"In this you GREATLY rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials..." - 1 Peter 1:6 NKJ
"When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.." - 1 Peter 1:7 MSG
I'm going to be 30 years old this year. It seems old to me, and I have a lot to learn about this crazy life I'm living still, but my eyes have been opened the past two days to a certain truth. Yesterday at church the message was about 1 Peter 1. Peter is chatting with the church and telling them, "yeah, I know you're going through a tough time right now, but listen you need to GREATLY rejoice." Not just rejoice, but greatly rejoice!
Now if you were to go up to someone that was struggling with something, it would sound a bit insensitive to say "stop complaining, stop being sad... just rejoice". I don't know about you, but when you lose hope, when you're questioning God and asking WHY?! Why did he have to die? Why do I feel like a failure? Why have you forgotten about me? Why can't I find a job!? Why do the health issues never stop?!!!
I don't want to rejoice, let alone greatly rejoice. No way.
We might never find out the reasons to our questions here on this earth, but I can tell you that if Jesus is your Savior you have hope. Because we serve a Savior that isn't dead, we have a living hope. Jesus rising from the dead guarantees that God will honor all of His promises. Hope keeps us going in the darkest days of our lives.
As humans, we compare ourselves to everyone else, and now with social media that's practically all we do all day long. Don't be fooled in thinking that no one else isn't struggling. Don't believe the lie that others have the perfect life and they don't have to go through hard times. If you're not going through one right now, if life is hunky dory, just get ready cause your day is coming. That's just a fact. People are struggling financially, marriages are falling apart, maybe you've made money an idol and have believed the lie that success = money. Nothing is further from the truth.
We aren't supposed to have the perfect life, I don't even think we are supposed to be comfortable here on earth. We don't deserve any of that to begin with, but we are promised that Jesus will never leave our side, that He'll provide for our every need. We are promised eternity. We are promised hope.
I think that every season of life is worth reflecting on. What's the condition of your heart? Have you truly let it all go and just said "Jesus no matter what, I'll love you!" There's something powerful about speaking this out loud. God knows the condition of our hearts, but be willing to let it all go and scream out "Whatever happens let Your will be done." It's freeing, believe me. God wants to hear from you.
If you're in the trenches and about to give up... remember your hope is Alive. Our inheritance to come is "incorruptible and undefiled." One day, we'll get to see the face of the One that has been carrying us through this sin filled, earthly life. One day we'll get to fall at His actual feet and lift our eyes to His and say "Jesus you were worth it all, thank you, I love you."
I don't write this, because I have mastered this particular promise from God. To rejoice greatly in all things... it's difficult. But my eyes have been opened to this promise (for the time being) and for that I am grateful. Maybe someone needed to read this, or maybe I needed to type it all out for when I'm in the middle of a struggle again I can be reminded of God's goodness.
I am called to live for eternity, for what is to come, and to GREATLY rejoice.
Your hope is ALIVE, and He will always be.
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow"
"thrown down, but not defeated
I'm worn out, but not giving up.
I've hit ground, but even at rock bottom
I'm just getting started, yeah I'm just getting started"
- Meredith Andrews "Deeper"