Thursday thought (GMT)

27 02 2009

Thursday thoughts operating in a different time zone this week. Do not become disillusioned. Repeat: Do not become disillusioned!

I’ve had a very busy Thursday on a study day completing an assignment on the impact of climate change on a timber plantation. Pretty interesting.

But I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on Friday nights SALT talk from 1 Peter 1:6-7 – Joy in adversity.
I’ve been thinking about what are these trials that test the genuineness of our faith.

The immediate thought is persecution; opposition for being a Christian. (Is that how to use a semicolon? I’ve always wondered…) But whenever I contemplate Christian persecution, my own experiences seem really lame. Truth is, I personally don’t face too much opposition to my faith from non-Christian colleagues.

Maybe these trials that test our faith aren’t just external, but can be internal as well? My example is the ongoing battle I have with myself about how much easier/more lucrative/carefree life would be if I weren’t a Christian. It sounds foolish to talk about in the light of day, but when you are at your lowest ebb and the temptations of money/career/etc are at their highest, this can be a real crisis of faith.

My encouragement from this passage? These trials are there to test the genuineness of my faith. When I come out the other side still trusting in Jesus, this results in praise, glory and honour when jesus Christ is revealed.

They are my thoughts. What are yours?

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2 responses

3 03 2009
Dave K

Hey buddy,
I am assuming that your talk was last Friday. Hope it went well. These thoughts will then just be for sheer ‘musing’ value rather than talk value – if you know what I mean?

1 Peter as a whole encourages its readers to live a good life. But this good life only flows out of us being born again. Becoming a Christian changes who we are to our very core. When we live this life it will be counter cultural – I mean who really wants to live under an unjust boss (1 pet 2:18-25), who really wants to be known as an alien, a freak, a wierdo and a nut job (1 Pet 2:11-12)? OK, maybe he doesn’t use all those words but you get the gist. And what free new age woman really genuinely wants to use the word submit in relation to her husband? Not to mention his attitude to suffering – if we suffer for doing wrong than that is what you deserve but when you suffer for living this ‘good life’ then this is commendable to God. Normally we so don’t want to suffer that we will do almost anything to avoid it (even killing the sufferer which is at the heart of the euthanasia debate). And I reckon that if you live the good life, persecution will come, suffering will come, the cost of being a Christian in a secular world will come.

The question running through 1 Peter (and it is our tension too) is how much do we live as Christians in a increasing secular society? What do we compromise on? What do we stand up and be counted for?

And so in the first 2 chapters of 1 Peter he lays out what it means to be a Christian, who we are ‘in Christ’. And suffering grief in trials is part and parcel with living the Christian life – this is what you were called (1 Pet 2:21). But even though the trial may hurt, be painful we know that at the end, and perhaps in a way we cannot know, they will refine our faith – and our faith will be proved genuine. And as a Christian when Jesus is revealed I want to be able to look back; say thank you and give honour, priase and glory to Jesus for testing my faith, for refining it.

4 03 2009
Guthers

Wow Dave! Monster comments! Thanks for your thoughts. Gold!

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