Monday, May 21, 2012

A Diamond in the Rough

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Peter wrote this! Impetuous Peter. My, how time and trials can change a person!

To Peter, Jesus said, "Get thee behind me, Satan" "Thou savourest not the things of God" "You will deny me" "Put up thy sword" "Wherefore didst thou doubt?"

At the transfiguration, a voice from heaven basically said to Peter, "Shut up! This is my Son, listen to Him!"

Look at his failures: He sunk into Galilee, cut off Malchus' ear, denied the Lord, chose to go back to fishing, fell asleep when Jesus was being transfigured, fell asleep in Gethsemane, rebuked Jesus about the crucifixion.

On the flip side, He made that matchless confession of Mt 16, Preached Pentecost, was crucified up-side-down, and wrote these two great epistles.

Peter went through a process. Note the insight he gained between the time he was called by the Master from the shores of Galilee to become a fisher of men to the writing of these books. Pay attention to what his failures taught him. See how the jagged edges were knocked off of this, the roughest of coal chunks and how the pressure molded this diamond into one of the best of the best of believers. Peter was tempered over time.

Perhaps you have been cursing your circumstances or blasting the devil for his opposition against you. It is high time for you to change your perspective and realize that God is tempering you into a better servant, an encourager of other saints, a tested, tried and true teacher of other pilgrims. Your trials are serving to increase your faith. They are pointing you toward a Pentecost in which you will boldly stand, pricking the hearts of unbelievers and turning thousands to Christ.

Add to that perspective the reality that pay day is drawing near. All of the trouble you have faithfully endured is being fashioned into glorious crowns that will turn to praise and honor at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Friend, today's opposition is your opportunity that will turn into tomorrow's opulence. Just be faithful. Learn, grow, be strengthened, minister, praise God, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

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