Reflections Week of 12.18.16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read 1 Peter 1:6-9 (Wednesday 12/21)

As I was reading the passages for this week I was stopped by this text. I have read these verses numerous times and yet I realized that I always assume trials to be mountains. Let me explain. We I have read this in the past I have been tempted to think of those dying for the faith, a painful divorce, or severe health issues. First I want to assume that this passage does include incredibly difficult trials such as these. But I also want to ask what else qualifies?

You see when Peter wrote this He had God’s sovereignty in mind. That means that in ever single situation/trial/thing that is difficult or uncomfortable, God allowed it. That means that every time you stub your toe, lose your wallet, are late for work, lose a job, relationship, or a life, God is there and What this passage tells us is that God is there not as a judge but as a blacksmith who is molding/purifying us. God gives us trials to shape us and mold us, to make us better. What would your day look like if every time something went wrong you saw it as a trial and that every time a trial came you approached it knowing that God is making you into pure gold through it, if you will let him?

For Reflection: Next time something goes wrong don’t ask God what you did wrong but rather what would God like you to do right. How is God purifying your soul?

Read 1 Peter 4:1-6 (Friday 12.23)

Have you ever had a conversation that felt like this? Ever been asked to go along with a group but said no because of the activities? Have you ever been ridiculed because you wouldn’t go along? It sees that in todays world I have this feeling more and more often. We live in a nation that glorifies every type of sensuality, encourages the feeding of every fleshly passion without restraint and then turns around and criticizes or worse those who disagree and do not participate.

I find this a helpful reminder that this is not abnormal behavior, that the way our world is looking does not come as a surprise to God. It is also notable that the beginning of this passage is an encouragement to step away from a worldly lifestyle and to pursue the will of God. It is not only the world that will rage against us for being different but our own flesh demands obedience, and it is in that struggle that Peter exhorts us to live rather for God.

For Reflection: Have you ever but judged for not participating in sin with everyone else? In what ways might you still be living for human passions rather than God’s will? What steps can you take this week to pursue God’s will over those passions?

Reflections written by Taylor Floyd 

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