Do you face persecution as a faith person? Do you face trials that want to hurt your faith? We all face some kind of opposition in life, and even Jesus said, “don’t be surprised with people persecute you because of me, in fact, rejoice in your suffering.” We are called to a new perspective in suffering trials. Peter tells us to not be surprised with trials come, because we are enduring suffering with Jesus, as we walk by faith. Trials that come will make us stronger in faith when we endure to the end. We don’t want to be lawn chair Christians, kicking back and taking life easy. It seems like like would be better to not suffer for faith, but in the end that kind of easy life faith makes us weak and useless for God.
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The culture says to “go with the flow”, “let it ride”, “don’t ruffle feathers”. When it comes to living like the culture, the enemy wrote the book on how to “fit in” without making waves. Wouldn’t the enemy of our soul just love to see us not be different from the world? He’s a jerk. God, however, calls us to live differently from the culture. We have a calling to live HOLY and wholly different from society.
We are being transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus, so therefore, we are called to not emulate the behavior of the world. It’s important to get the order of things right, however. We don’t act with ethical and moral values to earn God’s favor, we already have God limitless favor, therefore we act in accordance to God’s Holy Standard. “But I’m not like other people,” you may say. Well, the standard isn’t “other people”, the standard is God’s holiness.
God has called His people to a different kind of life than the world. The Apostle Peter tells us throughout 1 Peter, that we are foreigners living in a world that is not our home. How do you look at trials differently than the world looks at trials? We all face terrible things in our lives, but as followers of Jesus, we are called to respond differently. How is your faith being proved genuine?
Pastor Tammy is superintendent of the conference of pastors and churches in the Evangelical Covenant Church and is gifted beyond measure to speak and lead and teach. We learn that the extravagant work of God has chosen us, adopted us and blessed us for the sake of the praise of God’s glory. Join us as we learn about redemption in the Kingdom of God.
Do you struggle with trying to determine the future, so you can make all the right choices? I do too. I know what it’s like to want to know the outcome before the beginning. I imagine some of you feel stuck when you can’t tell what’s right ahead. God calls us to trust Him more than trust our own instinct. There’s a reason Jesus calls disciples to follow him. He knows where he’s going, and better yet, he knows where to lead us where we are going. You’re going to want to listen to this one twice. Sometimes we need to heed God’s wisdom in the direction of our life, rather than make all of our own decisions.
Do you find yourself wanting more emotional connection with God? Sometimes we seek after something emotional, or tingly feelings from God, rather than seeking the truth of God’s character. We live in a society now that is so emotionally driven, fake news or real, that we miss what God’s character is really like. Did you know that the Bible is not primarily emotionally satisfying? Did you know that Jesus didn’t ever ask someone how they “felt” about obeying God? God doesn’t ask us how we feel about walking with Him, He expects us to walk by faith.
legalism vs. Christianity; law vs. grace. We’ve come to believe in God by faith, but do we act like legalists when it comes to keeping a relationship with God? Some will say that if they don’t “behave” and do all the right things, then God is mad with them. That’s not in the Bible. God’s grace is big enough for all of us sinners. However, it is only after discovering our sin that we need a Savior to work out good things in our lives. God’s love compels us to obey and serve Him, not to bicker and devour one another with the law.