Have you ever travelled to a different country? I’ve lived for some periods of time overseas and have had wonderful experiences. But on every trip, without fail, there is a time for adjusting to everything. For the first couple weeks, I wake up in the morning and am a bit surprised I am there. I have an extremely uncomfortable feeling in my stomach; it’s like I’m on another planet. Nothing is familiar and I feel like I don’t belong. As the days and weeks pass though, I get into a routine and get adjusted to the time; I make new friends, and I start to feel like myself again. This process is longer than I want, and it takes multiple experiences to gain normalcy.
Last Sunday we read in 1 Peter 1 that we are foreigners as Christians here on earth. Why would Peter be saying this? Well, as we develop our lives in Christ, things of this world will become more and more unfamiliar and uncomfortable for us. Friends we hung out with in the past may not be a good influence for us now; television shows we watched and some music we used to listen to may not have the content that is useful for our souls. Peter is saying that’s ok; that is what happens when we give our lives to Christ. Our priorities change in life.
Now we live with ‘great expectation’, a knowing that good things are going to happen in the future. We know our future lies with Christ in heaven for eternity after death. Yes, all the things of this world will fade, but Christ’s love will never fade. This is what we can put our trust in.
But we can also look forward to all of our circumstances on earth working out for our good:
Romans 8:28 (NIV) - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV) – ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’
When we face trials, we can be expectant; for we walk by faith, not by sight. God allows difficulties in our lives to happen in order to establish us. He wants us to grow firmly in our walk with Him, and he wants us to multiply our faith. We can point others to Jesus by the actions of our lives.
Are you not where you want to be in your occupation? Is your family situation experiencing a downward dip that is extremely difficult? Have you recently experienced a loss? Peter tells us – Don’t give up! While we put our expectant hope in God, we must prepare our minds on this earth for action and self-control. Even though it may seem easier to ‘get back’ or react negatively to a situation, we must stop, take a deep breath, and think about how we have the mind of Christ. We must pray to God and be intentional; choosing not to act with our flesh, but to conquer the trial by acting as how God would have us do so.
These difficulties will pass, but it may take time. Read about Abraham, Joseph, and David. Their promises took years to pass, and they endured many trials along the way. They even made mistakes; but God made everything work out. Continue to be obedient to God and His Word, and embrace the comfort and encouragement of Christian friends. He will take care of the rest and truly make everything work out for your good. Be expectant!
Join us this Sunday as we continue our series in St Pete, if you missed last weeks message, listen to it here