Monday, August 19, 2013

Running the Race

A new week has begun. Yesterday was the 1st day of the week, a day when we had the opportunity to join with our fellow Christians in worship. I hope that you took advantage of that opportunity for you will not get that again until next weekend. That time of worship has prepared you for this week with all that will take place in your life. Through Word and Sacrament, the Spirit has strengthened your faith, lifted you up and encouraged you in your walk of faith.

You will be facing many things in your life this week. Some will be filled with joy at the wondrous events that take place. There will be people who get interviewed for a new position, invited to go to an event that they have been wanting to do for a while, have a night out with someone that they have longed to be with for some time, healing will come to someone who has been ill, joy will come to someone who has been filled with sorrow, excitement will take place in the life of some, first games of school will happen in volleyball or baseball and a whole host of other great things will take place For others this will be a sad or difficult week for they will face disappointments, frustrations, events that will bring sorrow to their hearts, difficulty at work or school, weakness of body or mind, disappointment from actions of friends, mistreatment at the hands of some, abuse by others, lies spoken, and relationships broken. And then there will be those who won't have any highs or lows. It will be a "normal" week, with work, school and play being whatever it turns out to be, nothing major, no extremes taking place at all.

What makes me think about that? I was reading in 1 Peter this morning and it started me thinking about what some may be facing this week. Peter writes, "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as thought something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." (1 Peter 4:12-14 ESV) As I read that section and others as well, I came to realize that our lives are going to be challenges. Satan is not going to want us to live the Christian life so he is going to work to cause us to become frustrated, upset, angry, and discouraged because of the events that go on this week. One person will face hard times and will look at the one who is facing good times and become upset. "Why can't that be me? Why can't my life be filled with that joy instead of this terror or pain?"

At those moments, I would encourage you to fix your eyes upon your Savior Jesus Christ, the very one who has gone before you on the path that you are upon. As you go through this week, and whatever it brings to you, "Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary and fainthearted." (Hebrews 12:3 ESV)

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