January 19, 2021
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE SOUL:
In a sense, many people are ‘dispersed’ as authorities recommend 'distancing' in order to slow the spread of the Covid-19 virus. I am reminded of Peter’s letter to the Christians who were dispersed, but due to severe persecution (1Peter 1:1).
Peter reminds them (and us) that we will all go through trials in this life. He also says that the trials both strengthen and test us, that we may prove our faith.
But, Peter’s letter fixes its gaze not on the circumstances, but on the person of Christ. He reminds us of our living hope and our heavenly inheritance in Christ.
In the preceding NT book, James tells us, “My brethren, count it all joy when you face various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces perseverance,” (James 1:2-3). In 1Peter, Peter likewise says, “in this (God’s grace and mercy) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, you have had to suffer grief through various trials,” (1Peter 1:6).
Brothers and sisters, we have so much for which to be thankful. When we face trials of varying degrees, we believers are being tested as to whether our true joy lies within our circumstances or not.
Be encouraged, remain cheerful, and persevere. Our God will never leave us nor forsake us. Let us pray that in every situation, people will see their need for the Savior.
May the peace of God rule in your hearts, and may the word of Christ dwell in you richly, with gratitude in your hearts to God (Col. 3:15-16).
To God be the glory!