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Jun 19, 2022

Finding Joy Even In The Hard Times

Finding Joy Even In The Hard Times

Passage: 1 Peter 3:1-15

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Joyful Exiles

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: worship, faith, jesus, wisdom, sunday, god, sermon, bible, gospel, hope, joy, holy spirit, peace, believe, inspiration, happy, jesus christ, happiness, bible study, first peter, gods plan, mindfulness, live music, how to be happy, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, jesus loves me, find joy, happy life, no longer slaves, burnt hickory worship, be alright, morning motivation, above inspiration

Struggling in life is inevitable, but as Christians, we don’t have to be miserable when life gets hard. As we continue looking at 1 Peter, we see that we can find joy even in the hard times of life. Pastor Matt shows us that we can seek peace through being humble, compassionate, and by loving one another. We know that suffering is coming, and when we prepare for it and turn the suffering into a witness because Christ has already won, then we can find ultimate joy. What suffering in your life is robbing you of peace and joy? How does your mindset change when viewing that suffering in the light of Jesus’ victory over death? What do you need to change that will lead you to joy in the midst of suffering? If you’ve got questions or want to take the next step in your faith journey, then reach out to day – We’d love to pray with you and help you find joy in life.

Well, good morning, Church. I hope you have had an incredible, incredible week. And listen, if you're visiting with us, or maybe this is your first time here man, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for being here. I got to meet a couple of you. A couple of you are here with kids and celebrating today. And let me just say, we are thankful that you're here today. Now, look, I know before I jump into anything I want to give some credit where credit is due. Today, it is Father's Day. It's Father's Day. That's the day that comes right after, like, Flag Day. No one really cares but it's cool. It's all right. It's good. We're OK with that. But I do want to just say this to all the dads and granddads, to all the spiritual fathers we just want to say thank you to you guys. In fact, if you're a dad in the room, I ain't gonna make you stay in because that's like the worst thing a dad can ever do is have to stand up. But if you're a dad in the room, would you just kind of give us a wave right now. Just let us appreciate you say thank you to you guys. Yeah, I mean, you guys shaped us. You taught us so much growing up, showed us what biblical manhood looks like, showed us what taking care of our family looked like, showed us how to run the VCR when we were a kid. Some of you like VCR? Well, yeah, some of us, that's where we are. Or showed us how to work the DVR, I guess. Now, in today's terms. And now we're showing you how to run everything, and we're good with that. Couple of things to you, dads. Number one, man, your family needs you. They need you to fully engage. I'm not talking about halfway engage. Fully engage. Number two, they need you to lead. They need you to lead. They desire that out of you. Just want to say that. And number three, lunch is on them today. All right. Just say from the pastor. He said it was on you today. So, thank you, dads, for that.

Hey, I know we already talked about this a little bit, but, man, we got to appreciate what happened in this place this week with 1200 kids. I don't know if you've ever seen 1200 kids run around at one time or not, but it's mayhem. And I love it. I love it and I love to watch it. All the type-A people in VBS with kids running everywhere, they're like, Oh my gosh, where they go, where do they go? And it's like, We'll find them. It's OK. It was awesome, awesome, awesome to watch this week. What happened in this place? I know we already talked about the fact that we saw 58 kids in VBS give their life to the Lord this week. Come on, that's awesome. But on top of that, what we didn't mention is our middle schoolers were at a middle school camp this week. About 130 of them went to the beach this week. They came home with 130. It's always good in middle school. Everybody made it back. And 13 middle schoolers gave their lives to the Lord this week. 13 oh, now, look, I don't know about math in your world, but that's over 70 people this week that walked from death to life. 70 people in the life of a church in one week. That is absolutely incredible. And I know we already said it, but man, kudos to all of you that volunteered, that prayed, that gave, that did all of the stuff this week because without y'all it could not happen this week.

