Monday, August 19, 2013

Even Though Now For A Little While

1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

I love this passage for several reasons. First, when I accepted Christ, I became a new person once and for all eternity. That means sin is no longer my master. When I mess up, fail, give into temptations…I’m forgiven because Christ stands before me, protecting me from the fate I deserve, and gives me a pass to be with Him for all eternity. Such grace. Such humbling, beautiful grace. Truly an undeserved favor.

Second, Peter says we have a living hope. This comforts me so much when I struggle with anxious thoughts of the unknown future of infertility. My hope is not in vain. It is alive because Christ lives in me. But like a living being, that hope must be nourished and properly cared for, otherwise it might shrink into a state of dis-health. When I allow depression and the enemy to dominate my thought life, my living hope is injured and sickly. I need to nourish it with food and water in the form of choosing hope over hopelessness. By spending time with my Father and His Word instead of dwelling on my own thoughts, fears, and worries.

Third, I’m protected by the power of God. That’s so huge and important to remember! When fears and worries begin to overtake me…when the enemy is whispering lies of shame in my ear, my God is ready and available to protect me. I need to turn to Him in those moments of weakness. He wants me to turn to Him in moments of weakness.

Fourth, Peter says that the various trials the people are being distressed by are for a little while. It is so incredibly easy to feel overwhelmed by infertility and to feel like I’m trapped in this chapter of life. Like it will last forever, I’ll never become a mother, woe to me. But that’s not true. Like any trial, it has been, is, and will always be temporary. A season. A chapter. It must have a beginning (December 2010) and therefore MUST have an END! For a little while. The “little while” may feel like an eternity to my earthly-bound state, but to God, it’s but a blip in the grand timeline He’s orchestrated. I just need to trust Him and do everything I can to be patient for His timing.

Fifth, Peter says that the purpose of our trials is to demonstrate the proof of your faith. He says trials should result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. This relates to how I am called to respond in the midst of suffering and trials. The purpose of my suffering is to show the greatness of God, not the vastness of my self-pity. I am called to respond with hope and joy when it’s illogical to other people. When the world says it’s time to give up, there’s no chance, etc…I should remain hopeful and joyful. Even when I’m hurting, God is still worthy of my praise. And I truly do have so much to praise Him for!

I love how verse 9 ends with you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible. Not just a little joy, but inexpressible joy. Greatly rejoice. So much joy you cannot describe with words how much! That’s a lot of joy, and if I truly focus on all that God has blessed me with – even while facing the pain and suffering of a trial – I find it easy to have joy. My eyes see that I am so richly blessed already. Even though now for a little while I am hurting. Be joyful. Inexpressibly joyful.

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