Why did God choose me part 2: What kind of life did he choose for me?
My wife loves to watch the show, John and Kate plus 8. It is a reality show about a family made up of a set of twins and a set of sextuplets. Any of you who have any kids, can imagine the difficulties and struggles that can arise with 8 kids. However, In the introduction to each show they always say, its not an easy life, but its our life.
As Christians the same can be said of our life. Our lives are not always happy, there is a lot of sorrow.
Even Though Jesus tells us to come to him, and he will give us rest. Often as Christians, we find ourselves tired because it simply is not easy to lay down all of our worries at the cross.
In the passage we are looking into today, we find that Peter tells us that we should always give praise to God and rejoice because He has given us a new birth, but then he reminds us that even in this new life we will face all kinds of trials.
This new life that we are given as Christians indeed is not an easy life, but it is the life that God has given us, and it is most certainly a life worth living.
Let’s Read 1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 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, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Today as we look further into this passage. We find something that is very typical with real every day life. Here we find that there is both good news and some bad news.
Let’s begin with the good news, because this is where the passage begins. The good new is that through Jesus Christ we have new life. If you are a Christian, you already have this new life, if you are not a Christian, this new life is waiting for you.
I want you to first see how great this new life, and we can see this best by remembering what it is opposed to.
We remember that way back in the garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve sinned, the consequence of their sin was death, an eternal death.
Verse 3 tells us here, “praise be to the God and Father or our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
When God chose you, he poured out his mercy upon you so that instead of facing death, you would be given new birth into a living hope.
In death there was no hope. In other words without Jesus Christ, there truly is nothing to hope for. Everything in this world is temporary, and will pass away.
However, with new birth you are giving a living hope. What this really means is that in the new life that we have been given, we have a hope that is as certain and real, as the fact that Jesus is alive. One commentary says “living” means that the believer’s hope is sure, certain, and real, as opposed to the deceptive, empty, false hope the world offers. Furthermore, Matthew Henry says, that this hope invigorates us in life.
What this all really seems to be saying is that it is really only into this new life that Jesus Christ offers us, that we may find any reason at all to live.
Secondly, we also see that in this new birth we are given an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. What this is saying is that when we become a Christian we have a lot of great things waiting for us in heaven simply because we are now part of God’s family.
I think that the really neat thing we find here, is not so much that in Christianity we are given a great inheritance, but rather than any Christianity we get to become part of a new family, a better family, a family that truly knows how to love, because Jesus knows how to love.
1 John 3 reminds us of this truth.
3 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
Verses 14-16 continues
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
Today, as a church family, we have had the privilege of welcoming new members into this church family, and some have come upon profession of faith. This means that they have decided to join this church because they have come into God’s family, and they want this to be where they experience that.
Those of you who have joined today, I pray that you will find Neely’s Creek to be a reflection of what the whole family of God is supposed to be. I pray that as you are a part of this family, that you will indeed experience true love, a God love from this church family.
For everyone else, today I would simply like you to remember what it means to be a part of God’s family. That is because God lavished upon us such a great love, we are to lavish that love upon others. As the old praise song suggests: “They Will know that we are Christians by our love”
Next we see in all of this that there is a little bit of bad news. The truth of the matter is that the Christian life isn’t all happy go lucky, great and easy. The Christian life is still a real life with all of the hardships and struggles that face it. We simply have a God of love to face this life with, and a hope for the future.
Verse 6 says,
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
This verse says that all of the good stuff that we have already talked about gives us reason to rejoice, however for now you may have some grief and some struggles.
Peter here is recognizes that as Christians we live in the real world, and there are a lot of hurts, fears, struggles, sorrows, and tears that come along with this real world.
Verse 7 reminds us though that even though we see these things as bad, God is using them for a reason. It is these trials, struggles, and hardships that God is using to mold our faith.
There is a poem called “The Weaver” which illustrates this well.
My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors he worketh steadily.
Oft times he weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride
Forget he sees the upper and I the underside.
The dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern he has planned.
Not till the loom is silent and the shuttle cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
In other words we cannot see the reasons for the dark struggles in our life, sometimes until it is finished, but these difficult times are as necessary as are the great and wonderful things in God’s plan.
All of the struggles and sufferings that we face in this life are for a reason.
Someone once said, “Suffering can do several things in the life of a believer. First, it can “burn out the dross,” or purify us and lead us to greater holiness of life. But it can also “burn in the promises,” or lead us to a closer dependence on God and his faithful promises to us.
Burn it will—but look also at what the burning is for.”
Suffering in life, burns, but it is indeed a necessary part of life. Because it is through these trial that God molds us and makes us, purifying us into the people he wants us to be.
Verse 7 says, These (trials) have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Last week we tried to answer the question, “Why did God choose me? We discovered the primary reason was to bring him glory.
Today we have seen what kind of life he has chosen for us. The fact of the matter is that the Christian life is not an easy life, but it is the life God has called us to.
And it is the perfect life for molding us into a people, a family, that will truly give God praise, glory, and honor.
And it is through this kind of life that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.