When Hard Times Come

Dr. Steve Viars August 18, 2013 1 Peter 1:1-4

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When Hard Times Come

Proverbs 21:5 - The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.

Psalm 23:4 - Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

3 truths to recall when times are bad

I. Rejoice Because God Works His Will In and Through Imperfect People

A. Consider Peter's "nickname"

B. Remember Peter's past

C. Take heart in Peter's transformation

Romans 15:13 - Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

II. Remember that God Has Not Forgotten You in the Midst of Your Suffering

A. The reality of alienation

"to those who reside as aliens"

Matthew 10:24-25 - A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

B. The feeling of being scattered

1 Peter 1:1 - …scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia…

C. The length of time God has loved you

1 Peter 1:1-2 - …who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…

Ephesians 1:4 - just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world…

D. The deeply spiritual nature of your relationship with God

1 Peter 1:2 - by the sanctifying work of the Spirit…

Ephesians 1:18-19 - I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know…what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

E. The significance of the decision you made to trust Christ

1 Peter 1:2 - …to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…

1 John 5:13 - These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

2 Timothy 1:12-14 - For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

F. The dynamic nature of your walk with God because of the power of the resurrection

1 Peter 1:3 - …God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

III. Believe that a Better Day is Coming

A. An inheritance awaits

1 Peter 1:4 - to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

B. We are protected by the power of God

1 Peter 1:5 - who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Dr. Steve Viars


Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation


B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and three grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video