Therefore #2

1 Peter 2:1-3

When a person stops talking to take a breath, I think I think it is my turn to speak but often it is not.  Round 2 is already in the process!  1 Peter 1 ends and chapter 2 starts and I am thinking that we will now shift subjects but we do not.  Peter continues to his friends in exile, scattered and facing rough times.  He blesses them with grace and peace in the midst of trials and persecutions and reminds them that they are not alone. They are chosen by God, being refined, and a wonderful inheritance is being kept for them.  The best is yet to come.  The prophets predicted it and their lifes are the proof.  Sometimes “I told you so” is only so comforting and knowing this will all turn out ok helps to alleviate some pain but it’s still tough.  Lamaz had us breath and focus on a positive thought during childbirth because that helps with contractions.  They tried to convince us it was not pain but infact labor. It was pain but the breathing and focus did help me relax.  I think it is similar with larger life trials.

         Knowing God is impartial and not trying to please someone does encourage.  Knowing that there will eventually be justice and while evil may seem to win, it is only temporary!  Peter now continues his encouragment.

 “Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” 

I think Peter is saying we need to lance the boils festering in our souls.  Malice, guile, insincerity, envy and slander only eat away at my thinking, drain me of energy, and make matters worse.  My husband will ask, “Are you chewing that bone again?”  When injustice occurs, it is easy to argue for hours with the unseen villain in our minds and even allow our tongues to relate the offense to others – and we are the good guys.  Even if there is no offense, envy creates offenses for which we hold God responsible. The other is gifted or talented or whatever and we were not and it’s God’s fault.  Our eyes have gone from focusing on the blessing we have, if only the sunrise, to the problems that only grow larger as we think about them and our resources disappear in our tunnel vision on the problem.  Peter challenges us to rid ourselves of the poison that drains our spiritual energy. 

         We call this spiritual warfare.  We are practicing spiritual discipline and developing spiritual muscles.  Our challenge today is to identify our weak point where temptation tries to draw us away from focusing on God and his desire for our good.

I do not think these temptations truly disappear but my prayer is that as I recognize them more quickly and choose to focus on God the struggle becomes more bearable. I love James 1  “Count it pure joy when you encounter trials…” Name your weak spot and think of a Biblical promise to strength yourself!  It does make spiritual birth easier. Blessings.

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