I also need to just kind of have a little family talk just for a moment. I spent my week the first four days of my week this week representing you guys at the Southern Baptist Convention. Now, I know a lot of you. Like what? OK, that's why I need to say this. All right. What does this mean? We as a church, we are part of a family of churches. We're part of family churches. We pool our resources together in order to reach the world. That's what the Southern Baptist Convention is. We don't answer to anyone else we're not like a presbytery model. Nobody tells me I have to move next week to another church or anything like that. We are a congregational church. We vote on things. We rule under the Lordship of God's reign here in this church. We're an individual church, but we gather together with 47,000 other churches and yes, I said that right, 47,000 other churches with one purpose, and that's to reach the world. It's to have a system to reach the world. And we do that. We do that. So, this week, once a year, all those churches send people to a place, and it was California this year. Why? I don't know, but it was California this year. And that's where we have our little family talk. A little family business. Now, if you've been watching the news lately, you know that there has been some incredibly disappointing, incredibly grieving news that have come out of some of our family, some of our churches across the nation that we associate with. And I just want to say kind of where the week went with us. Number one, incredibly impressed with the level of lament, with the level of repentance and with the desire to see God honored in every single thing that we do. I got to be a part of a vote this week to establish a new system of childhood and protection policies. Across this nation, namely, number one, a national database that can stop serial predators from stepping from small church to small church to small church under the name and under the guise of Jesus. Now, there is going to be a central place, and I know it's kind of weird to talk about up here. I get that it's heavy, but man, I'm just excited that my generation wants to treat this seriously. And we want to expose things into light. We want to repent for some of our brethren that have been sinful, and we want to move in a direction that gives honor and glory to Jesus Christ. We did that this week at the conference, unanimously saying we are going to do this. Send Relief is putting $4 million into the establishment of the system to protect people in churches. Number two, there's a new task force that's established to lay out some guidelines of what child protection looks like, of how that can look. And if you don't want to fall into this guideline, then don't associate yourself with the family of churches that do. So just wanted to report back to you that that is happening, that we still are a part of a group of people who love Jesus, who are conservative, who love every single word of the Bible and who want to reach the world and get this, it is happening. Man hearing the reports this week and getting to see 52 new missionary couples commissioned to go reach the world in which we only got to see the faces of about ten of them because the others are going to hard places that they can't even tell you where they're going. It's incredible the number of church plants the number of people that are coming to know the Lord. People ask me all the time here's the number one question I've been getting this week and I know some of you are like, Wow, even talking about this because we need to.

The number one question is Matt, why would we be part of a group of people that those kinds of people are part of? Well, I can ask you that about your family. Number one, but number two, I just want to say this. I think it was William Carey, don't quote me on this, but I'm almost sure it was him. He said this. He was a lifelong missionary. He said, I will promise to you to dangle on the rope of the gospel on the hardest places of this earth, if you church, will hold on to the other end. That's why we're a part of this organization. We're holding on to the other end of missionaries across this world. They're doing incredible, incredible work. And we are going to fulfill the great commission with our brothers and sisters in Christ. So just felt like I needed to say that. And here's the last one. Here's the last one, then we're going to get out of our family talk. This church Burnt Hickory, we do, and we have, and we will always do everything we can to protect your kids and to protect other people in the name of Jesus. We're going to do it. And it is not going to be a negotiable here. For those of you that worked at VBS this week, you know you have to do everything short of giving a blood sample to work in our children's ministry and to be a part of this place, not to mention the expectations that we have on all leadership here when it comes with dealing with the opposite sex and when it comes to what it looks like to live a godly life. And we are going to continue to get even better in what we're doing to protect people here. And we're going to do that. We are going to protect people from people who are wolves in sheep's clothing. And it's going to be part of who we are. We're going to continue to get better at that. And let me just say this, and I'm going to move on. If you see something, you need to say something. You have 100% permission from me to find myself or find one of our other pastors. And you say something because we're going to take care of the babies and we're going to take care of ladies and we're going to take care of vulnerable people in this church. Amen. Amen.

Let's pray together. We got to get in the word. Lord Jesus, thank you. Thank you, Lord, for today. Refocus us Jesus on your name and your renown. God as a local church, as a national movement, and God as a people who desire to see you move Lord Jesus, it's in your name. Amen. Amen.

