Theme: THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF HIS GRACE
DAY 22, Read: 1 Peter 5:10-12
THE TRUE GRACE ON WHICH WE STAND.
Key Text: “…I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand” (Verse 12).
Grace is not the absence of difficulties and trials, rather grace enables and strengthens us to go through trials and emerge victorious in the end. Our calling is to eternal glory. Though adversity may arise in the journey of life yet it is “for a moment.” Our attention should always be on the eternal glory that lies ahead of us rather than the temporary setbacks of life. Every suffering or trial is for a while, “…after you have suffered for a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.”
This is the thought the Apostle Peter tries to convey to us in our key text for today. Then in verse 12 he says, “this is the true grace of God on which you stand.” Notice the similarity of this phrase to Romans 5:2, “through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, …” Both texts say, “we stand on grace.” A school of thought within Christendom believes that a Christian should not suffer. Some have even gone ahead to compose some songs to support this kind of thinking, “Me I no go suffer, I no go beg for bread.” Peter, by implication says, it is possible we can suffer for a while.
This sweat-less and absence-of-suffering theology some believe in denies the reality of life. In the past few years, the whole world has watched the Islamists called ISIS decimate Christians in Syria and Iraq. They have destroyed churches and artifacts, burnt their houses and carried away many of the Christians as captives. We are also witnesses to the persecution of Christians in different parts of the world today, in Pakistan, Central African Republic, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, to mention a few. The victims of these persecutions are children of God just as we are. God loves them in the same way he loves us. They could have been citizens of America rather than Iraq or Syria, but for the fact that destiny placed them where they are. The amazing truth is that in many of these places the Christians are still standing despite the sufferings and persecution. How can we deny the reality of trials and sufferings?
Apart from these contemporary examples, we have other scriptural examples. We all know that Job went through adversity, but emerged more triumphant than his enemies had thought. Of Job’s sufferings read what James wrote in chapter 5:10,11. Joseph was persecuted by his brethren, but he eventually emerged the Prime Minister in Egypt. Daniel was persecuted and eventually thrown into the Lion’s den. But in the long run, he overcame. Are these not God’s children?
Having said this, should Christians accept all suffering and trials as coming from God and in his will? Certainly not! It is not all trials and sufferings that are from God. The sufferings of poverty, sickness and disease are certainly not from God, and must not be tolerated. The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 4:12-15 states that suffering for Christ is inevitable for a Christian, but that none of us should suffer as a “murderer, a thief, an evil doer, or as a busy body in a people’s matter.”
Thus, in all these examples, we see that trials and challenges prepared them for the higher levels they attained in life.
PRAYER: Father, help me to grow strong through the persecutions and trials I face knowing that they are only for awhile.