Amen. Amen. Welcome. Thank you for coming. I feel like I have to make a disclaimer every spring after easter for a few weeks when these trees are budding, there’s a lot of tree pollen and then I’m just dying. So I had my chemical concoction, perfect for first service. Um but now it’s fading so you’re gonna hear? Miked up man, struggling the clearest throat as we work here, we’ll see what happens. So just a disclaimer. Um uh I feel we have to do that right now in this culture that we’re in. Um just another announcement in light of what’s happening of our rates and vaccination availability, what’s going on in our country and our county specifically, we’re just gonna kinda officially make the announcement. This service is the mask optional service. Um We won’t shine you if you have a mask on. But the first services the mass required service, I think most of us have known that but we thought we should just officially say that. So hopefully God willing things will keep trending in the right direction and we’ll keep moving into this direction as a people. So just a random awkward announcement. I have allergies and this is a mask optional service. So, um, All right. So that’s the smoothest intro I’ve ever done as a pastor. So let’s transition now to the message. Uh, so welcome. Thank you for coming. Let me, let me read a little excerpt of a, an article that ran the new york times. It says in five minutes. He lets the blind see he has restored eyesight to more than 100,000 people. Perhaps more than any doctor in history. His patients stagger and grope their way to him along mountain trails from a remote village, is hoping to go under the scalpel. One day after he operates here moves the cat from them, ruining the cataracts. He pulls the bandages off and they can see clearly at first tentatively, then jubilantly they gaze about and for a few hours later they walk home, radiant flowing of joy dr Sandy Hook Ruit a nepali orthodontist has pioneered a simple cataract microscopic surgery That costs only $25 per patient and is virtually always successful. His technique is matching Western machines which have a 98 success rate with this simple cataract surgery. You see, we as people are our hope oriented creatures. We hear articles like that. We feel good about ourselves. We’re excited numbers and going down and Covid in our county. We’re excited about the progress we’re making. We’re excited about vaccines. Maybe. You know, there’s things we hear that make us hope swell in our hearts. We are hope oriented people. Your belief about the future, your future radically changes how you experience, your present, your present life. Our title for this sermon today is hopelessly hopeful. We as americans, we as people are hopelessly hopeful people, that’s who we are. It’s hard wired into our psyche. I’m a recovering optimist. I’m actually a painfully positive person and it’s hard for Shane and Benaco Pastor for painfully positive pastor because I just, there’s reality. Then there’s my hopeful reality. And Shane. A Ben Give me grace as we work together here. Every culture has a culture of hope. Every city, every public has a has a view of how to have hope as a people. They answer the questions what is the purpose of life? There’s a hopeful answer to that question. What is the, what is the answer? The question why life is not pointless. They answer the question, What should you be living for? There’s hope that we have as hopelessly hopeful americans. So what does hope? We needed to find our terms? Like any conversation we’re gonna have together, we needed to explain what we’re saying. The greek word for hope definitely defined as a strong expectation. The hebrew word for hope means there’s real anticipation. Something better is coming along. Something that you believe in is coming. Hope is the intersection of your desires and your expectations on a better future reality. Each person has different expectations and each person has different hopes but were not different. We are hopelessly hopeful people as a society, as men, as women, young and old. Our culture holds out to us an opportunity, a future reality that doesn’t quite yet exist. And we think if I achieve that things will be better in my life and you can call it self actualization. Self determination. Self worship, self comfort, self entertainment. We are hopelessly hopeful people. If you get this degree, hope has held out, then X, Y, and Z will happen. If you marry this person then your hope will be fulfilled. If you get this job, if you drive this car, if you look this way then people will. You have hope. You have hope has people as men and women, but nothing satisfies. Not even your deepest desires. Your deepest hopes they don’t satisfy. Hope always fails what our culture holds out as something worth hoping in something worth living in. It always is lacking. It always fails. When you’re a young man or a young woman, you hold out hope that if you accomplish this grade on your grade or you make this team or you get into the cool kids group, you have hope that your life will make sense and everything will be worth it. As you grow older, grim realization sets in that, what do you hope for? What this culture holds out is worthwhile things to hope for. The grim reality sets in, That hope can’t deliver true lasting happiness. If you get what you hope for, you’ll find out that hope wasn’t good enough and you’ll reach onto another level of hoping for something else. And if you never accomplished what you hope for, that lack of hope fulfilled will linger over your souls for a lifetime career spouse money travel, always leave you wanting more. Always scripture talks about misplaced hope is a fool’s pursuit of your happiness. How do you deal with the problem of hope, christian? How do we deal with this whole problem? The Book of 1st Peter Address is that