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Jun 14, 2020

Strange Hope

Strange Hope

Passage: 1 Peter 1:6-12

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Strange Faith

Keywords: faith, salvation, prophecy, suffering, trials, rebirth, inheritance, refinement

“Man is born for trouble, as [surely as] sparks fly upward,” says the book of Job. As in that storyline so in every human storyline a question surfaces: how, in a world arguably originating from God and overseen by God, do we face the inevitable troubles which threaten to swallow our faith in God?

6.14.20 GMR Online Service from Graceworks Media on Vimeo.

Order of Worship

CALL TO WORSHIP: Hebrews 12:1-3
Prayer of Confession (adapted from The Service for the Lord’s Day)
OT READING: Isaiah 44:1-4,21-23
CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 1:3-12 ESV
MESSAGE: Strange Hope
BENEDICTION: Colossians 1:11-14

Children's Lesson

Readings & Scriptures

CALL TO WORSHIP: Hebrews 12:1-3
LEADER: Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

ALL: 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,

Prayer of Confession (adapted from The Service for the Lord’s Day)

ALL: O Merciful God,
We confess that we have not loved you with
our whole heart, mind, and strength
And have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

In your great mercy, forgive us,
renew us, compel us and lead us,

That we may delight in your will
walk in your ways; find joy in your Word.
Through the finished work of Christ.

OT READING: Isaiah 44:1-4,21-23
LEADER: All of scripture, the old AND new testaments, all point to the finished work of Jesus and the hope of the gospel. Our old testament reading for today, that connects to our central text and message, is found in Isaiah 44.

LEADER: 1“But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen! 2 Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. 4 They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.

21 Remember these things, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are my servant;
22 I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. 23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it; shout, O depths of the earth; break forth into singing, O mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and will be glorified in Israel.
God’s word to us.

CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 1:3-12 ESV
LEADER: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 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. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

BENEDICTION: Colossians 1:11-14
LEADER:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

ALL: 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.


  • Isaiah 52:13-53:11
  • Matthew 13:16-17
  • Mark 8:31-33
  • Luke 24:13-35
  • John 3:1-4
  • Acts 2
  • Hebrews 11:32-40


InView Media Album, 6.14.2020


  1. Name a time when your faith in Christ has cost you or brought harm to you. Or name a time when your faith was challenged by suffering or loss. What went through your mind then (or now)? What kept/keeps you from falling into despair?
  2. When one suffers what are several possible outcomes if one has no reason or resource to face them?
  3. How are the blessings of God for which Peter offers Him praise meant to help us face suffering and trial?
  4. How is Peter wanting them to view their sufferings? In terms of their proportion? In terms of what they can accomplish or prove?
  5. What’s Peter getting at when he compares his listeners to what the prophets had seen and what angels had longed to see?


  • Trials dark on every hand,
    And we cannot understand
    All the ways of God would lead us
    To that blessed promised land;
    But he guides us with his eye,
    And we'll follow till we die,
    For we'll understand it better by and by
    -“We’ll Understand It Better By and By”

  • Every conversion is a virgin birth. - F. Dale Bruner
  • “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. C.S. Lewis
    The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians--when they are sombre and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths. But, though it is just to condemn some Christians for these things, perhaps, after all, it is not just, though very easy, to condemn Christianity itself for them. Indeed, there are impressive indications that the positive quality of joy is in Christianity--and possibly nowhere else. If that were certain, it would be proof of a very high order. - Sheldon Vanauken
  • We are the trees whom shaking fastens more. - George Herbert, “Affliction V”
  • Where does my hope come from? Not from the usual places. Not from the fact that we’ve added more faces to our marches. My trust goes much deeper—to the Resurrection, and the way in which it reconfigures our spiritual imagination. God has a long history of giving his people a belief in the seemingly impossible. - Dr Esau McCaulley