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Thursday, January 19, 2012

"But may the God of all grace...after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (I Peter 5:10).

I wonder if Peter was thinking about the time he and the disciples followed Jesus into a storm-bound boat when he wrote, "But may the God of all grace...after you have suffered awhile, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (I Peter 5:10). Certainly Jesus knew about the storm. It came suddenly. They cried out because, though He was with them, He wasn't with them the way they wanted Him to be with them. He was asleep when they wanted Him to be awake. He was not doing what they thought He should be doing, when they thought He should be doing it. He was letting them suffer for awhile.
We cry out, too, when He doesn't seem to care that things are going from bad to worse. Though we know He is with us, it is hard to recognize the fact when He is letting us struggle. It is hard to recognize His presence when He doesn't answer our prayers with the answers we are looking for. But who, after all, recognized Him as Messiah when He didn't look like what we were looking for?
The storms are there. We stir them up quite well all by ourselves. And when we don't, others will. Jesus sends us into them just as surely as He sends us into the world. They are experienced by us and "by our brotherhood in the world,"...those who are in the boat with us. (I Pet. 5:9). But He has overcome the world.
The struggle is only for awhile, and after that while we will marvel with our loved ones, as Peter and the disciples did, saying, "Who can this be...?" (Matt. 8:23-27). While we marvel, He perfects, establishes, strengthens and settles us. He says it is so. Trust Him.

by: Carolyn Roehrig

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God...casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:6-7).

Pride is strengthened when we lift and carry our cares and burdens. It is flexed in the heavy lifting, but it always reaches exhaustion because God's resistance is a grace heaveir than the weight of our cares. Our heaviest cares are so precious to us that we think no one, not even God, can be fully trusted to do with them what we think is best. In this we are right. God will not do what we think is best. He will do what He knows is best. "Humble yourselves," He says.
We say, "How?"
"Cast all your cares upon Me."
Again, "How?"
"Let your heart be occupied with My care."
There is left a vacancy when cares are cast out. It will be filled with one of two occupants: more cares or the joy of His care. Let Jesus carry your cares and care for you.