A lot of uncertainty
Most people will agree that we are living in a new reality. This new reality is the certainty of uncertainty.
I don’t want to mention all the instigators of this uncertainty, but here are few of the main culprits:
- Global debt – national debt as well as personal debt.
- Displaced people – from Syria to Mexico to Africa and beyond. War, famine political unrest and seeking a better future are the reasons people are leaving their homelands in pursuit of a better life.
- Political paralysis – the dearth of sacrificial and courageous leadership is creating leadership vacuums. This is leading us into a new wave of nationalism resulting in polarisation and intolerance towards “others”.
- Unprecedented corporate greed. M.D.’s and the like are serving shortened tenures resulting in disruption. Banks and auditing firms are losing their reputations of preserving the moral standards of fair business practice. And many are complicit in “cooking the books”.
- The gap between rich and poor.
Please read on!
If you are still reading, I have probably got you depressed. So, what’s my point?
One of the Jesus’ followers, Peter, writes a letter to Christian communities. The communities were facing similar circumstances to the ones we are facing. I would like to make 3 observations from Peters first letter (cleverly called 1 Peter!)
Observation 1. Rejoice – even though you must endure many trials for a while.
The absence of trials has never been the object of a great life. As determined as we are, “trial avoidance” should never be a goal. I am not suggesting that we should seek out trials. Heavens no… trials will find their way to you. But instead of avoiding them, embrace them. Which leads me to the 2nd point.
Observation 2. Embrace them! That’s right – you read correctly.
Peter suggest that trials have value. In fact, in this letter he writes, “the trial of your faith is more precious than gold” (1 Pe 1:7). I have often felt challenged with this thought, “Would I want a 1 kg of gold, or, 1 kg of trials?” Peter says that the trials are more precious than gold. It sounds crazy. Where then is the value? Glad you asked…
Observation 3. The reward for embracing trials is living, a real and trusting faith.
Peter tell us that our trials, which are temporary, will result in an experience of worship. In fact, he suggests, we will find, the salvation of our souls! (1 Pe 1:9). And this is not only about going to heaven!
From misery to joy.
It’s amazing that when we move from trial avoidance to trial embracing, everything changes. Instead of the trial making our life a misery, it has the opposite effect. It refines us, makes us stronger, and gives value to our lives.
Every compelling human story is about overcoming trials!
The foundation of strength
Peter starts his encouragement with these words, “God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole”. (1 Pe 1:5, the Message).
We may be living in times of unprecedented uncertainty, but it can result in unprecedented faith. And, faith in God is what makes being human worth living. Especially in these uncertain times!
I read this article which gives some practical input into Peter’s words. Read this article with Peters encouragement as the underlying thoughts. Click here for the 3 minute read.