Hey, we're in a series. Have you been here? This is week three called Joyful Exiles. We're walking through the book of First Peter, this little letter that Peter wrote late in his life to a group of believers that had been pushed out of their home, that were dispersed, that were persecuted. They were downcast. And now they're living in a way that they realized this is not where I belong. That I have a home, and I'm going to be able to be there one day well, we have tied this into the aspect that we as believers, what Peter would say are exiles on this planet. This is not our home. We're temporarily passing through this place so that one day we will spend eternity in the kingdom of God with him. And here's a great part about that. It is that no matter what happens here, no matter what life brings us here, we know that it's temporary, that our hope is not found here. Our hope is found somewhere else. We talked about that in week one last week. Peter told us that if we're going to live in that hope and live in that joy, the first thing that we need to do is we need to grow up. We need to grow out of our spiritual infancy, and we need to grow into loving the word of God, anchoring ourselves to who Jesus is, embracing this identity that God has given us and really and truly living out our purpose as followers of Jesus. So, listen, if you've been on vacation for the last month, which is a lot of you and you're back, you just caught up in the series right there. Today, we're jumping into the third chapter the third chapter. Matt, are we talking about everything in this book? There's no way we can do that. I'm just giving you kind of a big overarching view and you can do the homework on the rest.

Today, we're looking at the third chapter. We're going to start in verse eight, and if we kind of had to throw a theme on to today's word from the Apostle Peter, it would be that Peter's looking at me and you saying that you can find joy even in the middle of the hard times. Even in the middle of being outcast, even in the middle of not feeling like you fit. There's a way for you and me to find joy in the hard times, to find good times in the hard times. And I love this thought because as I was studying this passage, one of the one of the things I was reading kind of compared this passage to an oasis in the desert, an oasis in the desert. Now, I'm not sure if you've ever been in a true desert before, but deserts are harsh. Those of you that were with us in Israel a couple of weeks ago, we pulled in, or a couple months ago, we pulled into a place called Masada and it's at the Dead Sea. It is arid. It is dry. You feel like you're in a convection oven and it's hot as Hades. I don't know why anybody would want to ever live in this place, but you get there, and you realize that, man, this is a harsh environment. Maybe you've been to Scottsdale, maybe you've been to New Mexico. Maybe you've visited some of these places where it's just harsh and dry. Or man, maybe you went outside this week. Right? At all? What he's saying here is that this chapter is kind of an oasis in the middle of the crazy. It's a place you can look to for hope because by definition, an oasis is really just a spot of hope in a harsh environment. In a hard place. It's a patch of trees or a water hole that can save your life. And what Peter is telling these believers and he's telling us is that, hey, in the middle of the crazy in the middle of the harshness, in the middle of this spot, that you think you're not going to make it, you can find joy, but you're not going to find it on an accidental basis. And so, what he does in this chapter is he walks us through kind of a check point of how can I living in a world that's not mine, living in a culture that feels like it's not standing where I am, how can I be a person that finds joy in these times? All right. So, let's jump into the text and Peter says exactly how we can do that.

We're going to read it. We're going to build the argument as we go. First Peter, chapter three, verse eight says, this finally, all of you be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing. Because this. Because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good. They must seek peace and pursue it for the eyes of the Lord or on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. So, Peter starts this encouragement, and he looks at you, looks at me, looks at these people that are living in exile.

He says, Look, you can find encouragement and here's how he says it. Number one, he says, You can find encouragement in a hard time by number one, seeking peace. By seeking peace. I love when Peter starts off with the hardest ones, right? But look at verse 11. It's super clear what he says. First Peter 3:11. They must turn from their evil and do good. They must watch what he tells us. If we're going to see good days, he says, seek peace and pursue it. Now, seeking peace and pursuing peace is a character trait of who Jesus says. Can't read the New Testament. You can't read Jesus's dealings on this Earth without knowing that he was a proponent of peace. And it should be a large portion of our lives as believers in Jesus Christ. He has called us to be people who seek peace, but how do we do it? How do we seek peace in the middle of the chaos? Well, he told us in the text, quite frankly, we keep our mouths from evil. We turn away from evil. We do good, and we just speak peace over people. But there's no doubt that when Peter was mentioning this on his mind was the example of Jesus it would have been Jesus's life. He would have been pointing the people back to go, Hey, live like Jesus. Be like Jesus. Use Jesus as your example. Why? Because when Jesus faced times, whether it was trouble or persecution or attacks on himself, you kind of look at his mode. And what did he do? He was always patient with people, except for the religious people, right? He was always kind of giving himself wholly to the father's will, and he was always doing good. He was always seeking the greater good of people around him. To which when we see that through our mind and our eyes, Peter is looking at you and me going Hey, you need to pursue peace to be a pursuer of peace. That doesn't mean that we just need to try to allow peace to come our way. He says we need to work at finding peace. Now, here's what this means. Peter would tell us, and I know this is a little bit controversial, he would tell us that we're not as believers in Jesus Christ, and this goes contrary to some of our opinion, but we're not called to control everything. You do realize that, right?

