When the Future Seems Dark

Dr. Jon Morrissette - 9/13/2020

The essence of faith is confidence. Everyone has to put their confidence in someone, or something. But here is the deal. Life puts everything we trust to the most ultimate test. We will long remember 2020 as a year of testing. Will we ever trust a crowd again? How about the masked stranger sitting six feet from us? The doors we touch, the air we breathe, the places we shop and dine. Going to church, singing songs, saying prayers, greeting brothers and sisters in Christ. . .

You see, our basic confidence has been rattled. Our faith in our leaders and authorities, in government, in justice, in keeping our job, our home and business, in trusting news or information, in trusting our ever-changing climate, in trusting a cough. We’re not the Invincibles! We’re the Vulnerables!

1 Peter 1:2, “To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. . .”

The aliens and strangers Peter writes to in 1 Peter felt terrifically vulnerable and exposed. They were rattled. Scattered like seed. Exiled. Persecuted. Subject to cruel injustices, hostile authorities, violent neighbors. Subject to death, to chaos and uncertainty every day. Feeling displaced. No place to get a peaceful night’s sleep, no place to truly call home, no positive personal/economic prospects. No friends, no hospitable strangers, a constant sense of danger and terror.

What does it look like for us to trust God in 2020? It looks exactly the same for us today as it did yesterday for these 1st Century exiles. In 1 Peter 1:3-9 Peter lays out four powerful ways God helps those who trust Him.

First, God Resurrects Us Through Faith.

Most everyone agrees that Jesus lived an extraordinary life on every level. But the most extraordinary part of Jesus’ life was his death, burial, resurrection from death, and ascension to the right hand of God. You might hope for this, or for that. But look what Peter tells these Gentile Christians to hope for!

1 Peter 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

A believer’s baptism (immersion), is a living embodiment of our resurrection hope. We go down into the watery grave, we’re raised up to new life. One day we will all die, yet those who trust God, shall be raised to life (just like Jesus)! Our bodies, this life, is wasting away. But what God has in store is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, its kept in heaven.

Hope is knowing we're never going to stop breathing. Not even Covid-19, not even death, will take our breath away. God is resurrecting us through faith.

Second, God Guards Us though Faith.

My brother and his wife live outside Chicago. They were describing how local businesses, the Walgreens they shopped at with their family (that is just one mile from their home), how much destruction has happened, and how dangerous things have become, and how much anger and fear pervades their community. People don’t trust the police to protect them. They are buying guns. Shelves once stocked with bullets have been cleared.

Look at 1 Peter 1:5, “You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

What do these incredible words mean!! They can only mean that God promises to guard us through the danger as we trust him. Just like, God promises to see us through death into resurrection hope as we trust him. I think these words also mean that we're only going to make sense of all the danger, cruelty, violence and tragedy from the perspective of eternity. From the perspective of this life, we might question doubt whether God guards. But from the perspective of eternity, all doubt will be extinguished. When Christ comes in glory, we’ll see everything in the proper light. We will be vindicated in every way.

Third, God Refines Us Through Faith.

Do you know Christians have always been accused of having an “escapist mentality.” We have a hopeless mentality (we think death is final). We have a fearful mentality (will God protect me)? But we also have this escapist mentality. When things go south we pray, “Come Lord Jesus, evacuate us!”

Peter is very careful to tell these believers, nothing is wasted for those who have faith... who put their confidence in God. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

These believers were being guarded by God, but they were also being kept by God in difficult circumstances and trials! What was God doing? He was refining their faith. He was removing all the impurities. God was doing something in them, and through their trials, for his own praise, and glory, and honor!

Do you know how when we’re going through difficult things we cry out to God, “Why, God, why?” or “How long Oh Lord.” We’re not going to see the result of all our faith and all our trials in this life. It’s only going to make sense on the Day Christ Jesus is revealed! Remember James 1:2-4? “Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” Even the negative things aren’t wasted if you have faith. God is transforming you into the very image of Son Jesus.

Fourth, God Saves Us Through Faith.

1 Peter 1:8-9, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”


God resurrects, guards, refines, saves… through faith.

Scripture Verses

1 Peter 1:3-9; James 1:2-4; Hebrews 11

Worship Playlist

Exalted One by Elevation Worship

Holy Ground by Passion

No Longer Slaves by Bethel Music

Give Me Faith by Elevation Worship

Study Questions

  1. What are the possible effects dark and uncertain times may have on a person's faith?
  2. What is the nature of the Christian's hope?
  3. What refining fire are you suffering through? How can you have joy through it all?
  4. Read Psalm 119:105-112. How are you taking steps of faith in dark times?

Apply It!