As you quiet yourself for this brief time, be willing to be open to God, however that may take place.
1 Peter 1:3-9 (NRSV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a 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, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
New birth! Living hope! Imperishable inheritance! In Christ, it’s all ours, and nothing (or no one) can take it from us. Can I get an Amen?! A few high-five hallelujahs?!
Or do all those blessings feel far away just now? The truth is, that while we ARE blessed in all the ways Peter describes, our lives have their share of trouble, too. Peter doesn’t make a big deal of it, but the fact that he acknowledges that we “suffer various trials” is a comfort to those of us who are knee-deep in heartache and overwhelmed with worries.
Trouble comes to us all, and for all sorts of reasons. Here, Peter reminds us that those trials and troubles are like a refiner’s fire, burning away the impurities and revealing the real treasure that is often hidden from view. That treasure is Jesus himself, and, when all is said and done, we’ll see Jesus more clearly—and others will see Jesus more clearly in us, too.
The fact that we are suffering doesn’t mean God has withdrawn favor from us. Our inheritance is unchanged; our hope is still alive; and the promise of joy still applies to us. Can I get an Amen?!
Lord, when the day is difficult and disappointing; when the night seems impossibly dark; when the only news I seem to hear is bad news: I just want a way out as quickly as possible. I want relief, rescue, redemption, and rest. Remind me, Lord, when I am desperate for a change, that even on the worst of days, you are at work, changing me to be more like you. Amen.
Go with God!