Friday, March 7, 2014

Peter's Reminder

I don't know about you, but in the Bible, I have always identified with Peter. Impulsive. Loud mouth. Harsh. Aggressive. Violent.  Deeply passionate.

Yep…me, me, me, me, me and me.

I love all about Peter’s road to redemption because it shows me that there is still great hope for a sinner like me.

Today, as I continue my meditations into the topic of suffering, Peter’s Holy-Spirit-inspired words rush to me like the rising tide.

1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

As I read these words, I imagine my buddy Peter looking at me dead on the eye, one hand on my shoulder, the other one extended toward my face as a flat question mark of exasperation: “Listen, how long have you walked with Christ?... And you’re still not getting this? Why are you surprised? C’mon, child, remember this is the way it is…but also remember, it’s just for a little while! (here, I imagine he puts both hands on my shoulders, as he gives me a bright smile)  He WILL restore you…I promise…better yet, He promises, and you know, He cannot disown Himself for His name is Faithful…so suck it up and toughen up, sister! (well, the last part is more me than Peter…but, you get the picture, right?)

And the picture is beautiful. It is the magnificent picture of Christ sharing life with us. It isn’t about the suffering, for the suffering is just the medium, the polishing solution that when applied on us, leaves our faith shining like the sun. It is about the glory that is revealed at the end of the polishing process. It is all about Jesus…the only one that matters…the name above all names…the one that we proclaim.

And Peter would know what he is talking about here. He’s kind of an expert on suffering. And he is also well versed and experienced on the depth of Jesus’ love and forgiveness. Only by the restoring power of the Love of Christ anyone gets to forgive oneself after a major disappointing action such as denying Jesus right around the corner.

Therefore, I am going to listen to my old friend Pete as he reminds me not to be surprised by trials, for, as our Lord Himself promised:

John 16:33 ESV

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

And in Him…we sure are all great overcomers too!

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