There are seasons of life that feel like they will last forever.
Whether it be from a disappointment or failure, a traumatic or tragic event, or a heaviness of thoughts and emotions- times of pain have the tendency to cloud our vision of the future.
“I will feel this way forever.”
“This failure will forever stain my identity.”
“My heart will never be able to heal from this.”
This is the song your pain loves to sing over you. It’s a catchy tune, one that might get stuck in your head. You may wake up singing it. You may memorize the lyrics. You may even start loving its hopeless melody.
But God sings a better song. And it was written for you.
Long before this pain was looming He sang a song of freedom, of hope, and of truth. It is a song of promise, that there is victory and life ahead. This faithful song is present in 1 Peter.
Peter wrote a letter of encouragement to the Christians of five Roman provinces who were experiencing severe persecution without an end in sight. In fact, the persecution would only get more intense, continuing on for decades after this letter was written. The people of God were living in fear, dismay, and hopelessness. In chapter 1, Peter reminds them:
“When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold that God will have on display of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him- with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation.” – 1 Peter 1:6-12
It is your faith that keeps you moving forward.
Not your emotions. Not your failures. Not your successes. Not your flaws. Not your striving. Your faith.
The Christians written to in 1 Peter unfortunately do not see a change in circumstances. The persecution continues on. How could Peter encourage them that there was victory ahead? Well, the truth is that victory does not always look the way we think it will look. In fact, Peter suggests that God’s definition of victory looks a whole lot different than what we might want. We might think victory looks like the Christians rising up and overthrowing their persecutors, or escaping the threat altogether. But in reality, “it is your faith that God will have on display of his victory.”
This faith looks like choosing to believe the Word of God when it does not make sense. It looks like speaking promises over yourself when you cannot fully understand. It looks like praising the Father for His goodness when you do not see evidence of victory.
And the good news is that you don’t need to have this faith thing figured out. You can come with doubts, uncertainties, and even with anger at God. And you can still say, “God, I know you are for me, you are near to me, and you are on the Throne. I do not know how to move forward. I do not know what the future holds. But I know I can walk in joy even through pain, because I have a Father who loves me, and a purpose bigger than myself.”
God is so steadfast in walking with us through our deepest hurts, showering us in grace, and turning our somber song into a melody of faithfulness.
Here is a song that speaks to the faithfulness of God, and to the story He writes through all the pain we experience.
Sing it over yourself, knowing that your faith moves you forward into victory.
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