Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

“Where is God?”

Apr 13, 2018

By Rev. Mark R. Youngquist, Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church


How many times have you hoped and prayed for something to happen in your life and it did not? How many times have you hoped and prayed for someone you love, and it did not turn out as you hoped? When this happens, a person may ask whether God has abandoned us, or whether God is there at all.

This is precisely what was happening to the Christians that Peter writes to in the First Letter of Peter. These people were new in their Christian faith, and they were in danger of giving up their faith because of the hostility and persecution that they were facing. What could they do? And applying this to our life situation, what can we do?

There are three basic choices: We can abandon all hope, we can pretend things are not so bad, or we can believe that through all that life throws at us, God still is with us, wanting to give us strength.

The third choice is Peter’s choice, as seen in 1 Peter 1:3-7, where he writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

In this letter, written to Christians in despair 2,000 years ago, Peter reminds his audience that their real hope should be based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. No matter what happens in this life, Peter tells them, and us, Jesus has won for us an inheritance in heaven that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.

Peter wrote these words shortly before his death as a martyr. Peter knew, and so can we, that we can embrace suffering as Christ did on the cross because we know that the cross is not the end of the story. There’s something much better coming.

The Easter season is a wonderful time to remember this. We celebrate the ultimate reason for our hope: Christ is risen, and he invites us to rise with him to a new life. It is this hope that can get us through our times of suffering and pain, even through times of doubt.

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