We’re gonna look at that today. Before we jump into first Peter, I need to do my job of explaining a little high level context of what’s going on. Who are the movers? Who are the players of this whole entire book. So I’m going to try to control the book of 1st Peter. What’s going on behind the scenes in the culture? First Peter, there’s a There’s a cultural context that’s occurring in 1st Peter. It’s not written in a vacuum. It’s definitely not right. In the year 2021, the book first Peter is written to five churches in the Turkey area that are in the region, outside of Turkey and in the area of Turkey that are under Roman occupation. And those churches are experiencing pressures, problems, pains that we have experienced this last couple years as Christians. This letter is circulated written by Peter and it’s circulated throughout these different churches. It’s red at their small gatherings as churches throughout all of modern day Turkey churches. So there’s a lot of similarities. Stick with me here. The nation, the roman nation was the strongest economy at the time, just super power. The nation, the roman nation had the strongest military at the time. The nation was in the process of self destructing at that time. The national geography of the nation was so large. There’s tons of ethnicities, cultures, languages and ideologies all competing. It was like a mixing pot of different worldviews. The nation was being divided with moral rot from the inside with social unrest in the middle of all this conflict and all this unrest and all this immorality. You found this small flickering flame of the church that Peter is running too. This church is a minority group of christians watching the nation around them self destruct and that division, that conflict that fighting outside the church starts to creep inside the church, And Peter is addressing division, and Peter’s addressing the hope that christians hold to the hope that will never fail. It seems like Christianity here in Lincoln, Nebraska can learn a thing or two from first Peter and that’s why we’re looking at that book. Hope hope, the grim reality. Looking forward into the post covid era, only strong churches will survive is just the reality of Christianity in America churches in Lincoln Nebraska, the pressures and the attacks and the persecution that we’ve experienced in the last five years of following jesus. For many of you, if you talk to someone From the first service whose significantly older are one too few token older people, if you talk to them what their christian was like when they were your age, it is a drastically different culture. And I suspect that Christianity is only going to become more and more difficult, persecution, pain, heartache, pressure, fighting, attacking on the church is only gonna increase in our lifetime. It is a fool’s errand. It is a pipe dream to think christian is going to get easier as you get older, Christianity in our culture will become harder. That is a grim reality of men and women. So a little more historical context because I’m supposed to be a history teacher narrow is the caesar of Rome. Narrow is known for mass murdering christians. Narrow would have parties and he’d used christians as bonfire kindling historians called narrow a destroyer of humanity. He set fire to Rome with the intention to rebuild it and he needed a scapegoat. So he blamed the christians, those young christian church in the capital city of Rome. He blamed them for burning down the city. So christians were tortured. Christians were torched. Christians were murdered in the roman empire because they didn’t participate in empire worship and the promiscuous lifestyle. They resisted that when the christians are persecuted. So who’s Peter? Peter is over, there is a good guy, should shake his hand, but who’s the peter that wrote this book, they were talking about. Peter is one of the founders of the early church, he’s the leader of the 12 disciples, the apostles and Peter is part of jesus’ inner circle. So a little quick plug for community groups, there’s there’s a couple of rhythms that community groups implement, They have parties as a community group. If you like to party, you should go to a community group, They throw parties, jesus partied a lot, the people that critique jesus for partying with the Pharisees, so we like partying, we want to throw some amazing parties as a church, so go to community groups, they have some great parties, they have a lot of good food, I feel like I told our group we should take a photo of all the plates of food we have and just have like a smorgasbord of all these amazing dinners we’ve had over the years, so Parties committed groups come together, they have great parties like Jason disciples, community groups are like 12 on one discussions where they’re all of the group discussing passage of scripture or a different topic, they’re learning together as a group of people, Jason, the disciples did that and then jesus uh and the disciples just had an inner circle of three guys, peter James and john the inner circle of guys, so Peter was in jesus discipleship group, he was in jesus community group and he was jesus wingman at parties, he knew a thing or two and god invested him, juice, invested him specifically. Peter dictated this letter and Sylvanus wrote it in Rome, also known as Babylon in this letter. So who is Peter? Um just I know american cultural Christianity, we like to really idolize people in sports. We had a term that’s kind of crude but Wikipedia defines it as a a jock. Sniffer is a term of someone who idolizes star athletes. They become like fans of them get their shoes, get their jerseys fall them and they’re like, they’re, they’re, they’re big fans of certain star athletes. I know american Christianity, we are known as I say bible sniffers. We sure love someone influence