"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 1:6-7
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain
1. Trials of various colorations come to test the genuineness of our faith, to build character and to keep us focused on those things which are eternal and significant.
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.”
“What does Christ’s resurrection mean for us?
Christ triumphed over sin and death by being physically resurrected, so that all who trust in him are raised to new life in this world and to everlasting life in the world to come. Just as we will one day be resurrected, so this world will one day be restored. But those who do not trust in Christ will be raised to everlasting death.” New City Catechism, Question 50
2. A great day is coming where faithful believers will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:20-23
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save, he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
“Man is a useless passion. It is meaningless that we live, and meaningless that we die.” Jean Paul Sartre
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and to fully enjoy Him forever.”
Larger Westminster Catechism, Question 1
THEREFORE, RIGHT NOW COUNTS FOREVER.
1. As we are aware of the wonder of the cross, the forgiveness of sin and the significance of living as stewards, the believer will live with purpose, dignity and trust.
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:19
2. A great day is coming when faithful believers will be given praise, glory and honor by the triune God.
“She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on earth are two quite different things.” CS Lewis, The Great Divorce
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
What is the purpose of trials and difficult times?
- Why does faithful living as a steward of the mercies of the goodness of Christ lead to purposeful living and embrace of the dignity of life?
- Regarding the glory and honor received from the Father in heaven; why should we be prepared to experience great surprise?
- Why did R.C. Sproul choose the following as his ministry’s motto: “Right now counts forever”?
The Problem of Pain, CS Lewis
The Great Divorce, CS Lewis
The Life of Martin Luther, Roland Bainton
LIgonier Ministries (R.C. Sproul): www.ligonier.org