Sunday 29th August
1 Peter 3:14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.
Have you ever experienced ridicule or judgment just for trying to do what you feel is right? Maybe the world tells you to overlook something, to sell yourself out, or to follow the crowd. When the world says, "do this", but God says, "there is a different way"? I know someone who was presented with specific questions about how far he would go for fame. Would you ... for a record deal? Would you become ... for a record deal? Maybe someone is looked down upon for saving himself or herself for marriage or going abstinent. Suffering in these moments is distinct from normal struggles we experience as humans.
Christians are not perfect, of course, nor do they have perfect lives, yet this is a misconception surrounding followers of Christ. And those who do pretend to be perfect, or better than someone else, are simply doing that- pretending or lying. Because when we really examine the core of who we are, who God is and what the world offers, we know that we need God in our challenges, our suffering, and our sorrow. We need him in the goals we want to achieve and in our happy moments. Without God, I wouldn't have the desire to be better, I wouldn't have the same peace or joy, and I wouldn't look at challenges in the same way. The world is certainly not my gold standard or compass for morality. So, when you feel as though you are suffering or struggling, just know you are not alone. Your experience may feel unique, but there is someone who has been through what you've been through, and maybe even someone going through it right now. So take heart in the word of God and take heart in a community that you trust. God is in you and God is for you, even when the world tells you otherwise and even when the world competes with your truth.
Galatians 6:2 Carry each other's burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Happy Sunday and have a blessed week!
-This post was inspired from a sermon at North River Church in Pembroke, MA.