Saturday, January 7, 2017

1 Peter 1:3-6 -- On Heaviness and Hope

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:"
1 Peter 1:3-6

I love the phrase "lively hope" and the idea that through faith, we can greatly rejoice in salvation, whether or not that salvation is clear to us now, or we are waiting for it in the future.

I think sometimes we let ourselves be dragged down by the "heaviness" that it talks about here, thinking that the temptations and trials and obstacles in our lives mean that God doesn't care, or that the very existence of those things force our lives to be bad, or sad, or intolerable in some way.  And I'm not saying it doesn't feel that way sometimes, or that it is easy to maintain perspective.  I think that the problem is that sometimes we think that circumstances and challenges *force* us to be unhappy... that we have no other choices.  But we do.  Because of Jesus Christ, we can have this "lively hope" that allows us to see beyond our current circumstances, and past our failures and limitations.  We have the ability to rejoice now, even in the middle of our heaviness... even "greatly rejoice" while we have temptation in our lives.

How?  Through the atonement of Christ and the promise that God gives us that we will be saved.  Our future is bright, the happy ending is coming.  We just have to look up and see past the heaviness to the light that is God.

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