A few weeks ago every conversation I had with my daughter included 1 Peter. She was studying it and we were discussing it. A few days later one of my morning devotions came from 1 Peter and I was a bit surprised. We had just finished a book we were studying in my class at church when the Leader announced we would be studying 1 Peter. So I figure there is something I need to hear or something I need to share.
As I am reading 1 Peter something comes to my mind. A few weeks back I went to a festival here in Texas. One of the buildings we visited was a blacksmith shop. We stood and watched as this man took a piece of iron placed it in the fire for a while then brought it out and began to mold it using a hammer. Then he would put it back in the fire and let it get hot just to bring it out and begin molding it into what he wanted it to be. This went on for several minutes until he was satisfied with the tool. After several times in the fire and molding it the tool was now ready for service.
As I began reading 1 Peter (from The Message) I came across this verse, “I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.” 1 Peter 6-7 from The Message Wow! That’s what I am talking about.
So I went back to see who Peter was talking to. In verse 1 it said he was talking to all those who had been exiled to the four winds. These were people who had been forced to leave their homes, their way of life and probably family. They surely had to be going through some aggravation and some suffering. This way of life was their fire. They were being put through this so God could mold them into something that He could use and so their faith would be proved pure. By going through this they would have genuine faith. Now genuine means authentic true real and legitimate. He wanted their faith to be authentic not fake. He wanted them to be able to say, “Look at all I went through, but I never lost trust in God. I never gave up believing in Him.” I have been and I know several other people that have been through some tough times. We have been put through the fire and we have been molded into what God wanted us to be. For some it might have taken only one time going through the fire, but for a lot of us we have had to go through several fires and being molded by God several times to get where we are and you know what I bet God is not done with us yet. Our faith may be true and we might be genuine, but I know for me there are a lot of rough edges that still needs to go through the fire and hammered out.
I also know some people who have had tough times come up on them and the first thing they did was to get mad at God and abandon their faith. They didn’t like the fire and they didn’t like the molding part so they bailed out. They rejected God. But, God never rejects us. At some point in these folks life God will once again reach out to them.
For those of us who have gone through the fire or are going through it now I love what He says in these verses, “I, Peter am an apostle on assignment by Jesus, the Messiah, writing to exiles scattered to the four winds. Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus. May everything good from God be yours!” 1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter is letting us know God has his eye on us and we are not missing from action, we are not forgotten. He remembers us and he knows what we are going through.
Wow! God has his eyes on us! God knows what is going on with us; we are not forgotten by God although I know when we are going through tough times we think he has, but he hasn’t. Not only that Peter goes on to say God will give us good things if we just hold on. If we continue to let him put us through the fire and mold us when we are finished we will receive all the good things.
This is important stuff. You know how I know this? Part of verses 3-5 says this,”…God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all – life healed and whole.” When something is important it is repeated over and over. Here it is again God is keeping watch over us and He knows our future. One day the fire will be put out and the molding done and our life will be as it should and we will be whole; unblemished, pure, refined, and real.
Verses 8-9 say this, “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.” All we have to do is not stop believing. When I am going through tough times one of the things that comfort me is my praise songs and hymns. When no one is around (trust me you don’t want to hear me) I will sing at the top of my voice and soon laughter will come from my mouth. I will once more find peace and once I find that peace then a smile comes on my face. That is what God is asking us to do; never stop laughing, singing and believing. Trust in Him and you will receive all God has in store for you. Jesus walked this earth and then for awhile He suffered, but He never gave in to the suffering instead He stuck it out and now He’s in Heaven preparing a place for us.
This is only the first part of 1 Peter. I think we are in for a treat. If you are going through some tough times read 1 Peter. Also, remember God has not forgotten you and He is watching over you and just when you think you can’t do it anymore some really good things will come your way. Life is tough, but God is tougher. Tough times don’t last, but God is everlasting.
Dear God: Thank you for leading me to 1 Peter. You have blessed Peter with words I need to hear. Let me be reminded of Peter’s words when I am going through tough times. Let me remember you have not forgotten me and I am not missing in action. You are watching over me. When the fires and the moldings come let me be pliable enough to allow you to work in my life. Thank you for all those times you have molded me and put me through the fire. I know one day I will receive all you have in store for me if I continue believing and trusting in you Amen.