The effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much. So
pray with me this morning. Because there are some forces that
are prevalent that are very strong. But we have power. And we
are not ignorant of the devil’s devices. We have power from up
on high, and that’s what we’re going to use. We’re not going to
use carnality. We’re not going to use the flesh. We’re going to
operate by the Word and the Spirit of God.
If you would, lift your Bibles high in the air this morning. This is
my Bible. I am who it says I am. I can do what it says that I can
do. And because of this Word I am made whole. Because of this
Word I am victorious. Because of this Word I am prosperous.
Because of this Word I am prosperous. Because of this Word no
weapon that is formed against me shall prosper. In the Name of
Jesus. Somebody shout, “Glory.” Hallelujah.
If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of First Peter
chapter four. First Peter chapter four. Glory to God. And when
you reach First Peter chapter four, please signify by saying amen.
In First Peter chapter four (Hallelujah. Thank You, Holy Ghost)
we’re going to look at verse twelve. Peter said:
12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is
to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Look at verse thirteen.
13. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's
sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad
also with exceeding joy.
Somebody shout, “Thank You, Jesus.” Let us pray.
Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for who
You are and for what You do. Master, hide Your son behind the
cross, that Your people would see and hear You only, and not me.
Master, I decrease this morning, that You would increase. Dear
Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be
acceptable in Your sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Dear God, I thank You that every fowl demon is bound and
forbidden to operate. God, I cast it out back to the dry places, in
the Name of Jesus, that Your people would hear what the Spirit of
the Lord is saying to the church. In Jesus’ Name.
And the people of God said amen. Look at your Bibles. You may
be seated. First Peter chapter four and verse twelve. It says:
12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is
to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
Listen, church. Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness
in the Christian life. Persecution can either cause you to grow, it
can either stimulate growth in you, or it can cause you to become
bitter and begin to stunt the process (glory to God) of growth that
God has in your life. Glory to God. It’s our response that
determines the results. Let me say that again. It’s our response
(glory to God) to the suffering and the trials and the tribulations
and the battles that determine our response. Glory to God. It’s
our response that determines the results.
And Peter was writing to the Jews, believers, because they were
struggling in the midst of persecution. He encourages (glory to
God) them to conduct themselves courageously for the person
and program of Christ. He was letting them know that there was a
divine purpose behind their pain. And I came to tell you today,
church, that there is a (oh, my God) divine purpose for your pain.
And that’s why Peter, he was talking to them. He said, “Don’t
think that it’s strange that you’re going through what you’re going
through. God’s got a purpose, and God’s got a plan for your pain.
Look at your neighbor and say, “He’s got a purpose.”
He said, “You’re thinking that because you’re walking in a place of
righteousness that this thing that has come upon you has no
business being there.” And you see, that’s the facade of the
church today. We think that because we are walking in
righteousness, we won’t have a problem paying our bills. We
think that because we’re walking in righteousness we’ll have no
problems with relationships. I came to tell you today that because
you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, you will suffer
the pain. Give God praise in this house today.
When we look at the word “strange,” it’s something that’s unusual;
it’s something that’s unfamiliar; it’s something that is peculiar.
And when we look at Job . . . Go over there with me today. The
Bible began to talk to me about Job. Look at Job chapter one. It
said that there was a man (we know the story) in the land of Uz,
whose name was Job. And that man was perfect, or he was
mature. Glory to God. He was good and upright and one that
feared God and avoided evil. Glory to God. In other words, he
was a righteous man. He . . . Oh, my God. He had a standard of
righteousness in his life. And all of a sudden (my God) here come
Whenever you’re trying to do right, Satan’s going to come along
and try to give God a reason about why you’re trying . . . Oh, my
God. I know I’m talking to somebody, because you’ve been trying
to do right, and every time you turn around, Satan’s on your back.
And here we have Job. We have him doing right, getting up
praying when he’s supposed to pray, worshiping God, coming to
church service after service, singing songs of Zion, lifting up holy
hands without wrath and doubting. Oh, I know I’m talking to
Here we have Job in a peculiar place. My God. Serving God.
