1&2 Peter Part One Dive
YOUR TRIALS ARE YOUR MESSAGE
Peter reminds me of Rocky! I am a huge Rocky fan, I know it’s weird for a super girly girl but I love the fact that Rocky got beaten, lost, made mistakes but he got back up and kept on fighting. I remember watching one of the Rocky movies with some of my friends, and I was so involved in the movie that I yelled at the top of my voice “Rip his head off Rocky!” I was shocked at my own passion, but there is something in all of us that loves the person that just keeps going. That overcomes adversity, overcomes others hatred, overcomes their own failures, and wins. If you are like that, you are going to love 1 and 2 Peter!
When you read the life of Peter, you find out very quickly that this man is the comeback king. Like one of those inflatable bop bags – you know the ones that you can hit, and they bounce back up. He speaks before he thinks, in one moment the whole church is being built on his rock of revelation, and then he is rebuked by Jesus as Satan! Anyone out there relate to that? When your passion for Christ and your courage to be the first out of the boat gets you in trouble! But Peter keeps going, he doesn’t get offended, he doesn’t huff off, he ‘gets back into the ring’ as they say and keeps going.
That is what we are called to do, the things that happen in your life, the good and the bad, the mistakes, the triumphs are all fashioning a message in you. Fashioning means to give shape or form. And you choose the shape of your message: is this message going to glorify and honour God or is it going to be a message of anger and offence. 1 Peter 1:2 talks about the sanctifying work of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is forming a message in you so you can lead others through the very thing you are walking right now.
Each of us has a message; if I got you to write in and tell me in one word what your passion is, for some of you it might take some thought, but I can guarantee you all have something that burns on the inside of you. Perhaps it is truth, generosity, grace, new mums support, social justice, kids, parenting, business with integrity. Your life is your message. Your message has been formed in the life that you have led; your message has been formed in the things that have happened to you, your message has been formed in your mistakes and triumphs…just like Peter.
In the Snapshot video this week we went through the ups and downs of the life of Peter, he is praised and rebuked, he is passionate and confused, he denies Jesus and is restored by the resurrected Christ, he preaches the best sermon ever and gets 3000 saved at the day of Pentecost, he becomes the leader of the church in Jerusalem and then becomes a missionary to the Gentiles.
This man is a man of change. When you look at his life, his transformation from the beginning to the end is fraught with mistakes, but the thing I love about Peter is his passion for Jesus keeps him going.
Look at 1 Peter 1:6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
He knows that if he keeps going if he gets back up every time, his life will bring honour, praise and glory to God and his faith will be proven and genuine!
So let's look at Peters life message. Stop and think about it first, if you were Peter and had been through this life, what would your message be? What would be the main point of your life letter? I bet in the beginning it would have been passion and faith in Jesus, in the midst of his trial it would have been heartache and discouragement, but now he is out the other side and writing this at the end of this incredible life, you are going to love his message. The main theme found in 1 Peter that you are going to highlight over and over again, is grace. Yep grace. This incredible man of passion, leadership, mistakes and failures summarises his life in one word, and it’s GRACE!
Look at 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
Some scholars break the book up into three grace sections:
God’s grace in Salvation (1:3-2:10)
God’s grace in Submission (2:11-3:12)
God’s grace in Suffering (3:13-5:11)
Peter knew the God of all grace, in his life he knew that the thing that got him to where he was was grace, and he knows that the thing that his church and his people need to know and hear is grace.
Look at 5:10 again, you can imagine the grace of Jesus that restored him after he had suffered a little while in denying Christ. Oh, when you realise who is writing this book, this book comes alive!! Every word is going to speak to you. I mean look at 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” This, written from a man that walked with Jesus and ‘saw him’ and he is admiring the faith of those who keep going in the midst of trials and suffering, and have not had the privilege that Peter had of walking with Jesus face to face.
HENRY WARD BEECHER
Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.
This letter is a letter of encouragement for those who are suffering and Peter is stepping in saying – hey I’ve been there and done that, but keep going because what Jesus is fashioning in your ‘faith that is proven and genuine’ the ‘grace’ that he has for you to get through anything that comes your way, and the salvation and life he has ahead of you are worth it! Peter wants us to stand on the first chapter which tells us who we are in Christ, we are his people, we are chosen, we are holy as he is holy, we are a holy nation, and then with these promises firmly in our sights, we walk the paths set before us.
As you read this incredible book, let it encourage you, no matter what you are going through, God is going to use it for his glory. The only point that Peter would say is to keep going, stay planted in church, don’t leave the community that God has put you in, keep loving Jesus don’t let discouragement, the pain of failure or the trials stop you from pressing in. God is fashioning in you a message on the other side of this trial. No matter what happens, he is faithful, full of grace, loving and kind. And on the other side of your trial, mistake, failure or hardship will be the development of a message that will change the world!