Friday, May 6, 2011
Read: "...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." 1 Peter 1:3-9
Think About: We are protected by God through our faith that is revealed in us as we live day to day, rejoicing through personal suffering and through serving those who suffer. Our God calls us to rejoice in our trials, through faith, so that we can reveal Jesus Christ to those around us. It is a kind of sacred suffering, through immensely difficult times, knowing that Christ walks along side us and holds us every moment of every day. Through him, we are able to support and sustain others in their times of suffering. Christ treasures us and showers us with his abundant love. His mercies are unending. We honor him in our personal suffering and in our service to others experiencing personal trials. We believe in him because we have seen what he has done and we have hope through his resurrection that he can transform us and give us his power.
Our imperishable and undefiled inheritance can never be taken away because we belong to God. Even in trials, we can rejoice. We may wonder, how can this be? Precious gold, tested by fire, cannot compare to the glory of Christ who lives in us. In suffering and joy, we can worship Christ, who offers peace that passes all understanding and who offers renewal of our spirit. Can we believe in him and rejoice in the new life that he offers to us? If we are unsure, can we ask for his unfailing mercy and grace to wash over us? He is faithful. Can we be faithful to him who gives new life and peace?
How can we know him better? Study his word. Pray. Join a Sunday School class or small group. Listen to others around you. You will find, as the Lord spoke in Matthew, that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. (Matt. 11:30) Let him lead your life. Take the time to know him who brings re-creation, renewal and revitalization. He lives in you.
Pray this Prayer: Thank you for your mercy and grace that surrounds me in my joyful moments and in my suffering. Renew my spirit through your resurrection and make my path to serve you clear. I am grateful that I belong to you. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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