TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 1 Peter 1:1-25
The Christian life is one that is full of paradoxes. A paradox is something that Mr. Spock on Star Trek would say is deeply illogical, because despite sound reasoning, paradoxes just don’t make any sense. Like having to die so that you can have eternal life. Or Jesus having to give His life to save us from our sins. But that’s God’s business––taking what is so terrible and horrific (like crucifixion) and turning it into something wonderful for His glory.
Being joyful among sorrows is one of those paradoxes as well, and 1 Peter 1 talks about it in depth. Peter is writing to those who have been scattered by suffering. Because of what they believe, they have been persecuted and hunted down. The themes for verses 6-9 of 1 Peter 1 are certainty, fellowship, and assurance. We can know for certain that salvation is coming. We can have fellowship with Christ. And even though we have not seen Him, we can have assurance of His return.
Some have an idea that an acceptance of religion means that we don’t have any suffering. We need to realize that as Christians, we are not exempt from suffering––in fact, we may endure more suffering as a result of following God. Suffering is as certain for the follower of Jesus now just as it was two thousand years ago.
In this day and age, nothing is certain. We can’t depend on the honesty and goodness of our community, our country, and sometimes even ourselves. When we are suffering in this world, we must know that our reward lies ahead, not in the here and now. We can have joy in the midst of suffering because we know what lies ahead for us.
Dave Ramsey, a financial talk show personality in Nashville, has a saying: “Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.” Dave is talking about money, but the idea applies to us as Christians as well.
We need to know that in our suffering, we’re not living for this life. We’re living for the next one.
Today, I will…meditate on 1 Peter 1 and see that we can and should have joy among any sufferings in our lives.