Getting Through the Tough Times

I Peter 1:1-9

God’s mercy is sufficient to get us through the tough time of life.

“In this world you will have tribulation.” This word or a synonym for trouble, testing, temptation, or trial have been spoken as an anticipation for the Christian. Jesus said it, Paul spoke of it, James has reminded us of it, and in our Scripture today, Peter refers to it.

Many of us are set at ease by the soothing sound of water flowing over the rocks in a stream. Someone has reminded us that without those troublesome rocks there would be no song. That is also true of us, without those times of trials, we are deprived the “song to sing” because of God’s mercy and faithfulness to use.

A key to those hard times is to keep the final goal in mind. James says, “count it all joy when you fall into testing.” Jesus said, “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” Peter says, “for a little while, if necessary, you are grieved by various trials.”

All of these declarations speak to use of a God of mercy who cares, knows, and ministers to our concerns.

On the basis of these words, we take courage and hold to the assurance that through the provisions of God’s mercy we are able to stand strong through the tough times of life. This Scripture shows us several ways God cares for us.

  1. God’s mercy provides for us (verses 3-5)
    • He has given us a new birth (verse 3)
      • Jesus reminds us in John 3:3 “except one be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.”
      • This is a one-time action brought about by the mercy of God in Jesus Christ demonstrated several times.
        • In Gethsemane, at His trial, the beatings, the cross… it was His mercy for us that caused Him to endure it all.
    • A living hope
      • By means of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is a supreme act of God in mercy toward us. Everything else depends on this.
      • Paul in I Corinthians reminds us that with no resurrection, we are indeed without hope. 
      • It is a hope that:
        • Will never perish.
        • Never spoil.
        • Never fade.
  2. God’s mercy protects (verse 5)
    • It is a safeguard against thieves.
    • It is a shield by God’s power.
    • It has a duration until we need it in the last day when Jesus is revealed. It is ready and just waiting.
  3. God’s mercy promotes good things (verses 6-12)
    • Faith of great value (verses 6-7).
      • Here is the point of all our trials and the key to how to endure them. That the testing of our faith may result in praise and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    • Provides both present and future results (verse 8).
      • Faith today – blessed are those who have not seen and believe.
      • Future – rejoicing in His presence.
      • The completion of our hope when all is made right.

God has graciously provided for us in many ways; among them Peter has given some which we have considered today. His mercy provides for us in our need, His mercy protects from the enemy that seeks to destroy us, and His mercy promotes good things that we now anticipate as we wait the final day when Christ returns.

Let’s rejoice in the God whose mercy is sufficient to meet our every need to get through the tough times.

Irvin’s final sermon preached on August 25, 2019.