1 Peter 1:3
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in this great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
Troubling times, at times.
There are many in our country who are suffering a great deal at the same time that many others are not.
Some in our community of La Junta struggle daily with financial stress, spiritual struggles and crisis of faith, struggles with addictions for themselves and those closest to them, struggles and despair from abuse, among many other real and exhausting struggles.
Our scripture today reminds us that while life may seem difficult to navigate Jesus has given us a new birth into a living hope.
This hope is bigger than our struggles. That doesn’t diminish our struggles or invalidate them but it provides light in a darkness.
Our Scripture reminds us that we serve a God who conquered death – the last great struggle. We serve a God bigger than death itself.
Our hope lies in who and what Jesus Christ is.
I’ll be the first to admit that it can be easy to fall victim to focusing on the problem at hand but every problem has a solution. Complacency is the enemy of success. Complacency is also the root of mediocrity. God doesn’t call us into lives of mediocrity but rather to live into the fullness of who God made us to be.
Just to make sure we are all on the same page as well, mediocrity isn’t assigned to what we do for jobs either. Mediocrity is when we resign ourselves to not change and not engage fully into who God has made us to be. Job titles, pay scales, education, etc. do not determine our success or our mediocrity.
There will be struggles – no doubt. We will have conflict – no doubt. We will fail – sometimes multiple times – no doubt. Our hope doesn’t lie in our own abilities to do well or do good. Our foundation must be rooted in understanding, as the author of 1 Peter tells us “Praise God….he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
If you are like me it can be hard not to be overwhelmed with the endless depressing news cycles and negativity going on in today’s culture. Living into the fullness of who God made us looks like being kind to people you may disagree with, listening to understand rather than convince, being in community with those not like you as well as those like you, showing grace to people who make mistakes and say the wrong thing, and most importantly work desperately if needed to forgive them. It is what Christ would do. While he never shied away from a conflict he also never shied away from being a beacon of hope and a shining light. We Christians can be world changers and culture changers but only through living into our faith and the living hope we have.
Pray: Gracious God, remind us deep in our souls how loved we are. Remind us daily through Scripture, prayer, being in holy community how blessed we are and where our true hope lies. Let us continue to look to Jesus as a source for inspiration and example during our challenges and struggles and be reminded how Christ overcame even death.
Read: 3 John 1
Act: Pay it forward at some point this week. Do something kind for no reason other than you can. It can be paying for the car behind you at the drive through, paying the ticket of a person eating alone at a restaurant, sending a card to a neighbor you haven’t seen in some time, the sky is the limit.
Yourself: If you have a smart phone, change the opening screen picture to something that makes you smile. Most of us spend too much time on our phones. If you don’t have a phone I invite you to put a picture of something that makes you smile somewhere you spend time throughout the day – the fridge, a bathroom mirror, the living room coffee table. Remind yourself daily that you have many reasons to be thankful.
May it be so,
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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