there. Some authors, some podcaster, some Youtuber, some pastor. Um we can, we’re prone to worship people and personalities instead of jesus. I know that we idolize people over God so we don’t think too highly of Peter, so you don’t start sniffing your bible. Peter has a lot of problems and there’s a lot of people, we read about the bible that you’re like, David King, noted by God. That’s the last series we just went through. I’m not annoying, my God, I’m not a king of Israel. It’s hard to relate to some of these characters and we try our best, his pastoral team to connect those dots. But all of us to build a connective peter very easily as we look at Peter. Peter as he’s got a few highlights of his life just to troll him for a second. He’s got foot and mouth disease. Anyone have foot and mouth disease. A lot of you do come on a foot and mouth disease. Guy would say that, you know, we say things or to get us in trouble. That’s me, that’s a lot of you. That’s Peter uh Peter was called by jesus, son of satan because of something he said. That’ll that’ll stick in your mind, you know, that’s a nickname, you don’t want to shake. Peter denied jesus three times, cussing out slave ladies and you know, cussing at people saying I don’t blinking, No, that man, you know, Peter denied jesus three times in a very critical moment in jesus’ life. Peter abandoned jesus when jesus needed him the most Peter ran and Peter was later called out by paul in the Book of Acts for being racist because Peter was acting racist. That’s that’s reality. Peter And also Peter was the rock which he has built his church upon. Peter shared that gospel presentation, which is 5000 people got saved. Peter wrote this book. So Peter’s walked on water, not with jet Skis, he’s walked on water. Peter has done a thing or two and he’s made a thing or two mistakes. Peter is imperfect and neither are you. But Peter and his imperfection follows jesus usually and you and your perfection follow, jesus to usually. Peter is a work in progress. A big fixer upper. We should be able to relate to. Peter. Peter is one of those that shouldn’t be too hard for us to see ourselves in. Peter, God didn’t give up on Peter and God isn’t giving up on you and God used Peter and God will use you. So, who wrote? Peter Sylvanus wrote it. Let’s look at why did this book get written. Let’s look at first. Peter 5 12. It says this Silvana through Savannah’s a faithful brother as I consider him, I’ve written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God stand for a minute. Peter’s right into those five churches in Turkey that are going under severe trials and sufferings because Peter knows that fear is contagious in a church, fear anxiety is contagious in a church and so is courage. Peter is coming along and hoping to instill a steel spine into the believers and these five churches that we’re going to read about courage for their souls. The purpose of this book. This letter Peter wrote to these five churches is to encourage believers during hard times, which brings us to our main theme of this book. We as christians, we look for an identity of what we find are hoping, what we find our value and what gives us perspective for the pain and gives us uh patients for the future. We look to have an identity as christians and that’s why Peter named this book the series real idea. It’s a brilliant idea for idea for this name as believers. We have a real hope, a real family, a real future and a real identity. We have a real id as christians and life is going to throw hardship, suffering and persecution that are coming at you and it reminds you of your future. Hope you have lives hardships are designed to make your faith run deeper and your spiritual roots to go down deeper. Why did Peter write this book? Mike? Because persecution helps set your expectations for suffering and disappointment, harassment, hostility and pain in your life should bring clarity to your value in the visions, the things you’re living for as christians, persecution purifies your perspective. So in layman’s terms, why did Peter write this book? Well, Mike Tyson said before one of his fights, Mike Tyson, the heavyweight champion of his time and day and age. He said, Mike, what are you gonna do when this happens when he’s coming at you at this style or this strategy? He’s gonna dance around. He’s going to move around, he’s going to attack you. What are you gonna do? Mike? And Mike Tyson, the current reigning champion at the time? Heavyweight boxing champion said, everyone has a plan until they get hit in the face. We as christians are gonna get punched in the face as christians. And when you get punched in the face, if you don’t have the right perspective for the pain, you don’t have a perseverance, you don’t have an eternal mentality. You don’t grab onto your real ID card, you’ll be knocked out as christians. We have to lean into the words of Peter, let’s jump into the text and let’s pray God, I thank you for this morning. I thank you for the word of God. I created to become alive and active in the believer’s heart. I created a convict instruct and Justin still spine in our words like Peter’s words and still spying in those five churches words their their soul. God, I ask that you would use these words. You use our brief time together as a group of brothers and sisters as christians. As you look at your word, instruct us, convict us and challenge us in the scripture. Today we pray this in jesus’ name. Amen 1st. Peter Chapter one. Peter an Apostle of jesus christ to those chosen living as exiles dispersed abroad. End those five cities according to the Foreknowledge of God the Father, Through the sanctifying work of the spirit to be obedient to be sprinkled with the blood of jesus christ made grace and peace be multiplied to you. Peter starts off his letter in verse one, Listing all