O Awesome God in Heaven,
We thank you for the people we are allowed / assigned to love. Help us overlook and forgive others when they hurt us. Banish our self-pity and show us how to offer our suffering as a gift to you, willingly enduring pain in your name so that you will be glorified.
Help us remember the way you suffered on the cross for us and how you continue to forgive us daily when we grieve you. Remind us that Peter exhorted the new Christians of his time to think of the living hope they had in Christ whom God raised from the dead. Remind us how Peter encouraged them to understand that the trials they endured “for a little while” would test the genuineness of their faith and result in praise, glory and honor at Christ’s return. He said all those things to the early Christians despite the horrifying realities of the persecution and tortures they were suffering under the emperor Nero. Peter’s instruction to them was to quietly do good, knowing that God was guarding them through faith and would give them an imperishable inheritance in heaven.
Help us to follow Peter's instruction. Open our eyes to the smallness of our problems next to theirs, Jesus, yet comfort us with the knowledge that you see our difficulties and feel our pain right along with us. You don’t diminish our pain because since you live in us you are right there with us when acquaintances and loved ones abuse us, when we can’t find a job, when the diagnosis of cancer comes.
Teach us to visualize Jesus standing with us. Enduring with us. Holding us up. Smoothing our brow. Because the Truth is you never leave us to face anything alone. And you love us desperately. Thank you. We pray this in the name of your Son Christ Jesus.
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perished though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:3 – 7
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