"In today’s uncertain times we all long for certainty. In today’s reading in Peter chapter 1 to chapter 2 verse 12 we hear that God has given us a sure foundation in Christ through our “new birth” and Jesus assures us of our “living hope” as we have an eternal inheritance with him. We are part of God’s chosen people, a royal priesthood, and are therefore called to live a holy life worthy of that calling." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)I am encouraged today as I read this passage.
Frankly I find it easy to rejoice in the rescue found in Christ. Salvation brings Joy. Dwelling on Christ and his rescue of my life fills me with "inexpressible and glorious joy."
More recently I sense I am learning to rejoice in the grief and frustration that have surrounded me & my family over the past couple years. I feel like I am in a period of suffering. It is not physical suffering. In many ways it is small. On the surface it is a financial trial, I suppose, but deeper down I think it has more to do with control and self sufficiency. It is not completely clear to me right now, in the midst of the difficulty, and I am not sure what direction I am to go, but I must say I am increasingly feeling the embrace of peace in it all. Or to put it another way, I am not freaking out about as much as I was last year. (Read Why do I Freak Out?)
These verses spoke to me in a new way today. There is a real and eternal purpose in suffering. My suffering today, the grief I feel and am struggling through has a purpose. It is not rotten circumstances that I find myself in by chance, or a world that is not fair. It is not because some one has wronged me or that I just don't measure up in my career. In the end it is not about me not being a good businessman or a great provider for my family. It is not even just about a bad economy.
In the end it is about being refined, changed, and renewed. It is about prying my steely grip from around my life. It is about letting go and letting God lead, provide, and change me.
It is about changing me in a way that I can't through my own efforts or my own choices. It is about change only God can orchestrate through complex circumstances in my life over what seems like a long period of time.
In this passage I see it is all for a purpose. An eternal purpose: GENUINENESS. A faith that is honest and genuine. A faith that is real and permeates every part of my life and every part of who I am and what I do. A faith that on the return of Christ is worthy of the honor it will be to stand face to face with the very one who has rescued my life from the pit, the King of Glory, the King of Kings, Jesus!
I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.
Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.