As a believer, you're not called to control other people. You're not called to assert yourself in every argument on this planet. I know that busts some of our bubbles. Right? But you're not called to live a life that just has to be in the forefront of every argument that's on this planet. It's just not true. You are not called to comment on every post. Nope. You're not. God did not call you to do that. You are not called to get vengeance. It's not your job. Your job is to not seek vengeance. Listen, here's why you can trust God with that. And you can trust God with all of that. That is God's role. In fact, look at verse 12 what Peter says for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers. What does that mean? That means God sees you got, hears you got, knows where you're going. And when we're walking in God's direction, He is walking right with us. But watch also what he says. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Now, there's an implicit warning there, right? That God sees evil. There is an evil warning there. We love that God's Word is against those who do evil. And I'm just his messenger. No, no, no. Hang on a minute. Right. Hang on there's also an implicit or an implied warning there to say this When we take matters into our own hands, when we're the vengeance seekers, when we're the people who take control, then God's face will turn from us and his power in other places. Why? Because that's his role. That's God's role. Please hear this. There's such a goodness and peacefulness. There's such a goodness in giving God control of everything of realizing that he is sovereign, and he is in control. Now Matt, are you to saying we need to abandon our convictions and just let this world go? No, no, no, no. That's not what I'm saying.

But I'm saying this God has a role and we have a role. And our role is not to try to control people. Our role is to seek peace and to trust God, pursue a life of peace, a spirit of peace. But how do we find that spirit of peace is the question. And like I've said every single week, Peter just doesn't kind of spin it as a command. He walks us through some steps, and he gives us about six of them. How do we seek peace? Look at it. He gives it to us in verse eight and nine. He says, Finally, all of you be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. He gives them to us in a row. I'm not going to make them up. I'm going to walk through these words, right? It's pretty simple. Number one, be like minded. How do you seek the spirit of peace? Be like minded. That literally means pursue unity. Don't pursue division, don't pursue harshness, pursue unity. By the way, this is the one that Peter leads with in my mind, obviously, which points out to the one is that doesn't come naturally for most of us. Right? Most of us would choose a fight over loving somebody every single day because we're better at it. Peter says hey, pursue peace. Especially in the church. Amen. We come from so many different backgrounds, so many different cultures, so many different ages. And God just says, Hey, look, you can work together to make a difference for my kingdom. You can find like mindedness in the fact that you're all living as exiles in a place that's against you. And if you'll just get together and be like, minded and find joy as exiles that you will see my peace. Let me say this and I'll move on. I love the unity of this church. I'm not I didn't pick this out because there's like a unity problem in this church. No, no, no, no, no. Listen, I had a whole bunch of breakfasts, lunches and dinners with churches this week that I'm like Yeah, I'm glad I'm not there. I am glad I'm not there. Matt, what should I do? You should run. That's what you should do right now. I don't know, because I ain't got that problem. My people love people. My people love the word of God. My people love the gospel and having the gospel saturate people's lives. And you guys are people that are willing to go out of your way, to get out of your comfort zone, to see people know and love Jesus and God is glorified by that in this church. I just need to say, after spending a lot of time with some crazy folks this week, thank you. Thank you for loving Jesus. Thank you for that.

Peter says this, though, to you personally. He says, Are you a proponent of peace and like mindedness or do you gravitate towards division? It might be a great question for your quiet time this week. Lord, do I gravitate towards peace or is my natural bent towards division? Make me peaceful. He says, number one, be like minded. Number two is he says it be sympathetic, be sympathetic. You want to see peace come in your life? Be sympathetic. What does it mean to be sympathetic? It literally just means that I do everything I can to feel your pain. That's what sympathy means. Sympathy means I see your pain and I'm doing everything I can to relate to your pain. Can you 100% relate to other people's pain? No. Never say that you can. You can't. But you can do your best to put yourself in their position and at least try to understand where they're coming from. That will seek peace, it'll bring peace. Number three, he says love one another, love one another. It's in the text in verse 8. It's not hard words but love just means you deeply care about something, and you begin to take action on their behalf. You see, here's the thing when love and loving the gospel becomes the number one priority in our lives, do you know what we realize, quite frankly? We realize that I can love somebody and disagree with them, and it's OK. Man, does that not need to happen in our culture? You do realize that you don't have to agree with everybody on everything. Heck, I don't even agree with what I said three days ago sometimes. You don't have to 100% agree on everything to love people, to come beside people. It's OK. God has beautifully created us, right? With so many different slants and angles and personalities and lifestyles. But what he's telling us is this if we will fix our gaze on the gospel as being number one in our lives and take ourselves off the throne every now and then, then we can love people despite their differences. Matt, are you telling me to leave my convictions and just love? I'm not saying that, but I am saying it's time for the church to be known for what it loves versus for what we hate. That's what I'm saying. We just need to love people. You know what happens when we love people? They begin to see the love of Christ in us. And they want what we have.

