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Jul 15, 2018

When Life Doesn't Go the Way You Hoped

Preacher: Harold Coleman

Series: Summer 2018

Keywords: authenticity, disappointments, growth, hopes, life, restoration, transparency, being genuine


This message helps us look at how to handle life's disappointments by looking at the life of Peter.


When Life Doesn't Go the Way You Hoped


  1. What do we do when circumstances don’t go the way you hoped?
    1. What do we do when prayers aren’t answered the way we hoped?
      1. Personal Examples
        1. Is our hope in what we want or in God?
        2. Does God have a plan for us despite the circumstances?
      2. For the disciples we see it in the night the Jesus is betrayed and taken away to eventually be crucified.
        • They have had a good week. Palm Sunday, miracles, Jesus’ teaching
  1. They expected Jesus to be accepted as the Messiah and usher in God’s kingdom
  2. Things are about to go terribly wrong as Judas brings the Temple guards to the garden to arrest Jesus.

    II.            What do we do when sin or weakness gets the best of us?

  1. On the way to Gethsemane, Peter is told he will deny Jesus. He says no, he will die first. Mark 14:27-31
    • Luke adds Jesus' encouragement of Peter in Luke 22:31-32
      1. Satan will sift you (all)
        • Our struggle is with spiritual forces Ephesians 6:12
        • How Satan can hook us. Beliefs, Behaviors, and Feeling
        • How Satan can hook us. Values and Will
        • Peter took his eyes off of Jesus Matthew 14:30
          1. Sin is missing the mark
          2. It is taking our eyes off of Jesus
        • Peter depended on his own understanding Matthew 16:21-23
      2. I (God) am praying for you
      3. Your faith won’t fail despite the sin of self-protective denial
      4. When (not if) you turn again
      5. Strengthen others through your experience of both failure and the grace you have found in Christ’s love.
  1. Frank Buchman’s Oxford Groups the basis for A.A. and Changing Lives Ministry
    1. Honesty – Admitting you have a problem
    2. Finding hope through Christ
    3. Faith in Christ’s work to bring us out of sin and into Christ’s character and strength
  2. Sometimes sin goes deeper than we might think
    1. Jesus' Challenge and encouragement John 21:15-17
      1. Twice Jesus asks Peter if he loves him in a self-sacrificing way, as Jesus has loved him
      2. Twice Peter answers that he loves him as a brother
      3. The third time Jesus asks him if he loves him as a brother
        • Peter is broken by Jesus’ change of wording
        • Jesus reaffirms his calling on Peter’s life to feed and tend the Jesus’ flock.
      4. Peter is being challenged to see that his denial that night was a reflection of his trying to follow Jesus in his own strength, not leaning on God for the strength to do greater things. It is only through the strength of the Holy Spirit in him that he will be able to love Jesus and others in a way that bring glory to Christ.
    2. Sometimes our sin has more effect than we might realize
      • Peter's denial of the heart of the gospel leads other away from the core of the gospel too. Galatians 2:11-14
        1. Let’s look into the background of Paul’s story in Acts 15:1-2
          • Luke doesn’t mention Peter being there but the story is nearly the same as Paul described.
        2. What comes next reflects Peter's repentance and change in Acts 15:7-11
          • Paul and Barnabas and a few others (likely including Peter) are to go to Jerusalem to talk with the elders about gentile Christians
          • In Jerusalem Peter is the first to address the elders, with words that are almost exactly what Paul had challenged him with in Antioch
            1. Through this we see Peter not only had repented of his sin of separating away from the Gentiles, he is now encouraging the Jewish Christians to embrace the Gentiles and all to live through the grace of God, rather than their own efforts.
  1. Peter is going to live out the words of Jesus that night of his denial by strengthening others after turning back from his sin of fear to living in the grace and hope that is in Christ
    • Mark is going to need Peter's help and guidance.
      1. On Paul and Barnabas’ first missionary trip Mark leaves them and returns to Jerusalem, likely out of fear of being persecuted in a foreign land for his faith in Christ Acts 13:13
      2. Paul and Barnabas argue over taking Mark on the next Missionary trip. Acts 15:36-41
      3. Mark missed out on being with Paul during his greatest missionary trip starting churches throughout present day Turkey and Greece, such as Ephesus, Philippi, Berea, and Corinth
    • According to early Christian writings, Peter later takes Mark under his care, listening to him, encouraging him, teaching him
      1. Confess your sins to one another James 5:16
      2. Comfort and encourage 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
      3. Peter, likely encouraged Mark that God’s plan for his life wasn’t over due to Mark’s failure, just like Peter’s wasn’t due to his denial on the night Jesus was arrested.
  1. Mark started writing on Peter's teaching/sermons. This likely led to him creating the first gospel, which became a help both to Matthew and Luke in their writing gospels
  2. Mark joining Paul again in his missionary efforts.
    • Mark is restored Col 4:10
      1. His gospel and other writings of Peter’s teaching was likely to be very helpful to Paul
    • Mark is valued for his contributions to ministry 2 Timothy 4:11


  • Conclusion
    1. Being honest with ourselves, God, and others about when we walk away from him and do things our own way is necessary and healthy in our being restored from our fallen self into the person we are in Christ.
    2. In the body of Christ we are dependent on one another to help us to be genuine, guide us back to the right path, encourage us in our growth and finding our purpose in Christ’s kingdom work
      1. At times this is to challenge each other as Paul did with Peter
      2. At other times it is to restore someone on the path God intends for their life as, Paul did for Peter and Peter did for Mark.