Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Notes to the Lord--A Hope That Endures

1 Peter 3:14-16 New International Version

14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”

Lord Jesus--Peter was a down to earth kind of guy...someone that was impetuous and public about his mistakes. He was capable of great insight and of great folly...sometimes in almost the same breath.

Here, he reminds me that hope springs up in the most precarious places. There is reason for hope even when times are hard and suffering for right could be around the next corner.
For these to whom Peter was writing post traumatic stress was a luxury. They were in the middle of persecution, because of their choice to follow you. They were not "post" anything. Correction...they were "post" pagan. Their lives had been changed by you. The choice was to be hopeful or terrified by the forces that were arrayed against them.

Hope is more than an emotion...more than a quality developed by spiritual is something that is also tied to rationality and reason. Hope is a choice, a rational response in light of the evidence that surrounds me.  It is a choice that you call me to again and again.
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Lord Jesus--There was a reason for the hope that these people facing a hostile pagan world clung to. There was no reason for fear even if death was just around the next corner. The tomb was empty and they knew it.

Hope is something more immediate then an anticipation of the culmination of all things at your return.  But that is part of it.  The upfront and personal part is simple.  If you are Lord, then you know where I am...and you knew where these good people that Peter was writing to found themselves.

In the moments of life you call me to the choice of an openness to your grace within each of my days and interactions. There is a an approach to life that you want me to learn and lean approach based on hope and anticipation that you will act with power and grace.

I don't need to be in control of the themes that resonate within my days. In the middle of the mix and confusion of life you are at work within the fabric of this world and in the fibers of my heart and life to an end that is affirming and grace filled. My job is to learn how to say "Amen" be it...and let you work.

Lord Jesus--These are turbulent times. Times of great choice and larger the middle of it there is hope the endures...teach me the lessons of enduring hope.

16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

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