I did the 1 + 2 peter study the first time She Reads Truth did it, apparently I retain very little from these studies…but that is the great thing about She Reads Truth and the Bible, there is always something to learn where you are at now. It felt like a breath of fresh air after the Open Your Bible Series, which I was not thrilled about…I kept waiting to feel, something(?!) but never did. When we defined HOPE on the second day of the Peter study, I was so excited. You see HOPE is my 2014 word of the year:
Hope- (noun) the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
The verses that come along with that definition of hope that day made me so proud and blessed. I felt like God was whispering into my ear, “See I told you.” When we discussed how Jesus sees beyond Peter’s exterior appearance and actions and that He sees him as a rock + a fisher of men. I thought that is hope, seeing beyond the present and knowing the future will be bright.
I loved the 1st weekly truth verse.
How could you not? This reminded me I am not a slave to sin, worry or anxiety. I am free because Christ died for me, so I need to get out and LIVE like I am free. (This is still my lock screen on my phone)
Going back to the Live as people who are Free (1 peter 2:16) I asked myself what does submission look like for me? It was a hard question to answer and one I didn’t want to reflect on. I prayed about it over and over and realized submission means to listen to others and consider their point of view, as well as not getting puffed up when my husband who works 40 hours a week, creates more dirty dishes in one meal than I have all day.
When we began taking about what marriage requires: daily grace, daily repentance and daily pursuit of each other. I knew this is what I need to wake up each morning thinking.
My favorite verse from this section of the text (1 peter 3:1-7) is: As daughter of Sarah, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening verse 6. Isn’t it amazing that as a woman of God, if I love my Savior and imitate Him, do good to those around me locally and internationally, and do not fear anything I will be frightening.
I then struggled with some hard core truth:
What is Righteous Suffering?
I came to the conclusion that all suffering has worth and drives us closer to our Savior BUT, my #firstsworldproblems of my phone not charging or running out of ice cream is NOT suffering. Suffering is what we did when my husband and I were ‘technically’ homeless for a month and a half and our friends took us in. Suffering is what my friend Stacie is going through. Suffering is not having clean water in a rural village in India, or a safe road to travel on to school for children in Africa. THAT is SUFFERING.
But the best par to the study was day 11. When I realized what my gift was from God. We all have spiritual gifts but mine is extra special, because I think it is. Through all the suffering we have endured, lack of income, trouble finding a job, being homeless, moving, moving some more…I have found through these trials bring me to a special place with God but they allow me to connect with people going through hard times. To be a listening ear and know that sometimes things don’t work out as quickly as we need them too. So when the author said, “Make the rest of your life about this” I took her very seriously.
And the verse from Colossians that we read the next day (colossians 1:24-29) reiterated this. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope. WOW.
suffering in the end produces hope
But in our time of suffering we need to be humble. Humility is a learned behavior and is a tough lesson to take. But to lead others well through their suffering one must follow well, and that requires humility, time and presence.
Faith with virtue
Virtue with knowledge
Knowledge with self control
Self Control with steadfastness
Steadfastness with godliness
Godliness with brotherly affection
Brotherly Affection with love
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
Are You Growing in Grace + Knowledge? Are you making the rest of your life about Him?