three members of the Trinity and when all three members of the trinity are found in the believer’s life. There’s grace and peace in your life. When God the father God the Son and God, the Spirit are moving and moving and impacting your life. There is grace and peace in your life. God the Father God the Son, God the Spirit. All three are called out in a unified front in this letter to the church. So there’s two main identities here. We need to look at as christians to main IEDs. We have to look at the first identity is we are chosen, living as exiles, chosen, chosen chosen means elect, picked, that God picked you. And this is where pastors will boast about how we used to be homecoming king in high school. Or we talk about how we weren’t picked in gym and some gym class, you know, whatever you want to do, whatever flavor you prefer. I was always picked in gym class. But, but like growing up with my kids in my neighborhood, when we play basketball, I, we don’t talk about when you play football for the kids in my neighborhood. I tell my kids are the team captains. Hey, pick the littles first because I don’t want the little kids to cry because a little stir my kids. And so we picked the little kids first and we work our way up to the best and the brightest those kids that can catch and throw really well. Um, and so it’s a warm and fuzzy thought about how this dad does background backyard football off neighbor kids, but the best and the brightest don’t get picked first in real life. Um, as one of my college pastors said Gary Osborne, he said, God loves average people, that’s why he made so many of them. God loves average people and average people are everywhere. Our world rejects, average people are world neglects average people, but God has chosen average people. You’ve, you’re experienced in life is not backyard football and mike’s house where you get picked first, your experiences, you get picked last and no one choses you, they overlooked you, they neglect you, they reject you. That’s most people’s experience in America, but God has not rejected or neglected. God has chosen you and God took that first step and make that first choice to make a way for us as christians to be chosen elect sons and daughters of the king. So I did card number one on your id card, your heavenly driver’s license, your heavenly flying license on one side of your ID card. It’s got your mug shot, it’s got your blood type. It’s got jesus. But I’m just making this up and then it’s got chosen. That’s one part of your earthly I. D. Card chosen daughter of the king, chosen son of the king. And it’s got your name. It’s got your new name. It’s got I mean I’ll stop but it’s got it’s got stuff on your heavily I. D. Card. All right. Imagine you flip that ID card over on the back of the ID card, your real ID, your heavenly ID card that says exile, exile. It’s like the opposite of chosen exile means you’re rejected. You don’t fit in your unwelcomed. It doesn’t work. You feel doesn’t feel right, You’re constantly disappointed, exile Both these two realities on your pretend imaginary real ID card. Both realities are true. You are elect chosen by God and you’re in an exile. A sojourner here and now. This world is not good enough for you. This world is not your home, you’re designed for another home, a better home. A pastor friend of mine said the longer you walk with God, the more this place doesn’t feel like home, the longer you walk of God, the more you realize this world is not your friends, this world is your enemy. The longer you walk of God, young people that are young and the Lord, they think great. I got jesus and I got I got the joneses, I got this culture, I got the people around me. But as time goes on, you realize you have, your dual identity becomes more and more costly as you grow older. Every child of God has a dual identity chosen elect welcomed rejected exile. Not welcomed. You’re not welcome here and now because the world, the devil in the flesh, this is their reign of power. But you are you are welcome there in heaven where jesus reigns versus three through 12 in the original language is one giant run on sentence. So it’s a little choppy to work through. But we’re going to start verse three, blessed, be the God and father of our Lord, jesus christ because of his great mercy. He has given us new birth and do a living hope through the resurrection of jesus christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and an fading kept in heaven for you, you are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials. So that proven character of your faith more valuable than gold, which though perishable is refined by fire, may result in praise, glory and honor at the resurrection of jesus christ, hope is so personal. If I talk to you about what you hope in, it’s a very near and dear topic to your heart. It’s a personal thing. If I walk up to you and I poke you in the eye, you’re gonna be like, oh, that hurt. I don’t trust you. What kind of person poke someone in the eye? It’s offensive, it’s dark, it’s weird. It’s, it’s, it’s emotional. You’re probably angry. You should be angry if I poke you in the physical, I you’re going to get mad at me, wet behind the ears, Fighting mad at me. Right? If I poke you in your mind’s eye, your spiritual I of what? Your spiritual, your mind, of what you’re hoping in as a person. You’re hoping in a career to bring you satisfaction. You’re hoping and getting married. You’re hoping in finances, You’re hoping in wealth, You’re hoping in your prestige. You’re hoping in something apart from the living hope that Peter is talking about. If I poke that idol, that hope that you have, that’s a false hope, you will get angry, hostile and defensive and emotional, mad at me. Hope gives you patience for your pain. Hope gives you perspective for your pain. You need a hope, but you need a