Man, let me ask you, this might be a quiet time question for you. Are you known by your love or by your negativity? Are you known by people as a loving person or just a negative, harsh person?

Here's number four. He says, Be compassionate, be compassionate. Compassion. I've said this before. Compassion is just the Greek word splagchnizomai. All right? Splagchnizomai. It's an onomatopoeia. It's a word that sounds like what it is. That's what a onomatopoeia is. And literally, splagchnizomai, it comes from the word to retch or to vomit. It is a splagchnizomai. That's what it is, right? It is the sound that comes before the vomit. It is a gut-wrenching moment where you know what's coming. All right. Now, let's look at why I use that word. You know why Peter used that word? He says that we should look at people with such a movement in us that we have a gut feeling that we have to do something. That's what he's saying right here. There's no greater peace than doing something in the name of Jesus and coming behind a person in the name of Jesus. And Peter says, peace comes when we feel from the gut, and it is an automated response. Everybody right now just put your finger right... Don't, don't do that. Right? No, don't. But that's what he's saying. That is the that's the response that brings peace when we see people through that lens. Here's number five. He says, be humble, be humble. This is a hard one. Why? Because I love to be right. Amen? You do, too. We love it. I don't care if you're playing Tiddledywinks or you're just talking about the family you love when you're right and you win. But what he's saying is the spirit of peace in believers literally just mean sometimes we think less of ourselves, and we think most of the gospel and secondly, of other people first. That's what being humble means. Humble is not weakness. Humble is me looking at the gospel through the lens of That's Christ and I'm going to live for him. Here's the last one. If we want the spirit of peace, don't pay back evil for evil. Don't pay back evil for evil. This was this is pretty self-explanatory, but isn't this Jesus's M.O., right? Every time he was spat on, he spit back. No. Every time he was yelled at that, he yelled back. Every time he was cursed. Did he curse back? No. Every time he was crucified, that he crucified everybody else that was around him that did that to him? No. What did he do? He had compassion, he prayed for, and he desired their love of Jesus and the father. That's what he did. He will repay evil with evil. He blessed people. Number one, Peter says, if you want joy in the middle of the craziness of your life, you need to be a person that seeks peace. Are you seeking peace? It doesn't stop there. No. Number two, it's a little bit counterintuitive. He says. Number two, if you want to find joy, you need to prepare for the suffering that's coming.

You need to prepare. In fact, I wanted to say the word pre-prepare, but I don't know if that's right. Katie, is that right? Can you say pre-prepared? I don't know. "Pre-prepare" would work better, but you get the point, right? You need to know that suffering is coming. Look at verse nine. Verse nine implies that hardship is coming your way, says do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but on the contrary, repay evil with blessing. Watch what he said. Here's how you know it's coming because you are called. Because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. Peter said, Hey, you're called to this. We've said this over the last couple of weeks. Suffering is an expected part of following Jesus. Look, when you look at Jesus's life, you can't suffer more harshly than being a perfect person and being put to death. Can you? So why is it that as a believer in Jesus Christ, we don't think it is normal for us to suffer? Let me tell you this, believers, if you're following Jesus suffering's coming. It's going to be temporary. Why? We're in exile. We're moving towards eternity. And this is not how you grow a church, but you got to know this, right? It's coming. It's coming your way. But it's temporary. That's what he's saying. And listen to this. All suffering is not like holy and just suffering. I'm not going to say holy. It's not just suffering. You do realize that there's three kinds of sufferings? He gives them to us in the text. I'm not going to walk through them. The first one is we suffer because we do evil. We do evil. Think of Jonah in the Old Testament, right? He walked away from the Lord and ended up suffering, right? But also catch this. Sometimes we suffer for doing right, for doing the right thing. Think of Joseph in the Old Testament, right? He did right. Still ended up in jail, still ended up suffering at the end of his life. But Joseph said, Hey, you meant this for evil, but God minute for good. To do what? To save many. But then there's also suffering with no perceivable reason. Let me tell you this. This is going to be most of your suffering. Most of your suffering is going to be that of Job. If you want, if you want a person to put with it.

