Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1 Peter 4 -- What Makes You So Different?

There is an expectation that life will be easy. I am not sure where this expectation comes from, and I am pretty sure this expectation changes depending on the culture you emerge from. Here in the West, the expectation is life should be easy and when it is not we are really good a complaining. Peter seem to know that people would expect life to be easy, and that we would be confused when it was not. Most of his letter is spent reminding us that living for God will bring challenge and suffering with it. Yet, we fall prey to the idea that life should be easy.

What makes us think we will so different than all those who have come before us? Better yet what makes us think that we should have it any different than the One who sets us free, Jesus Christ? Sure because of Jesus we do not suffer in sin, that was cared for at the cross, but we suffer at the hands of those who knew how we use to be. A nasty gravitational like pull exists in our society which pulls us to a life filled with all the earthly pleasures. It is not that God does not want us to have any earthly pleasures, it is simply we must pursue God more than these pleasures.

For centuries the people called Christians have faced persecution and trail of many kinds. Living for God through the grace of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit will cause you to be at odds with the standards of this world. If it does not, then it is time to take a good look at your journey and see how closely you are walking with God. It seems pure pride and audacity to think we should have it different than all those who have come before us. The only time when the persecution and trail will end is when Jesus returns. Until then we can expect life to have challenges. The easy life is a myth the world offers to sidetrack humanity. The good life is not found in the stuff acquired, rather in the path followed.

May we all join the cloud of witnesses who remained faithful in the face of trail. May we know that part of our unity with centuries of followers before us, is the suffering, trails and tribulation. May we count is all joy to be considered worthy of suffering for the sake of Jesus Christ.

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