OVERVIEW: Don’t be surprised when your faith is tested and challenged. Your non-believing friends may be surprised when you no longer participate in the things you used to do.
BIG IDEA: Trials mold and shape you into the image of Christ.
KEY VERSE: 1 Peter 4:8 (Peter’s instructions to all)
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Suffering is part of this world. Don’t be surprised by it. A day is coming when suffering will disappear—no pain and no sorrow. Until then, prepare yourself for challenges. Arm yourself with the attitude of Christ, one that allows you to be healthy and to persevere. I will give you everything you need. Don’t worry about whether or not you will be strong enough. I will provide you with strength. Take this message to heart. Own and live it. But share it as well! You’ll have friends who wonder why you’ve changed. Tell them your faith story and invite them to follow me.
And when you suffer because you live for me, be encouraged. You are making good choices and getting noticed. Not everyone will like it, but you will live a life of power and significance. Keep on doing what is right. Let it fuel you and remind you that my Spirit rests on you. I will always be with you and provide for you. Seek me and follow me. Live for me and be blessed. And be a blessing to others.
Are there areas of your life that are not consistent with the way Christ would have you live? Pick one and commit it to prayer. Ask 1-2 friends for support and pray to be filled (controlled) by the Holy Spirit.