Posts Tagged 'suffering'

Posts from 1 Peter: Resisting and Restoration

Posts from 1 Peter: Resisting and Restoration Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

We can’t resist something if we can’t recognize it as something worth standing against. Hardship isn’t often welcomed, but it does have the power to CHANGE who we are.

What Do We Hold During Hardship?

The Questions Of Suffering ~ 1 Peter 4:12-14

  • v12 Suffering is NOT strange; it’s status quo (like it or not); what are you learning through it?
  • v13 How does your suffering intersect with Christ’s?
  • v14 when it does, YOU ARE BLESSED (beatitude); Spirit rests on you like glory shining from Moses’ face: he was in God’s presence and it changed him. THAT is what happens when you suffer in Christ; He is present in your suffering
  • How is it changing you?

The Answers To Suffering ~ 1 Peter 5:6-11

  • v6 we jump to verse 6 because Peter addresses all of us here: Answer: that you are not God
  • v7 cast anxieties: not throw away, but lay them down where they can be carried (coats on the donkey’s back for Jesus): Answer: you aren’t supposed to carry your cares
  • v8 “enemy” from opponent in a lawsuit; the devil will say terrible things about you, and try to get you to believe them: Answer: DON’T Listen to the Devil; HE LIES!
  • v9 resist=stand against, not just talk; standing firm WHERE YOU ARE (we don’t need to wait for a specific circumstance or situation; Answer: we can stand and resist right here)
  • v10 restore=complete His work, set you in place, make your foundation secure and strengthen you through HIS work
  • Answer: cooperate with God’s work IN PROGRESS
  • v11 We say this as a doxology at the end of the Lord’s prayer.

Psalms 68:34-35~ Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!

It means God started it, God will finish it!

Posts from 1 Peter: Endurance is Trust

Posts from 1 Peter: Endurance is Trust Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 2:19-25

Too many “prosperity preachers” talk about what makes the “best life now”. But let’s face the truth: Everyone Suffers SOMETIME. The question is: What do we DO with suffering? How CAN We USE It?

How Can We Respond To Tough Times?

We Endure Through Trusting ~ 1 Peter 2:19-22 It’s not about getting through adversity

  • v19 commendable: org. word is GRACE; suffering not automatically a blessing, but it can be a tool which makes us aware of God’s grace to us
  • v20 don’t focus on the suffering; focus on doing good also a tool for seeing GRACE
  • v21 “an example” a writing copy to imitate, like a PRIMER for kids, to follow step by step
  • v22 HE missed no steps; we can walk as He walked (map through a minefield)
=> scene from football movie: player carries another player on his back blindfolded. Coach convinces the carrier to concentrate on his voice, not his own pain. End result: end zone!

We Trust in Christ’s Endurance ~ 1 Peter 2:23-25 It’s all about HIS work

  • v23 entrusted=committed himself again and again and again; an act of will/choice
  • v24 “might die to sins” KJV “being dead to sin”; the word means that Christ died, and dragged sin’s effects away; it’s NULLIFIED, and only has the power we give it. MEANING: when we remember our SIN IS DEAD ON THE CROSS, it can’t hold onto our life
  • v25 “returned” THIS is the 180 degree turn of “repent”; Jesus is our Watcher Above, our Shepherd

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

When we stop trusting, we wander. When we wander, we waste life. When we return to trust, we recognize again our life in Grace.

Covenant Concepts ~ Congregation: Respond in Rejoicing

Covenant Concepts ~ Congregation: Responds in Rejoicing Sermon Audio Here


Isaiah 50:4-9a; John 12:12-16

As we consider the ancient practices of covenant, we are reminded that the stronger party would force the weaker party to walk a blood-soaked path. However, on Palm Sunday, we see a reverse picture of covenant; Jesus in the middle of the crowd (stronger party going through weaker party).

God Frames Relationships With Covenant Concepts

Respond to the Mission of the Master
Isa. 50:4-9a ~ Song of the Suffering Servant

  • v4/5 Listen to the Lord
  • v6/7 Find Resolve in Faith
  • v8/9 Presume the Presence of God (remember that God is always close)

Rejoice in Recognition of the Redeemer
John 12:12-16 ~ Song for the Sacrificial Savior

  • v12/13 Hosanna – plea to save! Blessed is he… pilgrims coming to temple SO…
  • Approach Worship with Anticipation
  • v14/15 donkey=peace; SO….
  • Recognize the Value of Peace (Zech. 9:9-10)
  • v16 peace through payment: Jesus came as a worshiper AND as the sacrifice; SO…
  • Realize Your Redemption

We are redeemed because of the obedience of Christ; HIS response and submission to God’s will makes possible OUR response and submission to God’s will. Jesus made it possible for us to be brought to life; is it any wonder that we still cry “Hosanna”?

And now, the news…

I find myself in the odd position of needing to write my final “goodbye” newsletter article for one church, and my initial “hello” article for another. I have been thinking a lot about finishing well at Snohomish, and starting well at Warden. In doing so, I’ve been spending a lot of time in 2 Timothy. Paul’s words to his disciple are filled with instructions and warnings; remembrances of past wisdom, and hopeful words for the future.

I want to have words like that for Snohomish Presbyterian and for Warden Community. So, I take as my pattern the words from 2 Timothy. I’ve been sharing with the Snohomish youth group insights from the first two chapters of this book, and my closing sermon will be from 2 Timothy 4. In this article, I’d like to draw your attention to chapter 3. I believe there are some concepts that both churches need to hear, and I’d like to share them.

Paul writes that some people “will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!”

Whenever we find others (or indeed, ourselves) focusing more on outward forms of entertainment and pleasure instead of the inward work of the Holy Spirit, we need to be very careful. This shows us the first concept to remember:

Watch Out for those who love pleasure over God.

Paul warns that those people (pleasure-lovers) won’t make much progress in God’s Kingdom… and I don’t know about you, but life is too short to waste it on things that won’t matter in the long run.

Paul then tells us about the difficulties he has had in following Christ: “Now you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and suffering the things that happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured!” This brings to light the second concept we must remember:

Suffering is a part of the Godly life.

If anyone tells you that following God entitles you to a life free from pain, they are lying. A wise theologian once said, “Life is pain; anyone who says different is selling something.” (Actually, that’s from The Princess Bride by William Goldman, but it’s a wise statement, nonetheless.)

In spite of how difficult life can be as we live out God’s Kingdom, Paul encourages Timothy (and us) to keep going: “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed….” This shows us Paul’s heart for Timothy, and my heart for you all:

Continue in the Truth of God’s Word

I’d like to draw your attention to the New Living Translation of 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

Let God speak to you through the Word of the Lord. Don’t just read the Word – let the Word read YOU, and continue to change you into what God desires for your life. It’s a long term process, and God who began that work will be faithful to complete it. To my church family in Snohomish, I say that I am blessed to have been a part of that process in your lives. To my church family in Warden, I say that I am honored that I will partner with you in seeing this process happen.

Until that day when we all stand in the presence of Christ…

Keep Following Jesus.

Pastor Ed Backell


Pastor Ed Backell

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