You do realize that Job had no idea why he was suffering, right? He had no idea. I don't know. It took me till I was like 25 to realize that Job was not part of the God and Satan conversation. He was just like, Hey, what in the world is going on? That's most of our suffering, most of our suffering on this side of eternity. We're going to have no idea why we're suffering. But watch what Peter says about it in verse 17. He says, but it is better. For it is better if it is God's will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. I know this is hard and I know some of you are not going to take this well, but sometimes it's God's will that you temporarily suffer Matt? Whoa, whoa. That's not, that's not where I grew up. Well, it's in the Bible. I mean, I don't know what else to say. Sometimes it's God's will and we cannot live a life that truly follows Jesus with a mindset that it's always going to be easy, it's always going to be smooth sailing, it's always going to be rainbows and unicorns and teach that to our kids. We can't do that. It is not Jesus's will for us to always be in the forefront and in the glory of whatever. Sometimes he presses on us. Why? Number three, for us to turn our suffering into our witness, for us to turn our suffering into our weakness. You do realize that if Jesus is 100% life suffered on this Earth, and why in the world would our half perfect life not suffer on this world?

You see, he says, we're going to find joy in hard times when number three, we turn our suffering into witness. Now, if you're new to church, witness just literally means to tell others what Christ is doing in us. But look at the verses. Verse 13, it says, Who's going to harm you If you are... Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good, but even if you should suffer for what you're doing right, watch this? You're blessed. You realize that right? When you're walking through suffering in this earth, it is a blessing from the Lord. He saw you fit to be able to do that. But watch this. Do not fear their threats. Do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. And then the famous verse from Peter, Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you for the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with greatness and gentleness and respect. Keeping a clear conscious so that those who speak maliciously against you and your good behavior in Christ, may be ashamed of their slander. Peter points out that your suffering moments, right? Your suffering moments might be the most powerful moments. Listen to this. That you ever have to impact other people for Jesus. They might be. They might be the one moment. Think about it like this. Anybody can have joy in the good moments. Anybody can find joy in the bountiful moments. But Peter says that we as believers, as exiles, as people that are living in a temporary place, we can find joy if it's good, we can find joy if it's bad because we know this is not our home and we know who our hope is resting in.

And when we do that, Peter says, people will look at us, they will be confused, they will be bewildered. And say to us, how in the world in the middle of what you're going through right now, can you find joy? And what Peter's telling you and telling me is at that moment you will be able to speak into them as no one has been able to do ever before. Let me ask you something. Have you ever been around someone that just suffered well? Man, it's such a testimony to the Lord, is it not? Somebody that used whatever maybe coming their way to go hey, God, I don't know why this is happening. Or maybe I do know why this is happening. But God, here's what I do know. One day I'm with you and you are with me, and right now I'm just going to stand in that gap and give you glory for anything that's happening in my life. And when that happens, he says, verse 15, Always be prepared. He tells us to give an answer for anyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, put a circle or underline the last line. But do it with gentleness and respect. Gentleness and respect. This was the secret sauce of the early church. They loved people so well, even in the middle of the fact that their brothers and sisters in Christ were being killed for the gospel. And what happened because of their winsomeness for the Lord. Because of their care for other people. We saw the church come alive. We saw people make claims like how can these people in the middle of what's happening to them still look to who Jesus is? Let me ask you this. I'm going to move on. Has anybody ever asked you in a time of suffering, where does your hope come from? Man, where does it come from? Or quite simply, are you suffering well for the gospel?

Because it's coming, it's turning into the witness. And then what happens in that moment? It brings peace. And here's number four, the last one, kind of a summary statement. Number four, how do you find joy in the hard times? You've got to remember that Jesus has already won. He's already won. Peter says it right here in verse 18. He closes up the whole chapter with it. He says, for Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that's me and you. To do what? To bring you to God. See, Christ suffered. Why? For himself? Not for himself, but to bring you to God. Watch what happened. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the spirit. Fast forward down to verse 22, who has now gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God. The right hand is the seat of honor. The right hand is the seat of prestige. Now watch this, with angels and authorities and powers in submission to him. Peter ends this by saying this. Hey, listen, I know that it's hard and I know that you've got a lot going on, and I know that this world is caving in on you. And I know you don't feel like you belong. I know you feel like you're weird. I know you feel like you just want to fit in. I know you feel like everything you do; you're pressing against the current of what this world has given you. But Peter says, listen, don't get bogged down. Don't get off message. Don't let this life, don't let this people, don't let anything steal the victory that is already yours in Christ Jesus. Why? Because he has already sealed it. He has already secured it. He's already given it to you. And now, as a believer in Jesus, catch this. You are living in the rule of Christ. He's already settled your debt.

And now, no matter what happens to you in this body, you know that you have victory, and you have an oasis in the desert, and his name is Jesus. He's brought salvation. He's bringing salvation. He will always bring salvation. It is signed, sealed, and delivered in him. Is it hard living as an exile? Yeah, sometimes it's just terrible. Is the amount of suffer and pain and disappointment and depression in all of us, just way up here right now? Yes, it is. Peter says this hold on, hold on. The Saviors here. He wants you to have life. How do you walk in it? Seek peace. Maybe that's where you're at this week. You need to be a peacemaker. Prepare for the suffering. It's coming. Be ready. Let's suffer well. Why? Because that's our mission. It's what gives people the knowledge of the gospel. And number three, hold on church, that Christ has already won. Lord Jesus, God thank you for this text. God, I just pray right now boldly that you make us people of peace, not watered down, not retreating from Scripture, just people that are known for our love. God make us people that are ready to suffer well. Because it's coming in this world. You will have troubles. Jesus tells us to take heart, I've overcome the world. God make us your sons and daughters who are fully in your love and your grace. In the quietness of this morning. I'm just I don't know; I just feel like I feel like sometimes we just let this stuff glaze over us. Like it's for somebody else. Here's what I'm begging you this morning.

I just want you to find yourself in one of these categories this week and just ask God to rock your world. In taking steps to become a more mature follower of Christ. God, I know right now that man, it's hard. But you're moving. God that one day we're going to look back at this little momentary blip, what we call life, and we're going to celebrate that you delivered us. But God will then let us suffer well and be yours. You know, I don't know where you are in your relationship with Christ this morning, but I have a feeling that some of you may know about him, but I don't know if you've ever met him in a personal way.

I don't know if you ever surrendered your life to that 70 plus that has this week. Can I tell you what would be incredible this morning is for you to allow that wall to be broken down and you just say, yes Jesus I'm yours? If that's you, we're going to sing in just a second. And if you want to give your life to Christ today, you can step out of your seat for me, or I'll be down here in front. Some other people will be as well. And you just need to look us in the face and just say this, Hey, I need Jesus today. What do I need to do? We'll walk you through the rest. For some of you, that's kind of not your deal. You will never step in the public like that. I'm just going to ask you to jump on the app and just say the same thing in the next steps category. I need to accept Christ today. What does that look like? What does that feel like? Christ you're my Lord. What do I walk into that? I'm going to ask you to do the same thing. Why? Because it's that bold step that gets you pointing in a trajectory to honor him.

Lord, move in this place and sear these into our soul Lord Jesus. During these next couple of moments. Let's stand and sing.


Follow Along with the Message

Finding Joy, Even in the Hard Times

June 19, 2022

1 Peter 3:8–12
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

4 Ways of Finding Joy, Even in the Hard Times

1. Seek .

1 Peter 3:11
They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.
1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
1 Peter 3:8–9
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult…

How Can We Find a Spirit of Peace?

1. Be .

2. Be .

3. Love one .

4. Be .

5. Be .

6. Don’t evil for evil.

2. Prepare for the suffering that coming.

1 Peter 3:9
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
1 Peter 3:17
For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

3. Turn your suffering into .

1 Peter 3:15
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.

4. Remember Jesus has already .

1 Peter 3:18, 22
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit… 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand — with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

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