7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1Peter 1:7 NIV)
Our faith may be proven in the fires of this life. Yet, like gold, we are refined in the fires of life. It is through trials that our faith is tested and honed to the sharp weapon we need to use against the enemy.
Therefore, even though we may be tested we need not be weak of heart. Christ stands by our side in times of trouble.
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding? (Job 12:12 NIV)
In a conversation with a friend recently we began talking about age and understanding. It is true that we gain experience with age and we gain an understanding of many things. Not all of it is good, but it is all good for a basis from which to make decisions and value judgements.
We, in America, do not put much value in age. Yet there is much to be learned from those of an age and much to consider from their wisdom. Because the old saying is much truer than we might imagine; The more things change the more they stay the same.
26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV)
The world seems to become an angerier and angerier place.
We are a people who tend toward anger more than any other emotion. We allow it to continually drive our response to many actions.
However, scripture tells us this is where the enemy gets his foothold nad we are not to let the sun go down on our anger.
Better yet, that we should curb it before it happens when possible.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:9-10 NIV)
We toss words around pretty freely. Expecially words like love. However, sincere love will result in devotion and setting others before ourselves.
Sincerety is something that comes through in our actions more than our words. When we act out of love and in sincerity others feel the depth of our feelings through our actions.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8 NIV
In our daily lives, be they purely in family settings or in business settings have a lot of things that must be done. So we either are sent, or send others, to take care of what needs doing.
Growing up in a small Texas town there was always something to be done and I had a father who loved to send me to do them. I grumbled a lot about doing those “chores” that were often enough for someone else entirely.
God also looks to send us to do His will. The question is whether we will do so willingly, grumble or even do it at all.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (Philippians 2:# NIV)
Our world values the self-promoter. The individualist who makes a name for himself.
Christ took a different path, becoming a servant to all while on earth and humbling himself to death.
It is ok to be ambitious, as long as those ambitions do not lie on the backs of others.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy. (Psalm 94:19 NIV)
Anxiety can cripple us when we need to be at our strongest. When life throw us to the wolves or hands us a series of difficulties, anxiety can creep in and destroy our confidence.
When we have the Spirit within we can call upon Christ to provide consolation and joy into less than joyous times.
Do not allow yourself to be a slave to anxious feelings. Call upon the spirit and trust that Christ is ever there for us when we need.