Devotional: Trusting God
Published 4:44 pm Friday, May 5, 2023
Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. — (1 Peter 1: 21) NRS
The author of 1st Peter is writing to a congregation in Asia that is feeling persecution and hardship. They are suffering and most assuredly must be in doubt about this business of being Christian. We do not know if the “congregation” there has communicated with the author about specific hardships or if this is just a pattern of the social construct of “shunning the different”.
Many of us understand that if we have not melded into the customs and mores of the society around us we would be deemed, “different”. Our “difference” would cause others to distance themselves from us. The Christian congregation receiving this letter is probably feeling that separation from society and is suffering in some ways. Certainly, they felt innocent of wrongdoing and unfairly “picked on” by others.
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Do we not feel the same? After all, shouldn’t bad things only happen to those who are doing bad things? As Christians, I believe that a quick scan of the Book of Job should put that thought to rest. The fact is, just as Jesus met with fierce resistance from the status quo religious leaders of his day, so too many Christians will suffer simply because we “do not fit” the culture around them. In fact, we are called by Christ to live lives that do not focus on ourselves, our ease and pleasure, but rather lives that focus on being who God wants us to be. Following God’s path for us each day.
This will set us at odds with the society around us. We will be the strange ones who march to the beat of God’s drum, not the drumbeat of a society intent on making their lives easy and good, even at the expense of others.
The question the writer asks to this congregation so long ago is an apt one for us to-day. Whom will you trust? Will you trust the perishable things? The thing of this world. Or, will you trust the imperishable things? Do you trust God? Did Jesus truly rise from the grave and secure for us an everlasting life serving in God’s kingdom? Our Easter season screams that, “He is risen indeed.”
Keith Leach is Pastor of College Church and College Chaplain at Hampden-Sydney College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.