties
How do you deal with it?
What does God want you to do with it?
Why does God allow it to happen?
I. A New Mindset With A Different Focus
A. Born Again to a living hope v. 3
1. Ro 8:24-25 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
B. Inheritance Reserved in Heaven v. 4
1. New value system
C. New source of strength
1. Protected by the Power of God v. 5
2. Heb 6:17-20 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, 18so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
II. Dealing With Stress
A. Greatly Rejoice, Even Though Distressed v. 6
1. Worries of this life can’t effect what really matters, unless you let them
2. 2 Co 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
III. Purpose of Stress
A. Proof (genuineness) of your faith v. 7
1. Tested by fire
2. Testing by fire makes is stronger
3. Difficulties make you stronger
4. 1 Sa 17:34-36 But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36″Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
5. Ro 5:2-5 we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
B. Results in praise, glory, honor
1. Joseph – Potiphar, jail, ruler
2. Daniel – slave, lion’s den, ruler
3. Look what God did for them – his glory
C. Faith defined
1. V. 8 have not seen him, love him
a. Do not see him, but believe in him
b. Greatly rejoice – believing in him means believing he will do what he promised
2. V. 9 outcome – salvation of your souls
1 Peter 1:3-9
3 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,
4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
7 so that the proof of your faith, being 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 of Jesus Christ;
8 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,
9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.