Day 8 Made New

1.08.2017 |

Today's passage:
1 Peter 1

1 Peter 1 focuses on the living hope we have in Jesus and our calling to be holy.  Though various and at times unexpected trials come into our life such as an unexpected sickness, the death of a child, an unfaithful spouse, or the loss of a job, our hope is set in Christ.  I don't mean to simplify this or even diminish the pain and hurt we walk through.  However, Christ never promised that life was going to be rainbows and butterflies if you are a Christian.  Christ isn't a genie that if you pray enough, you get what you want.  Christ knows what is best for us, and even if it is walking through a sticky situation outside of our control, he promises to be there with us and that good will eventually result from it.  I know the tunnel can seem dark.  I know it can seem like the world is falling a part, but stay with me.

In verses 6 and 7 in the New Living Translation, Peter says this.
"So be truly glad.  There is a wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.  These trials will show that your faith is genuine.  It is being tested as fire tests and purified gold- through your faith is far more precious than mere gold.  So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."
Did you catch that? 

Your faith is being refined in the process.  You have the opportunity to become more like Christ through a difficult circumstance.  I know it is hard to have that outlook.  I know it is hard in the midst of the storm to want to run to Christ.  But if we can't turn to Christ, where do we set our lasting, eternal, living hope?  Where else can we go that will never leave or forsake us?

The jack pine is a coniferous tree that grows mostly in the north eastern United States and parts of Canada.  It looks similar to a traditional pine tree you think of, except it has one incredible adaption unlike its cousin.  In order for its seeds to fall from the cone, it must be exposed to fire.  The tree has to burn, go through a fiery trial, in order for new growth to appear.  The heat from the fire has to melt the sap-like substance that encases the sticky cone.  It can be years before a forest fire sweeps through and releases the seeds.

I am sure if we could ask the tree if it enjoyed being exposed to fire, it would say no.  A forest fire isn't a pleasant situation, nor beautiful or easy.  But at the end of that fire, the cone opens, seeds fall, and new growth will appear.  Without the fire, no growth occurs.  

Do you see how this relates to our spiritual lives?

Even though it's difficult, even though it can hurt, even though it's messy and ugly, because our hope and salvation is in Jesus.

James 1:2-4 should encourage us.  Even though we go through trials, we know that our faith grows and does not remain stagnant.

Join me in making this your memory verse for the week.  You can write it out on the memory verse cards found at the back of the New Bloom devotional.  Place the card some place where you will see it multiple times this week.
"According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in that last time."
1 Peter 1:3-5


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