Some of y’all maybe old enough to remember the song Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, By Linda Ronstadt that was released back in 1977 and later covered in 2009 by Terri Clark in 1996. It is the story of a young singer who heads to Hollywood to make her fortune only to run into the manipulating men running the industry at the time. Here are the lyrics, out of this suffering and abuse somes a story that she just has to tell, in this case by way of a song.
So too, as Christians, we must be every ready to tell the stories God has given us.
First of course is the Gospel story, this is NOT our testimony it is all about GOD. One of the best summaries of the Gospels I have found is from John Piper, A Six-Point Summary of the Gospel, is easy to remember and simple to communicate.
Second as Ms. Ronstadt song portrays we need to tell our personal (testimony) story, 1 Peter 3:15.
Peter ends his 1st epistle by addressing the church body in two elements, first the elders 1 Peter 5:1-4, and then the younger or more immature believers 1 Peter 5:5-9.
To the elders he exhorts them and encourages them to be strong leaders for the flock they have been given charge of by God’s decree.
To the body of believers, he says LISTEN to your elders, obey them (as long as they are giving command that are biblical), be humble, persevere and cast your woes upon Christ.
And after you have suffered a little while, Christians have been promised suffering. WHAT? I am not going to list the many verses found in the NT alone but here is one example Acts 14:22 …“It is through many tribulations and hardships that we must enter the kingdom of God.”
the God of all grace, Christians have been promised God will intervene, for it is nothing but the Grace of God that will suffice to overcome trials and tribulations
who has called you He will intervene for those whom He has called, 2 Timothy 1:9 and choosen Matthew 22:14
to his eternal glory in Christ, We have been called not for earthly purposes (yet we are to accomplish things until our time ends here) but for eternal glory in Christ
will himself – Eternity with GOD will be amazing, beyond our comprehension. Peter mentions four things that will happen to us in eternity.
Okay, I want to deviate (JUST A LITTLE), as we look at them and and think for a moment when we have come out of a difficult time of suffering.
restore, The King James says “perfect us” God will make us whole physically, mentally and spiritually.
confirm, or settle the union of Christ in and with us in glory
strengthen, Both our resolve and any area which we were weak will be gone as we are hence completely renewed in glory
and establish you. that is to place all our focus and being upon the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega. Our only “mission” in Glory will be to glorify the King Revelation 22:1-5
We have set forth and established 3 things today:
- Christians will suffer on Earth
- Christians need to be ready to tell the Gospel Story and their own testimony
- God has promised Eternal Glory in Christ to all His called and chosen
I asked however to look at applying the 4 components of 1 Peter 5:10 to when we have come out of a difficult experience. Even though Peter is referring to future Glory, remember how you felt complete, confirm, strengthen, and established, fully renewed and invigorated in the Lord after coming through a rough patch? That my friends is your Poor, Poor Pitiful Me song. Your testimony, that needs to be shared when someone asks ‘what has God done for you lately.’