Rejoicing while you Suffer Grief

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Rejoicing while you Suffer Grief
Text: 1 Peter 1:3-9
Occasion: Funeral
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Mourning, Praise
Author: George Lyons


Direction

We have resaon to praise God in even the darkest of times.

How to Get There

  • The text begins with calling for praise, saying good things about God.
    • That’s easy to do at a Christening or a wedding.
    • But it’s so much harder when it looks like God has let us down, when prayers for healing go unanswered. Praise seems so foreign at times like that. What good can we say about God then?
  • But this passage was written in times of suffering, pain, grief, and trials. They could have felt let down too. And it still calls them to praise.
  • They had not seen God (verse 8) just like us, but they were called on to praise. How?
  • God knows us, knows us at our best and at our worst. And God still loves us. Thanks to Christ, we have come to know God too (verse 21), and to trust God.
  • And through that relationship, that trust, we have three gifts to sustain us.
    • We have a living hope (verse 3) – Christ lives, raised from the dead by the power of God. And we have hope because we too will be raised again just like Christ. Death is not an ending with the resurrection ahead of us.
    • We have an imperishable inheritance (verse 4) – Our treasure cannot die, because it is in heaven with God. Death brings our treasure to us, it does not take it away.
    • We have a ready salvation (verse 5) – We are saved now, but what we know here is only a part of what is to come.
  • From the moment we are born, we begin dying. We can’t stop it, we can’t stop pain or choose when we experience it.
  • We cannot choose to live or die. But thanks to Christ we can choose what and who we will live for.
  • We can rejoice here because she (person who died) chose well. She chose Christ.
    • Her inheritance has been given her.
    • Her ready salvation has been made full.
    • She has not lost her life, it has been preserved.
  • Let us praise our God.

Things to Watch For

Make a point of acknowledging the people's pain. It isn't that there isn't reason to feel pain, or that anyone's pain is wrong, but that there is far greater reason for hope and for praise.

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