And here comes Satan and says to God, “The reason why Job
serves You the way that he serves You is because You’ve hedged
him in. And not only have You hedged him in, but You’ve blessed
Let me tell you something. Satan’s always after your credibility
with God. Do you hear what I’m saying? I don’t know about you,
but I want to have credibility with God. You can fan all you want
to. I’m a preacher until I get happy. Oh, my God, today.
Satan wants to mess up your credibility with God. I don’t care
about my credibility with man, as long as I’m credible with my
He comes along and he tries to mess up Job’s credibility. Think
about it. This is a righteous man. He’s in God. He’s living holy.
He’s minding his own business. He was strong in faith. He
exuded patience. And he had the highest level (you need to
listen) of integrity throughout the land. And now the accuser of
the brethren. Has the absolute audacity to give sovereign God a
reason why he’s serving Him.
And so here comes this fiery trial that’s about to try this man of
God. Doesn’t it seem strange to be able to walk with God and still
We think it’s strange, because we look at television, and we see
all that they have, and the Mercedes. My God. There’s nothing
wrong with it. But we look at it, and we look at our condition, and
we start to get upset, and we start to blame God. “Why, Lord?
Why?” Because it doesn’t seem like we’re prospering like they’re
He accused Job of following God for the fishes and the loaves.
And that is what Satan is accusing you of today. He’s saying,
“The only reason that they’re serving You is because of the
prophecy that they got on Friday night, because . . .” Oh, my
God. “. . . about them being a. . . “ Oh, my God. I know I’m
talking to . . . “The only reason they’re serving You is because
they’re trying to get something out of You.” Look at your neighbor
and say, “The devil is a liar.”
It’s so strange that the Lord allowed Satan to torment Job, to
demonstrate that His servant loved Him, not because of what He
had given him, but he loved Him, my God, because of who He is.
Look at your neighbor and say, “It’s not strange any more.”
It seems strange that this man of God would be going through the
fire based on his character and his lifestyle. Can I get a witness
somebody? It was a strange thing that this man of God would rise
up early in the morning and sanctify his children before the Lord.
And before (my God) he could turn around, he lost his children. It
was a strange thing that this man of God that was walking in good
health, all of a sudden, oh my God, his health has deteriorated.
It’s a strange thing that this wealthy man that had all the material
blessings, all of a sudden lost it all. Look at your neighbor and
say, “It’s not strange any more.”
To every one that was around him, except him, it was strange to.
In the second chapter of Job (listen) and verse nine, his wife told
him to curse God and die. Because she said, “I’ve seen your
walk, honey. You’re not one way in the pulpit and another way in
the bedroom.” Oh, my God. Am I talking to you? “You’re not one
way around all the saints and then another way around all the
ain’ts. You don’t have a conversation that’s holy in front of the
fellowship of the brethren, and then when you get out there, you
cuss like a sailor. I seen your walk, baby, and you’re a man of
God.” Oh, my God. I’m talking to somebody.
So this thing became strange to her. And she said, “Curse God
and die.” In other words, she was saying, “Renounce this
Jehovah.” But look at what Job said. Look at verse ten. He said:
10. . . . What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall
we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
Why? Because it wasn’t strange. He knew with whom he had to
do. He had a relationship with his God. It wasn’t based on the
material things that he had. It wasn’t based on the stature in the
community (oh, my God) that he had. It wasn’t based on his
reputation that was impeccable. But it was based on a
relationship that was founded in prayer.
It wasn’t strange. And so you’re going through something this
morning. You hear me? You’re going through something this
morning, and you’re acting like it’s a strange thing. Let me tell you
something, child of God. When you do right, Paul said evil is all
around you. He said, “When I go to do right, evil is always
present with me.”
So He’s speaking to us today. He’s saying, “Stop thinking it’s
strange that you’re going through what you’re going through.
Stop looking at everybody else’s condition and judging their
condition by your condition, and saying that their condition is
better than my condition.” But sometimes you don’t understand
what they’ve been through to get where they are right now. Don’t
be fooled, child of God.
