These trials will show that your faith is genuine

 1 Peter 1:3-7 –

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

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  • These trials will show that your faith is genuine.

I often wonder at why we have to face so many hardships in life. Hardships that are like a constantly dripping faucet, which drive us crazy with each new plink in the sink. But I think this starts to answer that question. The trials show whether or not our trust in God is genuine.

  • It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.

Our faith is of great value, and not to be wasted or treated carelessly. It needs to be refined, cleared of any impurities, made pure, just as fire does with gold.

This whole passage encouraged me and helped me see a reason as to why we go through what we do. At least in part, I can see that it is so we will learn to trust the Lord. And the Lord is faithful. He is loving, kind, full of mercy and compassion. These are all aspects of his character we cannot experience except through trials.

And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation.

 

All these details

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42 NLT

After I read this, I couldn’t continue reading on through the next chapter. I had to close the bible and stew over it for a while, because it brought to light an unsettledness in my heart I didn’t realize was there before. It showed me that I have been striving too much lately. I have been trying to do everything perfectly. I’ve been trying to navigate my friendships perfectly. I’ve been trying to do perfect at work. I’ve been trying to be perfect at making meals for my family. I’ve been trying to manage my time perfectly. I’ve even been trying to control my thoughts and emotions perfectly.

When I read this passage, I felt like the Lord was saying to me, “Kristen, you are worried and upset over all of these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Spend time with me. That is the one thing that cannot be taken away from you.” 

I get so distracted by the “big dinner” I am preparing for the Lord. I get so hyper focused on doing my absolute perfect-best for God that I end up getting stressed and frazzled. I make great efforts to achieve great things, and I begin to believe that the most important thing I have going on is this thing I’m doing for the Lord.

But then the Lord whispers, “There is only one thing worth being concerned about.”

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Time spent with the Lord is all that really matters. It is the only thing worth being concerned about. When we spend time with the Lord we learn how to put our hope in him and not in our abilities. When we spend time with the Lord we learn how to be patient and wait for his best. It is there, at his feet, that we learn humility and what it really looks like to offer mercy and gentleness to our enemies. In him we find strength in light of our weakness.

Our hearts are not at peace when we are doing things for him – our hearts are at peace when we are abiding with him.

How can we point others to Jesus if we don’t know who he is or where he’s found? How can we serve one another in love if we haven’t learned what love is from him? How can we offer mercy when we’ve never experienced his mercy? How can we ask people to repent when we’ve not repented? Maybe an ability to serve others and point them to Jesus will result from our time spent abiding. But in the end, our relationship with Jesus is all that is worth being concerned about. Our service to the Lord shouldn’t be our focus. We’re not hired salesmen trying to earn a big commission. We’re children of God. We’re heirs with Christ. We’re adopted into his family.

Our service to the Lord should be a result of the relationship we have with him, and come from a deeply rooted desire to invite others to experience what we have. God loves the people in our lives so much and wishes that as many as possible would come to know him in this way.

And he wishes that we would know him in this way.

So where do we go from here? We go to the Bible. We pray. We put down the details and spend some time a Jesus’s feet.

Father, I pray that you will help us to stop worrying about the details. Please put our eyes back on you. So much of what we do is born out of the need to produce – the need to be good at something or to be somebody of worth. But we find our worth in you. And we look to you to fill our hearts, and we ask that you would fill us to overflow so that other’s may be encouraged to look to you as well. You are the goal.  Should all else be taken away but you remain, still my soul would be at peace. May your kingdom come and your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

Relax a little

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

This morning I woke up tired of the rat-race. I’ve been feeling tired of always thinking, always boring forward, always concerned with the next thing. Work, events, task lists, get it all done quick quick quick…

I woke up and made my way to the living room with my coffee and sat in the dark, watching the stars – waiting for the sun to rise. All the while the words on my heart were, cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 NLT).

The Lord invites us to a slower pace and to a life that is managed and directed by him. I believe that he’s not just to be our first priority, but our source.

He’s the one that needs to be our source of answers, direction, clarity, stability, energy, and willpower. He’s the one that needs to be our source of love, hope, and peace.

Today I feel lead to slow down and breathe. I feel the invitation to live each moment and be at peace with it. I feel like Jesus is whispering to my heart to be present with him and to let him go with me through whatever lies ahead.

Jesus gives us the option to lay it all at his feet and let him take the lead. I think he even prefers it when we slow down and hop in the back seat, surrendering to his leading and instruction. Doing it all on our own is exhausting. What God offers us is full of hope and life.

Read this verse again, slowly. I hope it’ll give you something to hold onto today.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Featured photo by Andrea Reiman on Unsplash