living hope. You can’t hope in the economy. You can’t hope in a vaccine. You can’t hope in mask, You can’t hope in political parties, you can’t hope in shopping. You can’t hope in wealth. Your hope that you lean into the things you rely on is not good enough to support your life. You’re called to live as a christian. All those hopes are lacking and the ultimate hope when compared to the ultimate hope. If you hope you have is not deep enough foundation deep enough roots to support you during painful pandemic persecution, disappointment, racial unrest, politics and death. If you don’t have hope during those times in your life, your hope will fail. If you’re living, hope doesn’t deliver in those moments in your life, you’re living, hope is not alive. If you’re trusting in other things to save you and other things to give you eternal lasting hope apart from jesus, it’s an idol christian. So you have idols in your life and it’s my job as a pastor to point out idols poke idols, kick idols make fun of idols in your mind. Idols in your life, that is my job. So you don’t think of them as an amazing idol. You think of them as what they are. A false hope, a false belief system. You’re leaning on for your persecution during painful times. When you need to persevere doing hard moments, you lean on something, you grab your mental pacifier to get through hard times and that’s an idol run into anything but jesus christ. You’re living, hope is in man made hope structure that doesn’t last. Everything you desire will fail. As you grow older, you’ll realize this more and more, Nothing that this world holds out for you is worth. Come on over here, johnny run after this, Susie, live for that. That’s worth it. Get through this junkie times, you can get to that moment. Everything does not satisfy christian everything on this life. You are ruined for loving earth and sinking your teeth into earth because you’re designed for something else. You have a real idea and heavenly purpose in your life, heavenly destination in your life. The thing is your peers that live for this life and they sink their teeth into the juicy morsels of this life and they suck it dry like dracula. They’re desperately longing for something more, something that gives them lasting hope in their life. All these men made hope structures do not satisfy you will die. Your relationships will change and grow and change. Your body will age and fail. You need a living hope, jesus is your living hope christian. If jesus, not your living hope, you have no hope apart from this life, Let’s look at Verse six, you rejoice in this, even though now for a short time if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials. These five churches, they’re getting persecuted, they’re getting hammered by their culture, peter’s right into them. They’re suffering grief and various trials so that the proven character of your faith is seen as more valuable than gold, which though perishable, is refined by fire, may result in praise glory and honor at the revelation of jesus christ. So you have not seen jesus, you love jesus, those seeing jesus. Now you believe in jesus and you rejoice of inexpressible and glorious joy because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls, the historical context, the background of this Christiane is going under intense persecution. And so the early Church is not made up like this church. Amazing. Cool. Popular, Amazing you. You know, that’s that’s that’s our church, right? Amazing. Perfect people. Right? But them joking, you know, we’re all great. You’re all amazing. I love you all right. But the early church, they were viewed as lesser than this room. Does that make sense? The early Church was viewed as second class citizens. Their testimony in court was not did not count the early Church was made up of the least and lost. The early Church was made up of women and slaves for the most part, and women didn’t at that time culturally, in the historical text of that time, women’s testimony in court was invalid. A woman saw something happen. You couldn’t call her as a witness. A slave was viewed a little bit above a woman at that time. Men and women. These people are getting attacked and persecuted by influential, powerful people in their day and they are the least of these. They’re not us. Does that make sense? Their trial? The ordeal is a lot deeper and more personal than someone really mean comment on your wall, Someone unfriended you this last year. Someone unlike something you posted. If you think of the things they’ve gone through versus things we’ve gone through, they have no rights in their culture. When the culture persecutes people that have no rights, desperately painful things happen. Their peers were getting burned at bonfires of narrow. They’re getting hunted down and thrown into the coliseum and being attacked for sport. Like we watched the NFL, we watch husker football, we watch baseball. The sport was watching gladiators kill christians, watching animals tear apart rather than sisters. You’re in small group with that is a different pain. Mhm. The 10 40 window is the most unreached, unengaged part of the country on the world. The 10 40 window, the International Mission Board did a lot of research about where money and missionaries are sent and 90% of money, missionaries doesn’t go to the 10 40 window. The 10 40 window is the part of unreached, unreached lost this on this planet, predominantly muslim control countries. They have dictators, they have regimes. It’s illegal to be a christian. I was watching a documentary that a pastor friend sent me. I was talking about conversations that these young church planning couples that lead small underground house church networks in these cities. The conversations they have to have about it just it just it just makes you sick. This is what they said to the young