Journal 1 Pet 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “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.

 

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while (if necessary) your have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 1 Pet 1:3-7

 

Observation: “Refiner’s fire; my heart’s one desire, is to be holy, set apart for You, my Master.” (Vineyard Music) — Affliction, and grievous trials: these are not associated with the victorious life teachings, but according to the Word right here are necessary for genuine Faith.

 

Analysis: Affliction.  Grievous trials.  Hurt, pain of the heart; crushing the spirit: Every Christian has a bite of this apple.

 

Most of the time it was my own fault, sometimes it was others or issues beyond my control and influence (cp. Ps 35).  What is difficult to grasp is that it is all God’s Hand — not a Hand of anger or punishment, but a loving, faithful Hand — used to form me into the vessel He wants me to be.

 

Take my divorce as an example: I was devastated, crushed, for a number of reasons but including that I let God down; I brought dishonor to His Name; that I was obviously disobedient in some way and deficient in my Walk—and then how I let my wife at the time down, my children,  all the embarrassment publicly, and the start over aspect of my adult life.

 

But what it did was to point me back to my Christian roots.  God used that horrendous situation in a redemptive way.  5 years later, he provided me with a wonderful wife and more; growing in godliness together.

 

There are still hurts and regrets that pop up in the darkest night even 25 years later.  But what I have EXPERIENCED is His unfailing faithfulness in his promises.

 

I did not go through anything unique, not even for Believers.  I found the Bible, to use a cliché, full of sinners just like me — and the promise of a faithful God.

 

Prayer: Lord, you are faithful to provide a way to redeem me, faithful to care for me, faithful to gather all my tears.  You are faithful to hear my cry, my confession, the depths of my soul in the dark of night.  And you are faithful to take me under your wings and set me on high.

Thank you for saving me.

Bring revival,

AMEN