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Tag: 1 Peter

Dealing with Suffering

For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about living as aliens and if you’re just joining today for the first time – that might seem like a slightly odd sermon topic. But the reality is, as Christians, we ARE aliens. We are foreigners, strangers, short-term visitors on planet earth. We will spend maybe 60/80/100 years here and then woosh – we’re off to our eternal home – a place called Heaven. A place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears, and no more sorrow – Just life as God intended it.

But as you know, we’re not there yet. We are still in a place where there is pain, there is suffering, there are tears and there are sorrows. And as Christians we are not immune from all that.

There are no promises in the Bible that tell us that Christians will be free from pain and suffering. If anything, the Bible promises us the opposite – that there certainly will be pain and suffering for anyone who wishes to follow Christ. Jesus says in John 16:33…

 “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33

So how do we deal with that? How do we deal with pain and suffering, not just in the world in general, but in our own lives? Does God have a purpose for our pain (for our trials and sorrows) or is it just part of living in a sin-filled world? I mean, everyone experiences pain and suffering, but as Christians, as aliens in this world, how are we supposed to respond when we go through those dark, difficult times in life?

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The Role of Aliens

Two weeks ago, we were faced with the fact that we are aliens. We read in Hebrews 13:14 that, as Christians, as followers of Christ, this world is not our home. Our real home is heaven and we are eagerly waiting for the day that God takes us to be with Him in our eternal, Heavenly home – where there are no more tears, no more sickness, no more pain, no more death. It will truly be home sweet home.

But that day hasn’t come yet. We are still living here as aliens in this sin-filled world. So what do we do in the meantime? How do we live as aliens in this world until Christ takes us home? That’s the question we set out to answer two week ago as we began looking at the books of first and second Peter.

Now the first thing we discovered, as we looked at 1 Peter chapter 1 was that God wants us to be holy. In other words, God wants us to be different. Why? Because when you’re different, you can make a difference. When we live in the awesome power of God, we will be very different from the world, (we’re gonna stick out like sore thumbs) but that’s exactly what will give us opportunity to make a difference in the world.

So this morning I want to pick up where we left off two weeks ago – kinda on that theme of being different in order to make a difference, because Peter talks a little bit more about this in chapters two and three.

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Living As Aliens

I want to start with a little game this morning. I’m going to show you the pictures of three people, and I want you to try to figure out what they have in common. Why would they be grouped together? Let’s start with an easy one…

Answer: They are all cowboys. (Dallas Cowboys , John Wayne, Woody from Toy Story)

Let’s try another one:

Answer: They are all Prime Ministers of Canada (Kim Campbell, Wilfred Laurier, Paul Martin)

And one more…

This one might be a bit tricky for those who don’t know my buddy Dustin, but the answer is, they are all aliens!

And I’m sure some of you know exactly where I’m going with this, but for others of you – this might seem like an odd way to start to a sermon. So maybe I’d better explain a little bit before we get too far.

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