Nov 17, 2009
I don’t suffer nearly as much as others do. Perhaps what I go through does not deserve to be called suffering. Yet, the hard things I experience are real for me and what I can feel as “suffering.” Many events have come to a head this past week which leads me to new ideas and fresh dealings with my “sufferings”. In many ways I already know this information in my head but as life is lived, God speaks in new ways and shows new insights and applications. He also continues to mold and shape me and is gracious to me despite my thick-headedness.
My discontent and grumblings and complaints about my suffering is sin. Dwelling on how “bad” and “unfair” things are denies God’s goodness and grace and says to Him, “You made a mistake, you are not in control, you don’t know what you’re doing.” This all is displeasing to Him and doesn’t play out well in my life.
How could Paul rejoice and have hope in prison? I’m sure he must have had some hard days, but he found God’s glory and His grace in those hard events. Can’t I do this? Can’t the same Holy Spirit work this in my life?
I have complained and grumbled and not asked God or sought Him out in these sufferings. Sufferings and “deserts” we go through are designed to draw us closer to Him and lean on Him and see Him show up. It has become a regular prayer of mine now to ask Him to “incline my heart” and “please let me see your glory in these events.” I have to confess that my heart these past 2 or 3 days has been softened and my attitude improving. I pray and ask for daily filling through all these difficulties.
Sep 29, 2009
1 Peter 1:1-13 ESV 1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cap-padocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
I was reading through this and thinking about hope from what I preached on Sunday in Zechariah. This short passage speaks so much about hope and more, you could spend a few weeks (a lifetime) going over these words. Just some random thoughts:
- Each person of the Trinity was involved in mysalvation.
- I appreciate Peter’s emphasis on my election and calling and God’s sovereignty in my new birth – it was all His work
- my living hope and my inheritance
- God is guarding me
- I do have several trials, but I can rejoice in the hope I have
- My trials are to grow my faith and refine me and purify me
- the promises come from the OT and are fully realized in Christ’s coming – more assuredness I can bank my hope on
Tim Keller preached on this passage concerning “gospel-centered ministry” which I appreciate his insights and the Lord’s speaking through him
Mar 16, 2009
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There is hope after failure. This hope is in Christ.