Entries by YMI

ODJ: Refined Faith

April 19, 2018 

READ: 1 Peter 1:1-9 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while (v.6).

I know you have a plan, God, but why does it hurt so much? I closed my eyes and flopped onto my bunk bed in my dorm room. It was my final semester in university, and it wasn’t going as I had hoped. I was busier than I wanted to be, and two of my closest friends were battling depression while others were also struggling.

I opened my eyes to find myself staring at index cards with Bible verses written on them. At the beginning of the school year, I had taped them to the ceiling in the shape of a cross to remind myself of God’s love and promises. But I’m sad to admit I had hardly taken time to read them.

That day, however, I scanned them for help until my eyes landed on Peter’s words to suffering believers. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold” (1 Peter 1:6-7).

In those verses, Peter compared tested faith to gold refined by fire. This precious metal has to be melted at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius for the impurities to separate and rise to the surface so they can be scraped off.

Trials are similar in that our faith is refined by them. They help our impurities rise to the surface to be removed. As with fire, the heat of trials can be very painful; yet they are also what prove our faith to be genuine and “will bring [us] much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (v.7).

When trials press into us, we can be glad knowing that—as painful as they are, and even when we can’t see it—God is using them to grow and perfect our faith.

—Julie Schwab

365-day plan: 1 Kings 18:16-46

MORE
Read Psalm 34:19-20 and consider how God is with us in our trials. 
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What are you going through right now that might be refining you? How can you rejoice even when it hurts? 

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ODB: Hurry Not

April 19, 2018 

READ: Isaiah 26:1–4 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

 

“Ruthlessly eliminate hurry.” When two friends repeated that adage by the wise Dallas Willard to me, I knew I needed to consider it. Where was I spinning my wheels, wasting time and energy? More important, where was I rushing ahead and not looking to God for guidance and help? In the weeks and months that followed, I remembered those words and reoriented myself back to the Lord and His wisdom. I reminded myself to trust in Him, rather than leaning on my own ways.

After all, rushing around frantically seems to be the opposite of the “perfect peace” the prophet Isaiah speaks of. The Lord gives this gift to “those whose minds are steadfast,” because they trust in Him (v. 3). And He is worthy of being trusted today, tomorrow, and forever, for “the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal” (v. 4). Trusting God with our minds fixed on Him is the antidote to a hurried life.

How about us? Do we sense that we’re hurried or even hasty? Maybe, in contrast, we often experience a sense of peace. Or perhaps we’re somewhere in between the two extremes.

Wherever we may be, I pray today that we’ll be able to put aside any hurry as we trust the Lord, who will never fail us and who gives us His peace.

— Amy Boucher Pye

Lord God, You give the peace that passes all understanding, which is a gift I don’t want to take for granted. Thank You.

God’s peace helps us not to hurry.  

Are You A Friend of The World?

A few years ago, I worked freelance for a horse-racing magazine. Everything went well at the start, but after a few assignments, I realized there was more to horse-racing than simply which horse finishes first (pardon my naivety).