Thursday, April 28, 2016

If You Can't Stand the Heat...

1 Peter 1:6-7 (MSG)Read it yourself

Feeling great! Even with the aggravations and frustrations of this life. Your feelings are inconsistent with perceived realities. Why? Because of the brand-new life God granted to you. Whatever messed-up confused state once existed in the darkness of the past, it is gone. Replaced in the newness of the present. A new day, a new life. A life without end, filled with purpose and meaning. Filled with abundance and acceptance. Filled with belonging and identity. With a promise of future wholeness and healing.

Gold is gold even when it’s embedded within rock, or ore. Ore is crushed and mixed with toxic chemicals, then smelted under high heat in a furnace to separate the gold from the dross. That provides a pretty rich metaphor for the trials and tribulations of this life. Even though life is often filled with unbearably joyful moments, there are times, lots of times, where the weight of events crushes down on you. Sometimes the pressure is intense, and the heat of the moment seems overwhelming.

Peter captures those feelings and reminds you, this stuff is not a mystery, it’s not capricious or wanton chaos. It’s not happenstance or accidental. The stuff that happens in life is there to prove your faith is genuine. The proving is to you. God already knows you to your core. The problem is you don’t know you. Along with everything else in life you don’t know, the greatest mystery is your self. Who are you really?

Jesus on the inside provides you the strength of character to go through horrific and terrifying events in this life and emerge on the other side stronger and more refined than before. Lord God, I pray for my friend Shelly. Grant her your grace and peace in her life and cause her to be filled with your gracious love and abundance.

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