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 you read your life’s calling 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 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 genuinely 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 in a land where others often misunderstand our faith. "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).
When you allow His grace to fill you with the unconditional love of Calvary, you are different than the world. When filled with His grace, you don’t strive to reach others. His love through you reaches them. Your heart bleeds and hurts for them. You become less so that he can be more in you. What you face in this world for His sake means life to someone else. His grace has the power to not only change you but to change someone else. Anything you experience—either from rejection or from a trial—are all opportunities to allow Him to love through you with the grace and truth of His Word.
“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. Let Jesus strengthen you. Keep your eyes on Him, and allow Him to mold your life. Run your race with perseverance. He will never stop cheering you on to the goal, and you will irrevocably inspire others to run it with you.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher