Right now the economy is awful in the United States of American and in the past week I’ve noticed an increasing amount of talking/preaching around suffering. Maybe I’m just more inclined to listen to it since Pastor Joey at Kure Beach First Baptist has been preaching from 1 Peter. I spent a bit of time last night at the hospital as my Great Great Uncle Tom is slowly passing away due to a brain aneurysm. I spent majority of the day today with my family and of course as my family sees their father/grandfather/uncle/cousin passing away slowly they are grieving. But in the midst of their grief and suffering I see joy.
Peter gave much comfort to the persecuted church when he addressed them as the elect exiles. Beloved it is a joyous thing to know that this earth is not our home if we are in Christ Jesus. Peter wrote a doxology of praise to God first thing in his epistle:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 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 the last time. –1 Peter 1:3-5
Beloved to be in Christ Jesus when death approaches it is truly gain. For we have been made alive in Jesus to a living hope through his Resurrection. An inheritance that is kept for us by God in heaven! It is imperishable, undefiled and that is something to exult in.
Tonight I saw my family exulting in the fact that my Uncle Tom was soon to get his inheritance kept in heaven by God. They all gathered around his bed and started to sing hymns. Much like Peter first thing in his epistle in the midst of tremendous suffering rejoices in doxology. My family began singing songs of the inheritance to come. They gathered and prayed and took joy that Uncle Tom is an exile on this earth.
Oh that we would always be able to exult in our suffering, taking heed the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -Romans 5:2-5
Soli Deo Gloria