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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God has called you; chosen you; picked you out of a line up, to be different in this dark world. You have the gifts and qualities necessary to meet the needs for someone near you. Open your eyes, and open your hands to serve those around you with the love of Jesus. You don’t have to have all the right words, just serve with an open heart. God will provide a place to serve, when you follow your callings. If God nudges you in life, say yes to his leading. You don’t have to worry about being embarrassed or confused, or afraid, with God in the lead, He will provide the care you need to serve his people. What are you afraid of? Step out in faith.
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?
The Bible says the easy life isn’t worth living. Somewhere along the way people bought into the idea that life is supposed to come easy and we became allergic to hard work. God tells us to take up our cross, deny ourselves and follow Jesus. We want all the pleasures in life without working through the pains along the way. Before you leave your Christian faith because it’s not as easy as you thought it would be, let’s lean into the difficult things and give God the glory for the grind of life. Let’s be more grateful.
We are born with a sinful, selfish mindset… Me first. It takes a relationship with God, through Jesus, to be more generous and giving in life. When you encounter the living God, you grow in faith and in awareness of others, so much so, that you want to give to others, more than receive from them. What kind of mindset do you have? Are you stingy and selfish, or thoughtful and generous with your giving? We want to grow in God and become generous like his Son, Jesus Christ. This happens when we let the Spirit of God lead our lives and lean more into Godly living.
David vs. Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Old Testament of the Bible. Some know it as the little shepherd boy who defeats the 9 foot giant. Some know it as the giant who fell to the power of God. Some know it as people of Israel getting lucky that brave David fought for them. You may have grown up knowing this story as the underdog of a lifetime defeating the enemies of God. What we learn is that our metaphorical “giants” have been barking the same defiant demoralizing words at us our entire lives. It’s time we challenge our giants to a fight, where we use the power of God to sling a stone, and cut off the head, thus silencing the voice of our giants.
You may have something in your life that terrifies you, that reminds you daily that you’re not good enough for God. It’s time you stand up, believe the words of God, pick up your weapons and march down to the battle. Stop standing on the side lines and listening to the lies of the enemy. Besides, his words are a boring representation of non-creative assault. Aren’t you sick and tired of satan trying to defeat you with his mocking voice? Say something, and do something that will let the power of God work through your life. Defeat your giants, with the word of God, with the love of neighbor and with the accountability of faith friends in your life. I’m sick of satan winning all the battles. Aren’t you sick of it, yet?
When we think of New Year’s Resolutions, we often let fear assist us with failing. We don’t want to set goals, or accomplish success because we let fear capture our hearts. Moses knew a little something about this too. When God gave him a goal to accomplish, Moses tried talking his way out of it, many times. Have you ever been there? God reminds us to start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can in order to walk by faith in 2018. Join us this week in discovering God’s bigger purposes for our lives, and you’ll accomplish more as you walk by faith.