My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
—1 Peter 5:12b (NLT)
Do you know what it is like when suddenly what you believe is your purpose is written in someone else’s words? I don’t know why I had never noticed this message in Peter’s words before, but now it anchors and encourages me. It is the message of my heart—for believers to know that the troubles they have are not meant to defeat, but edify them. “I am writing,” Peter says, “to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (1 Peter 1:1, NLT). Paul writes to encourage these believers that the hardships they experience living in foreign lands are truly a part of God’s grace for them. They are not to give up, but to stand firm.
Do you feel you are living in a foreign and strange land? Well, you are. “This world is not our permanent home,” the writer to the Hebrews imparts. “We are looking forward to a home yet to come” (Hebrews 13:14, NLT). Yes, we are looking forward to that time one day when we shall live with Him, but for now we live our faith in a land where we are often misunderstood and judged. “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it,” John writes, “but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of it” (John 5:19a, NLT).
To come out of this world? To withdraw physically from it? No. You come out of it by allowing His grace to change you so that you see this world as your opportunity to live and share His unconditional love. What you experience in this world—whether rejection or trials or problems—are all opportunities to live the truth of His Word. To experience and grow in the knowledge of God’s grace, your faith is tried and fired by life.
The reason that I write is that I must. It is a part of me that I cannot deny. I write because of my purpose, and today I found my purpose written in God’s own words. I must assure you that what you face in this world is a part of God’s grace. It has the power to not only change you, but to change someone else.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us,” the writer to the Hebrews advises. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NLT). Don’t give up. Stand strong. Keep your eyes on Him, and run your race. He cheers you on to the goal. Stand in His grace. He is all you need.
© 2018 Lynn Lacher
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