The Lovely Words Devotional Series on 1 Peter: Hang on to Faith
Devotional Reading: Peter 1:3-12
A little FYI before we begin. When I wrote this devotional I used The Message Bible. Click here to read the devotional passage from The Message.
When you choose to follow Jesus you are given a brand new life, a new way of living, and a new way of loving. Yet Peter is clear that even though you have this new life in Christ that it won’t always be easy. There will be struggles along the way, and even times of immense pain. I Peter 1:6-7 reminds us that as a follower of Jesus times of aggravation and suffering allow us to grow deeper in our faith….if we allow it. Personally, there have had many times in my life where I have let suffering and pain cause me to lose faith instead of running towards it. A few years ago a close family member tried to commit suicide, and instead of running to God I ran away from my faith. I didn’t pray for a year, and avoided church, and anything to do with God. Honestly, I never thought I would come back to my faith, but this prodigal daughter finally made her way back home. The how it happened is for another time, but I’m happy I made the decision to start running towards faith again.
If you are in the middle of a struggle right now and are about to lose faith I want to invite you to hang on…..Take it day by day. Allow yourself to feel whatever you need to feel, and lean on those people who you can trust to feed your faith and not your fears. I can’t make any promises that it will be easy work moving towards faith. The journey and growth process is different for each of us. The invitation is simply to begin….. And hang on to this hope…
“God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” I Peter 1:5
Today’s Verse 1 Peter 1:1-2 (The Message)
“I, Peter, am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!” 1 Peter 1:1-2
I have an important reminder for you today. One that you may want to write down and post where you can see it often. “God sees you. You are not forgotten”. That’s good right? Knowing that the God of creation sees you, not in a superficial glance kind of way, but sees you through your soul. God deeply, truly, and lovingly sees you. God sees all your ugly messed up moments, and sees those times you are pouring God’s love into another person’s life. He sees it all. You are not forgotten.
You were given the Holy Spirit to help you remember that you are not in exile, or alone in your walk with God. No one is missing or missing out. Even when God feels a million miles away God is their whispering for you to stay obedient to the call to follow Jesus. Take some time today to reflect on all the times God has shown up in your life. If you have time write these moments down in a journal. And read through them whenever you feel like God is far away. Let them be your reminder of when God came near, and know you are not forgotten…..God sees you always!
When Being Disciplined By God Seems Unfair
Recently I was talking with a dear friend and we joked that neither of us can get away with anything remotely shady. If we do something even slightly bad we get caught….instant karma baby. To put it in a more Biblical sense we get instant discipline.
Boom….lighting strikes, not literally, but it sure feels like it when discipline knocks you to your knees.
We complained about how unfair it seems that we can’t get by easy while others seem to be living free without any consequences. But guess what? There are always consequences to our actions. We should count ourselves lucky that we are fast learners, and are aware that this “instant discipline” is really a sign of a close relationship with God.
Check this out….
If you do something that doesn’t speak life over a person, situation, or yourself then you more than likely have messed up in some way. Dare I use the phrase….sinned against God, and once you are aware of your mistake you have a couple of options. You can ignore the situation and hope it just goes away, or you can make the decision to make things right. Making things right may mean seeking forgiveness, or admitting fault in a situation….it could mean a million different things. The difference is you make the conscious choice to do the right thing. A person who is living their life directed by the Holy Spirit will be far more aware of their short comings then a person who is living disconnected from God.
A few years back I heard someone say ego means “edging God out.” And that statement is so true. The more we live our lives directed by our own selfish desires, and let pride, jealousy, fear, and worry guide or influence our actions we start to slowly nudge God out of our lives. The deeper we get into an ego driven life the harder it becomes to know the desires of God’s heart, and it’s easier to ignore our own sinful or foolish behavior.
And God will honor that decision, but God is also clear in Romans 1:24-25 of the consequences of that choice.
“So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!” Romans 1:24-25The Message (MSG)
So in essence we make a choice to live connected or disconnected to God. God says “if that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” But God doesn’t leave us hanging…
God reveals what disconnection looks like in our lives.
Galatians 5:19-21 says this….
“It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.” Galatians 5:19-21
And don’t you love that “I could go on….” is added at the end to say this isn’t an all-inclusive list. There are many other godless things we could add to this list.
And it does seem unfair at times when we see those who are disconnected to God not being disciplined. And yet living the life mentioned in Galatians 5 doesn’t seem very appealing. It’s an empty never satisfied kind of life. It’s a fear based lifestyle. Bad tempers, small minds, emotional garbage starts piling up when we choose to live our lives “our way”. And living in fear is not how our lives are meant to be lived. This is a life of spiritual slavery, but we are a free people.
In fact, if we go to the first verse of Galatians 5 we see that we have a choice…… “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” Gal. 5:1(NIV)
So even though you are a disciple of Christ you still have to make the choice on a daily basis to live free, or be bound again by the “yoke of slavery”. God always gives us a choice.
So stop believing being disciplined by God is unfair. Only those who are in a relationship with God will notice the discipline and it’s reminder to come back home. It means you are still listening to that still small voice as it whispers to your spirit that you are a child of God. It means you are doing your best to live a life of freedom found in Jesus.
Proverbs 10:17 says “People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.” Proverbs 10:17 (NLT)
My prayer for you is that you accept the path of life and stay free my friend.
Salt and Light Yoga and Wellness is here to help you live out the call to be Salt and Light in all areas of your life. Our mission is simple...To Love God with all our heart, mind, spirit and love our neighbor by supporting them on their faith and wellness journey.