Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Refined Like Gold

3Blessed 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, 4to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7so 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; 8and 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, 9obtaining as the outcome of £your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9


This passage and many others in 1 & 2 Peter have meant a great deal to me over the years of my life in Christ.


Particularly as I hear of the suffering of those I come in contact with as the economy fails, the love of most grows cold, and hearts are hardened toward Christ. I often turn people to these 2 books to help them understand the “why” of suffering, and disappointment as well as the “why” of why things are what we consider to be unfair. I often turn here myself when circumstances get the best of me.


I need these letters Peter wrote so long ago. I need them to remind me that my hope is not found here, my living hope is found in Christ. You know I write of this often because it is so vitally important. We have a living hope- it doesn’t end for us when we leave this earth, it is only just beginning! The inheritance awaiting the believer has no expiration date and we do nothing but pass from one life into the next to obtain it. And to assure us of this, despite our ongoing struggles with sinful behavior, Peter reminds us yet again that we are protected by the power of God through faith (v5).


No struggle can take you away from Him. Paul reminded the Romans of this in Romans 8:37-39

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Recently, I was involved in a situation where a person had been falsely accused of something on the job. Written procedure was not followed in this process and a complaint was lodged against them. The situatio

n has the possibility of ending this person’s career, and eliminating their livelihood. There is proof the accusation is false. However, the allegation goes forward.


This is confusing at best and criminal at least. The person involved here is a long time, well grounded Christian and this situation threw them into a tail spin of doubt and despair. Suddenly everything was being doubted! Questions like, “Does God really love me?” “How could He let this happen?” “Maybe this (Christianity) is not all it is made out to be..” “Why do they (unbelievers) always win?”


Here, Dear Reading Friends is the reason:

7so 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;


Mmm, this is hard to swallow on the surface. All these crummy trials are proof of our faith. Our endurance is the proof of our faith.


I am going to continue this next time!

1 comment:

Gwendolyn said...

God allows us to be tested so that we will see his faithfulness throughout the process. Hebrews is full of examples of how our faith will be tested. Hebrew 6:15 explais how we need to patiently endure till the promise is obtained. God closes doors to prepare us for his purposes which are ahead of us. He doesn't have to explain his soveignity, we just have to trust that he is soveign.