Only to be expected - Hope 103.2

Only to be expected

By David ReayWednesday 14 May 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Peter 4:12-13

12 Dear friends,don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through,as if something strange were happening to you. 13 Instead,be very glad-for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering,so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. (NLT)

When bad things come our way,we are understandably taken aback. We ask,”Why?”. We wonder where God is in the midst of it. We might even start wondering if we have brought it on ourselves (admittedly a possibility though never a certainty). Texts like this challenge our mindset regarding adversity.

Peter says we must expect hardship. It is part of living in a world bent out of shape. Suffering is universal. It is all too easy for Christians to figure that by signing up to follow Jesus they will somehow get around this unattractive reality. But Peter reminds us that not even Jesus could get around it so we have no chance at all.

Perhaps we need to change our mindset,our ‘default setting’. Instead of assuming that life will go wonderfully smoothly all the time for us because we belong to Jesus,we might rather assume that life will throw up hardship for us. So it will come as no surprise to us when life gets difficult. It is the nature of life in our out-of-shape world.

And then we need to avoid a different danger: sinking into a negative cynicism that assumes disaster and despair lurk around the next corner. Which is the opposite error. The Bible reminds us to expect adversity but also to expect the empowering grace of God to help us face it. And it also reminds us that there are multiple good blessings to be gratefully enjoyed. Never lose sight of them,but never assume they are the only or even ‘default’ reality.

David Reay