Tuesday, July 16, 2002

1 Peter 1:3-9 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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 honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NIV)

I read the prayer requests on the Daily website, and I make a few myself, from time to time. That is what it is there for. I enjoy this sense of community, and I am even surprised that God answers our prayers. I know that I should not be, but I am. However, I note that, in a material age, there are some who would have us believe that, as Christians, we can demand this-worldly benefits from our Saviour here and now, and He is obligated to give them to us.

When this has not happened, many have become insecure, self-questioning, and criticized for not having the amount of "faith" necessary to pray the prayer into reality. In this manner, people have become shipwrecked on the desires of their heart. Do not ask me how I know, because it is embarrassing — enough said!

When asking the question, "Why me?" the answer I get back is "Take up your cross and follow me."

We have been tested, and we will be tested again, but we are not yet overcome, because our faith and our perseverance are precious to Jesus. When we cannot persevere, then we will ask for prayer support until we can. That is why we are here, not only to follow Jesus but also to encourage and support one another in His church together as one. We are not alone.

Prayer: Lord, we thank You for that inner joy which comes only from You. We lift before You all of our community whom we bring to You today: hard-pressed emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially. Grant in us, and in them, Your empowering presence to bring a peace which will deliver us from despair, defeat, and doubt, so that, in due season, we will be raised up and become pure gold in Your hands. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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