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The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture

Words of Faith 1-9-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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    1 Peter 1

        [6] In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. [7] These have come so that your faith‑‑of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire‑‑may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.



        How do you get through times of grief and trial?  The people Peter originally wrote were being persecuted by neighbors, friends, and even government.  Some were being treated harshly by fellow Jews that they had known for years because they had accepted Jesus as Messiah.  Rejection by people we love can be painful. Others were facing severe economic consequences because of their beliefs.  It would only get worse.

        Rome would crackdown on Jerusalem.  There would be terrible sadistic persecution under Nero in Rome.  Eventually, Peter would die there.  How do you get through such times should they ever come?  How do you survive the daily grief and trials that come our way?

           One thing is for sure.  When you are in times of grief and trial, easy answers don't help.  Trite little sayings give no comfort when the tough stuff of life comes.  But Peter had some good news.  He shared two simple truths that give us some perspective. 

     First, the grief and trials we experience are only for a while.  It sounds like a wishful thought, but Peter was sharing something much more profound than "this too shall pass."  Peter was talking about an eternal perspective.  Peter knew that most trials end after a time, but even trials that go on for a long time in this life are brief when we gain the perspective of eternity. 

      It is hard for us to see, but even a life filled with grief is just a short and passing moment in the context of eternity.  This temporal existence is important, but it is brief in the eye of eternity.  No matter what we go through, it is only for a while.

     Second, the grief and trials we experience are given purpose.  While grief and trial may not come from God, God uses them in our lives.   The cry of Job was not so much because of suffering but to find some meaning.  God gives meaning even to grief and trial.  Paul discovered that, in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

      Peter was specific about that purpose.  Suffering is used to refine our faith.  The fires of grief and trial cause us to be wholly dependant upon God.  There is no way but in a fire for gold to be refined. There is no place, except in situations where we can no longer be self-reliant, for us to become completely God-reliant.

         We often pray to be delivered from the fires that come our way.  Such a prayer is from the heart.  God knows our heart anyway, so we should pray for deliverance.  But we also do not want to miss what it is God is attempting to teach us.  We do not want to miss any of the refining He has in mind lest we would need to go through another refining experience.  We do not want to miss one lesson he has for us.

           Are you in a time of grief or trial?  Rejoice.  It is only for a while.  Rejoice. While this grief may not have come from God, He has allowed it, and He will use it.  Even what was meant for evil, God has used for good.  Rejoice.  You are becoming more of the man or woman of God that you were designed to be.


           Father, deliver me from evil.  Protect me from harm.  In the times of grief and trial, teach me quickly the matters of Your Spirit that are eternal.  Don't allow me to escape the refining You desire to do in me.  Don't let me miss the purpose You have for me in the suffering.  In Jesus' name.  


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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