TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 1 Peter 4:12-16
In The Speed of Trust, Steven M. R. Covey tells the story of a guide he hired to take him fly fishing in Montana. They looked out over the river, and he asked Covey what he saw. Covey replied that he saw a beautiful river with the sun reflecting off the surface. He said, “Do you see any fish?” Covey said no. The guide proceeded to hand him a pair of polarized sunglasses. Once Covey put those on, he could see through the surface of the water and saw all kinds of fish. Those glasses provided a new perspective for him, and that changed everything.
As Peter writes to Christians who have been scattered across Asia Minor, he reminds them that the Christian perspective on suffering is like putting on a new pair of glasses. This does not mean that everything is rose-colored but that a Christian can look beyond the immediate to something else. Suffering is challenging, but it shouldn’t be unexpected. Peter tells them that as they suffer now, they should anticipate the joy they will share when the glory of Christ is revealed. They are hurting now, but there will be a time when all they have undergone will have been worth it.
This is the same principle that allows an Olympic athlete to endure the discomfort of waking up at 4 a.m. and the pain of an intense daily workout regimen. These athletes aren’t thinking about the current pain nearly as often as they are dreaming of gold medals. It is the same fact that allows an expecting mother to bear all the discomforts, sickness, and pain that can accompany pregnancy. These mothers are more focused on their unborn children then their own comfort.
It is the same reason Jesus is able to pray, “Not My will but Thine be done” before being betrayed, scourged, and crucified. He knows the pain that would be involved; but above all else, He is there to accomplish the will of His Father and go to the cross for us. Jesus endures the cross because He is thinking about us. Think of what we can endure when we remain focused on Him.
Today, I will…set aside five minutes to reflect on my eternal goal to be with the Lord. I will imagine how that will feel, and remember that no matter what I face on this earth, God has promised me something better.