man. What will you do if your wife gets raped in front of you? Will you expose the underground church network? You’re pastoring. Then they turn to the wife and say wife, what will you do if your husband gets raped in front of you? We expose the underground church network. Your husband is pasturing christians suffering for christ when you hear stuff like that, it’s disturbing and unsettling. And we’re soft as an american church. We don’t suffer. I’m not going to add it that we don’t suffer. Well. No we don’t suffer. American Christianity are pain threshold is this? We get all worked out of shape out about this and now we’re squabbling about, vaccines are real or not. You know, I mean I can send you anyways many women, that’s what we’re suffering about. Brothers and sisters are getting destroyed around the globe. They’re really suffering historically. They have suffered and they are suffering and more christians are dying for the name of christ today than back in this day, Peter wrote this letter, martyrs and persecution on the american church. It’s sad, it’s sad how soft our pain threshold is. As american Christianity. It’s sad and that’s a fact. We’ve been entertained to death where soft comfort has made us incredibly soft. Being in a prestigious part of your culture where your culture thinks highly of you because you’ve got people in positions of power around, you’re sitting around your nation so they can go to bat for you as Christianity. There’s a, there’s a dark chapter potentially in Christianity coming if the nation does not repent, if our church does not repent men and women, I just saying pain purifies you and we have not been purified as an american church. I’m not critiquing our church. Our church is young and God’s giving us great. I’m saying an observation on Christianity as a whole. Men and women. The christian walk here on Earth’s design is to purify you. The christian walk here on Earth design is to purify you. If you say you’re thinking that’s not the christian walk here on earth is to increase my job network. The christian opportunity here on earth is to get me a marriage market christian opportunity here on earth is to make my friendships and holidays and moving buddies better. The christians purpose here on earth is to purify you and your walk of God purifying you. If you think anything other than the purpose of being here on earth is to get purified, you’re not thinking biblically the world, the devil in the flesh reveal how much we need jesus and how much we need to be purified, jesus purifies your walk you have with God. If he’s not purifying a Walk of God, you probably don’t have a Walk of God. There’s a song we used to sing growing up at a church that said refiner’s fire. Talking about this concept of metal and gold, precious metal who gets purified by heat and time and pressure. It said like refiner’s fire. My one desire is to be holy set apart for you, my master, ready to do your will. Anyone know that song? A few of us, Four of us know that song. The rest of us. It’s a classic. It’s a good we suffer and we think something’s wrong. We see pain and heartache and disappointment and frustration and things aren’t going perfectly. Where’s my health and wealth? Pastor to tell me what I need to hear. Where’s my feel good that a boy because the warm and fuzzy pastor life, Christianity, the whole bibles purpose, all the old testament. People suffering for jesus, all the new testament. People suffering for jesus expanded version. Your whole life existence here is to become refined and purified. A precious faith. A sweet, loving jesus faith isn’t an accident doesn’t happen randomly. People who have a sweet precious faith who have gone through some horrific dark nights of the soul and God has refined their soul beat out impurities, change their life changed their mind. A pure faith comes from a suffering faith. People have been through a thing or two. I heard a heard this this last week, this man was explaining to a friend, he said If I would explain your life right now to the old you 10 years ago. like I’m I got a wife, I got four kids, I’m pastoring at this church. I still have a full head of hair. You know, there’s, there’s some amazing intangibles in my life that I have, I have a bible. You know, if I explain your life to you right now As a 26 year old young man, because I’m 36 now, would you take that life? There’s pain, there’s heartache, there’s mountains and valleys, Would you take your life? I explained your future, you life to you now think of your old, you 10 years ago. If you can go back in time until a 10 year old or you listen, this is coming and this is coming and then this is coming and then this is coming and this is coming and then this is coming, If you can do that, have a little mental exercise, would you walk through those painful moments to get to your destination? So think obviously if you can go to yourself 1000 years into the future and have 1000 year old mike, come back and talk to a 36 year old Mikey back. Now listen, this is going to happen five years later, this is going to happen 20 years later, this is going to happen and then 10 years later this is gonna happen and you’re gonna get old and you’re gonna die from cancer, like everyone, you know, and then you’re gonna be an eternity eternity in heaven and you’re gonna be hanging out, jesus, getting coffee with peter, you know, they’re gonna go walk on water for your morning walk, you know, people mall walk here, you’re gonna walk on water there and you know, you fly there and you fly here, but it’s a different experience flying there and eating food. There’s way better than eating food here. You don’t get all bloated and have to wear a jacket the next day at church. So, I mean men and women, if I could have 1000 year old might come back and explain to a 36 year old mike, what the