Introduction – The Apostle Peter predicted massive persecution of Christians and Jews. The “fiery trials” he predicted most likely pointed to the Emperor Nero, and his burning of Rome and subsequent persecution of Christians. Peter himself was probably martyred during this time, crucified, hung upside down, because he felt unworthy to die like his Saviour.
- The Miracle of the Calming of the Storm (Mark 4:35-41). This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible. Christ gives comfort during the storms of life. Sometimes, though God allows the storms to rage because that’s how we grow. The storm is where we learn our lessons. It is during the storms that we grow closest to God.
- The Storm that Interrupted Paul’s Journey to Rome (Acts 27:21-26). Whereas those young followers of Christ temporarily lost faith when a storm hit their small fishing boat, when a storm hit the ship upon which Paul was held prisoner, it was he who shared his faith with those around him. We will face storms. They will come in many forms, but they are certain to come. As we mature in Christ during storm after storm Er learn not to blame God, but to trust in Him, and to help others keep the faith. Paul said, I have faith in God, that he will do just as He promised.
- The Scattered Christians to Whom Peter was Addressing (1 Peter 1:1-16). Peter addressed Christians ensuring storms. These storms were persecutions. And in the missy of their storms, he encouraged them to be holy. In ofthe middle of their trials, Peter wad telling them that the I’ve thing that mattered most was not to be rescued from their hardship, but to be holy through it all.
Conclusion – trials come to make us strong, and to provide opportunities to master in our holiness.