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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Faith Brings Joy

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)

I don’t know why I had never noticed this message in these verses of 1 Peter before, but now it speaks to me. My purpose in writing this devotion is to encourage and assure you that no matter what happens in life the Holy Spirit living in you gives you the power to stand. It is God’s plan for His grace to strengthen you. God does not cause bad things in life, but whatever you go through can make your faith stronger. Peter is writing to believers who are living as foreigners in other provinces. He reassures them that the hardships they experience residing in foreign lands are a part of God's grace. They are not to give up, but to stand firm.

“This world is not our permanent home,” the writer to the Hebrews imparted. “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 God, but for now, we live His message of grace in a world where others often misunderstand us. We have something the world longs to have and doesn't know it. Perhaps the way we live our faith has something to do with it.  

When you experience the love of Calvary, you are different than the world. But you don’t reach others. Jesus does. His unconditional love flowing in your life reaches them without judgment. You might not accept their actions, but you love them anyway—recognizing their potential instead of their failures. You become less so that Jesus can be more in you. Living a life filled with the grace of Jesus means greater faith for you and new life to someone else. His grace is the power to not only continually transform you but to also change someone else. Anything in life you experience—whether a blessing or a trial—is an opportunity for Jesus to love through you with the grace and truth of His Word.

“Because of our faith,” Paul wrote, “Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” (Romans 5:2, NLT). Jesus has made us, who once were undeserving, now accepted in Him. Yes, we look forward to sharing His glory! That glory also gives us abundant life now! It is a life filled with joy to share His grace.

“We can rejoice, too,” Paul continued, “when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance” (Romans 5:3, NLT). Don’t give up. Stand firm, believing! Allow His grace to continually transform you. Persevere each day in His power and strength. Love with His grace the way He loved you. You will inspire not only yourself but others to know without a doubt that faith in Jesus brings the ultimate joy.

© 2019 Lynn Lacher

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