heck is coming? And we’ll have to look forward to and oh yeah, you have to work through 60 years of pain here mike and you’re gonna probably diet 80 or 70 because guys like you don’t last long then you’re gonna be in heaven forever, you’re gonna hang out, jesus, you’re gonna know the bible perfectly, you can sing better, but bob, you know, maybe get what I’m saying, men and women that would just change your perspective for the pain. I was at a missionary trip two years ago in Nepal with a group of, y’all, it was a wild time. It was not like a fun missionary trip. Um the week before and the week after we went, different missionary teams got identified by the state and they baton them and put them in prison. It was illegal to be sharing the gospel there. And so like we were masked there because there was dust and it destroyed your throat. And so we wore these, we didn’t bring cool mass like this, we have these terrible mask and we were there and they like sneak into the house, you share the gospel to a small group of people like that big a group of people and they would be listening and they didn’t have a clue what I was saying. My translator basically shared the gospel of people as I trust that’s what they said. And he went from house to house sneaking in and out. It was a wild, not fun trip. We rotated translators and one afternoon I was with this lady, I don’t remember her name, I don’t remember a lot about her backstory. But one part of our story was just shocking. She her and her husband were sent into a muslim muslim controlled country doing missionary work because they knew multiple languages and then her husband got killed by the religious leader when they found out that they were converting people to Christianity. It was like 69 months ago she was like on a on a sabbatical, getting rehabilitated with this team and then she was sent back out into muslim controlled country. I mean like the whole head garb and everything and she was just sharing about, she’s not going to see her husband again and how she remember him dying and she said someday I’ll see him again. But she had a perspective for pain and persecution that is uncanny for this room. Men and women, brothers and sisters are suffering serious things and I forgot her name, jesus to die, I forgot most of the story except for what I just shared, Jesus has rumored every nook and cranny for a story. Every low moment of her life, Jesus is watching, he’s rewarding. In 1000 years from now. Maybe we’ll see each other at heavenly coffeehouse because I’m assuming we’ll have coffee and have men and women. I know we can be soft. I know we’re soft, Christianity. Here in America, christians walk with God here on Earth is designed to purify you. And if you see a pure precious faith of an older brother or sister in the Lord, it’s not an accident, accident. Pure precious faith doesn’t randomly happen. A purity in your faith is what happens when you walk through the refiner’s fire of persecution, pain, frustration, disappointment, and how you respond to that. And what you put your hope in is what defines you as a christian Verse eight. Though you have not seen him. You love him, though you’re not seeing him now. You believe in him and you rejoice of inexpressible, glorious joy because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls, All right and exercise. Close your eyes, close them, close them, some of them already closed. Close them. Here we go! Close your eyes, think juices come back, the dead are raised, The sinner is revealed. The hypocrite is revealed to all the mysteries are explained on the internet. All conspiracy theories are explained to everyone. Jesus comes down and lays out who’s lying and who’s being lied about. And jesus judges, every single person and everything is complete. His judgment is rendered and he calls you righteous because you’re washed by the blood of jesus. And then rewards are given out. Now let’s reread versus eight and nine. You rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy because you’re receiving the goal of your faith. The salvation of your soul. The Father’s heart is to make you believers not hope in a hopeless hope. Christians, christians The father’s heart is to make you believe. It’s not hope in a hopeless hope, a foundation that will fail all of their hopes fail. Your finish line is the face of jesus. That’s the goal line. The finish line is the face of jesus. The jesus sanctifies us. Jesus justifies you jesus and you is the goal of your faith. The goal of jesus and you is the ultimate goal, your ultimate destination. The loving arms of jesus is the bottom line. You’re living for christian jesus affection, his attention, his approval juice is the goal of your walk here and now all this drama, forget it, the pain, this dumpster fire of life. We live in 1000 years from now, 1000 years into the future, jesus and you chillin like O. G. S. Is the purpose of your perseverance. Jesus chose you and you’re going to be rewarded. He’s the author of your faith, the perfecter of your faith. Has anyone ever seen the movie? The chosen anyone the chosen laura. And I have anyone else in the movie that chosen over here Brittany laura and I have seen a movie and so you can watch it on Youtube. I think it’s free. There’s an app you can download the chosen um if you have a soul it’ll make you cry in a good way. Right am I right? It’s very encouraging like happy crying, encouraging crying. This is a movie for you. You see a relational jesus working out loving and pursuing men and women and how he might have gone after some of these men and women. You read about these stories in the bible it’s like a black and white bible then like living technicolor of this. It just it just makes the bible come alive in some cool parts. I think you should see a relational loving jesus working with men and women and I imagine heaven is 1000 times better than that documentary that I’m endorsing their chosen jesus at work in your pain, believer, jesus at work as you persevere jesus as at work and you’re choosing uses at work in your persecution, jesus is that work in your life? He’s your real I. D. Jesus, you’re living hope, christian Verse 10 consuming his salvation. The prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. They inquire into what time or what circumstance the spirit of christ within them was indicating when he testified in advance to the sufferings of christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they would not serve themselves. But you these things have been have now been announced to you through those who preach the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven Angels longing to catch a glimpse of these things. I was having breakfast of four pastors here in town um it’s just breakfast and we grow out for a little bit and they’re good dudes, they’re good sweet humble men. Um my goal is to grow old with these guys as we grow old in the city, serving and loving the church in the city feels like a pastoral support group and if I think our church is healthy, but if jesus shuts our church down, I’m going to one of those churches, they’re good, they’re healthy churches, they’re a lot like this one, their dear humble men, but it seems like from reflection from the time of them talking there, there’s good times and there’s bad times and when you’re a kid, at least my kids, they picture it at different times. They think it’s the worst day ever. We’re out of cereal. This is the best day ever. My favorite cartoons on is the worst day ever. The Wifi. My tablets glitchy, get what I’m saying. That’s that it’s like best day, worst day and there’s like birthdays and christmas and summer vacation and all these other days in between any of these highs and lows as a kid, at least my kids, maybe you weren’t this way as a kid, but young, immature minds, it’s the best day ever, the worst day ever. And it’s up and down. That’s how young people are. But it seems like the blessings of following God and the burden of following God are really in rally there, like right on top of each other and it’s in the same day, sometimes in a few hours of each other, I can walk out of a thrilling, exhilarating, exciting soul stimulating, amazing, jesus on the move conversation an hour later in my day, I’m like, oh my God, what is God doing in this person’s life? I’m like this is crazy. The blessings are walking of God and the burden and pain of walking of God, the burden we carry, they just like mushed together. And some of you like, that’s my experience has been weeks and months of pain, heartache, depression, anxiety, sickness, terminal illness. Men and women Remind You that 2nd group of the profits, they went to some dark, bleak times. The profits that the Peter wrote about. We’re blessed by God and they’re hated by this world. The profits were rejected, they were outcasts, they’re lied about their slandered about, they went through starvation and hunger and no homes and believer. I think Peter’s words really echo what Matthew says Matthew five quoting Jesus Sermon on the mount. He says this, you are blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Like I said earlier, the whole old testament about people suffering for jesus, the whole new testament. People suffering for jesus, people suffer for jesus men and women. This is what purifies us. And that last line of verse 12, the Holy Spirit wanted to carry this important message and angels long to understand. It seems like that’s just like the Holy Spirit like this is so important. The message of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit wanted to carry that domestic directly to the people of God. As we experience the pain and heartache and persecution in the life of being a christian And the year 2021, we can have hope in a living hope in the gospel of a savior who rose from the dead last Sunday if you missed it easter. So christians are all worked up about every year. It’s a reminder that Jesus rose from the dead. As we close remember of me, we are radically hope centered, hope oriented creatures were hopelessly hopeful. People. Hope is made up of your desires and your expectations in the heart of God. The father is that we don’t have misplaced hope and things that fail and your belief about the future radically changes how you experience your present reality. And jesus is your living hope. If you’ve been washed by the blood of the land, If you’ve been changed and renewed, if you’ve confessed your sins and turn and rejected the false hope, you hoped in and grabbed onto the new hope of jesus, christ desperately. Those people have a living hope. If you’ve never done business of jesus, if jesus, not your personal savior, the hope of your life, he’s someone you know about in history, he’s an answer on the test. I am this old, this is my Social Security number. I am a christian. You know, if it’s that kind of knowledge of jesus, it’s not a transactional change of life, Knowledge of who jesus, you need to have a living hope in jesus. So you can have a living hope here. Now let’s pray as Lincoln comes up and talks us through community here, Lord, I thank you for the hope we have. Thank you for the words from Peter to a church going through persecution and suffering God. I thank you for what you’re doing in our lives. I pray that you just grow a sweet pure faith in our souls of men and women who desperately love you and who are genuinely growing in a deeper, more authentic walk of you, just keep leading us or give us wisdom as we go forward. But I promise you just drastically make us all sweeter and sweeter and our spirits because we’re going to you and being renewed by you, we commit this sound you in jesus’ name. Amen.