Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Completed in the tough stuff!

Ah, I Peter...the place for encouragement in hard times.  The message in these passages isn't easy though.  How about this:  'the captain of our salvation was made perfect (complete) through suffering'?  The King of Kings suffered to become complete...I don't like that idea, but it is truth. 

Or 'let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their soul to Him in well-doing as unto a faithful Creator.'  I don't really like that idea either, but there is no way around the truth that going through difficult things is the reality of life.  The hope of the Christian is in the eternal outcome!

Jesus endured unimaginable suffering 'for the joy set before Him.'  THAT is our example.  Committing our soul (our mind, will and emotion) to the Creator speaks to me of the reality that God is busy creating eternal good when I trust Him in my hardships.  THAT is my hope of joy.

Alongside the instruction on perseverance in suffering, the Word spoke to me of the Spirit which will sustain in those times:  a spirit that is humble, meek and quiet.  Far too often, I am a tightly wound bundle of energy ready to charge in and fix things up.  One of my readings gave this challenging insight into obedience.  Immediate obedience is not running with a conviction; it is remaining engaged with the Spirit relying on His timing and power.  It went on to say that even the very words we speak are to embody the life, reality and timing of God.  I want to nurture that Spirit within me--the Spirit of God that waits on the Father.

Reflecting on that in this Christmas season makes me think of the baby in the manger.  My God and Savior humbling Himself to vulnerable infancy--born to a teenage mom in a stable because the 'world' had no room.  May all that is 'me' welcome His presence, rejoice in His presence and allow His work to be complete no matter what the cost!

Now there are some concepts that will transform this world of suffering.

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