It’s not a strange thing. Peter was talking to them. He said, “Wait
a minute. You’ve got the wrong frame of mind, and that’s why you
can’t smile no more. That’s why you can’t lift up hands of joy any
more. That’s why you don’t have a dance in your feet no more.”
You think it’s strange that you’re lonely and all by yourself. You
think it’s strange that you don’t have enough money to make ends
meet. You think it’s strange that your child is cutting up in class,
and you’re trying to look at somebody else’s child and measure
your child by that child. You don’t know what God has called that
child to. Judge nothing before the time. I feel the glory.
You think it’s strange. You think it’s strange. You think it’s
strange that they loved you today, and they cried, “Crucify him”
tomorrow. You think it’s strange. He came to tell you today that
this is all a part of the Christian walk. That’s why He said rejoice.
He said be glad. He said be happy.
You see, it’s when you don’t go through anything, you better look
out. Because maybe you’re walking in pride, and pride goes
before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It’s not strange, men and women of God, and children, people.
It’s not strange about what you’re going through. There’s a divine
purpose for pain. God is looking for a certain response, but Satan
is looking for a certain response. God was saying, “Watch this.”
And Satan was saying, “No, You watch this.”
Prove him wrong. Because God is bragging on you. He’s
bragging on you. Because He knows that He has equipped you to
make it to the other side. He knows what He has given you. He
knows what He has placed in you. He knows that greater is He
that’s in you than he that is in the world. He knows the beginning
from the end. He knows it.
And you see, if I don’t think it’s strange about this fiery trial that
has come to try me, then I can give the God kind of response.
And I can say, “This too shall pass.” Give Him praise today.
Why? Why does a loving and wise God permit strange things to
happen to His children? Don’t you know that He’s got to cut on
you, that you can produce what? If there’s no cutting, there’s no
productivity. He’s not just looking for leaves.
You remember when Jesus came back, and all there was was
leaves? There was leaves on the fig . . . He was like, “Where’s
the fruit at?” And He cursed it at the root. He’s not coming back
for leaves. He’s coming back for fruit. Are you producing any
fruit? Are you producing any fruit? The fruit of what? Patience.
The fruit of knowledge. Amen, somebody. The fruit of maturity.
There was a situation that happened this morning. It just arose
out of the blue. Trying to get ready for church. Here comes
Satan trying to get a response out of me. Did you hear what I
said? He was trying to get a response out of me, but he was
trying to get the wrong kind of response. Because evidently God
must have said something about me.
Just like God is talking about me, He’s talking about you. God
said something about you today. And when you get into your next
week or the next week or sometime soon, Satan’s going to say,
“Now, wait a minute, God. You know, You said that, but watch
this.” God is looking for a certain response out of you. You can’t
always respond with, you know, hollering and screaming and
kicking and biting and scratching and punching. We wrestle not
against flesh and blood. You need to get into a place of prayer
and beat that devil’s brains out.
He’s looking for some fruit. Have you been producing any fruit
lately? In First Peter five and ten it says:
10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal
glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while . . .
My God. He said, “After you have suffered a while, then you will
pass the set.” This is what the Bible said. It said, “After you have
suffered a while . . .” I think I need to say that again, because I
don’t know if you heard me. After you have suffered a while.
Okay. It’s starting to . . . I feel it. It’s starting to . . . I’m going to
say it one more time to this side over here. After you have
suffered a while. Come on. Repeat with me. After you have
suffered a while. Okay. I believe some folk over there got it. I’m
going to come over here. Now say it with me–one, two three.
After you have suffered a while. You need to hear that.
Sometimes you need to hear yourself say it.
10. . . . after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,
stablish, strengthen, settle you.
You mean that all of this comes through pain? Now, that’s what
seems strange to me. Lord, You made me. Why didn’t You just
make me what You want me to be, without the suffering? I’m
Yours. Uh, uh. We have a free will. So he said after you have
suffered a while He will make you perfect; He will stablish you; He
will strengthen you.
So He wants to change our mindset. So child of God, listen.
Don’t think it strange any more, because of this situation that has
come to try you. But count it all joy when strange things happen.
Give God praise today. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah.