2012-01-19 - Brief Thoughts
The following verses are from the Amplified Bible 1 Peter 1:6-9.
6 [You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,
It's been a very difficult couple of weeks with a lot of change and turmoil in different parts of my life. The idea that I would be exceedingly glad is a little alien. But think about those cold windy days in winter that bite right through your coat to your bones. Then mentally turn the page to the first spring days when you can feel the warmth of the sun on your face and arms. The cold days we push through amplify the joy of those early days of spring when the coat can finally go back in the closet. Then turn the page again to the day when you will be met by Jesus and be taken home to a place that our words can only scratch the surface of how amazing it is. That is a point of exceedingly glad that we can not really know until then, but we can look forward to it with a sure hope.
7 So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
To be tested by fire. I was told a story about how bits of ore that contain gold are heated in small crucibles by individuals along the streets of India to extract the gold. The low melting point of the gold turns the metal into a liquid and the rock that held it is carefully extracted. Then the bits of dross are so carefully removed from the surface of the molten gold. When one of these men was asked how he knew the gold was pure he turned and smiled saying, "When I can see my face clearly reflected in the surface of the gold - then it is ready." Is this not a picture of Jesus refining us? We are his poema - His poetry, and a work in progress. One day we will be made ready. Selah!
8 Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.
We love because He first loved us - while we were his enemies He reached down and touched our hearts and lives. He bought us out of the slave market of sin and clothed us in His life. He died in our place. The world can not understand and it is not because they are stupid. How can you explain this in any way they can really understand? We follow someone the world thinks is dead and we admit we can not see. Sound a little crazy on the surface? Pray for them that their eyes and hearts will be opened. But it is really true - only because of what He was willing to do for us because we could never help ourselves. There are days when it is so easy to lose sight of this. Things just beat on you like a hammer. We have been promised the Holy Spirit, a real person of the Trinity, would walk along side us as we go. Jesus promised to never leave or forsake us. And He is in control.
9 [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
There are days when you feel beaten and things don't make a lot of sense. There will be a day, and it may not be now or even soon, when it will all be made clear. That the road we walked with the ups and downs was made to mould us and shape us into the bondservant of Christ we are suppose to be. We have been forgiven and given so very much. Hold fast.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (NASB)
Lord Jesus - Help me keep my eyes off the trouble and on the next step and these blessed promises You have for me. Amen.
Grace & Peace,