When my wife and I sit down for coffee these days, our conversation usually trends towards the word, “endure.” It seems there is a call on our lives, right now, to be thinking about enduring. I am going to study and practice, “Alone with God,” to help me be able to stand when the time comes to stand.
Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. – 1 Peter 3:15 MSG
Adoration means to recognize His holiness, to worship and to honour Jesus as my Master, my Lord.
‘The sanctuary was an asylum where men were safe. And if we have made our hearts temples in which Christ is honoured, worshipped, and trusted, then we shall dwell in Him as in the secret place of the Most High’ – Alexander Maclaren
There is a lot in this letter about suffering, especially in 1 Peter 4:12-19.
- I am going to suffer by labelling myself as a Christian
- It is not a cause for shame, but a means to glorify God
- I am already honoured by God
- I should honour God and entrust my life to Him while persevering in doing what is right
I have picked up a few pointers today:
- The essential criterion of honourable conduct is not public opinion but the will of God and reverence for God
- I am to look to Jesus as the paramount exemplar and enabler of such honourable conduct. Shaming and suffering should come as no surprise as my faith is in Jesus who was shamed and suffered.
- There is an opportunity to win over others because of my conduct. It is something to see one who has been shaming Christians and now see them glorifying and honouring God.
- I cannot believe I am saying this – suffering is actually something positive and honourable.
What is true is that my honour is based on my relationship with Jesus. He has brought me into the family of God and that is where I get my foundation to live honourably and holy.
So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does. – 1 Peter 5:10-11 MSG
What a great way to end this letter – so clearly written where I get my glory, grace and honour from in the midst of suffering. I pray that I can completely ignore the futile attempts at shaming me, and resist the pressures to conformity and assimilation. I can stand fast in the grace of God. It seems that my task is straightforward – honour, praise and glorify Jesus.
Thank you Lord for such an encouraging word.