I love starting new things. I enjoy becoming proficient in many hobbies. I can flyfish (including tying my own flies and now close to 50 knots). I can play the guitar, bass, and drums. I did two years of Kenpo Karate. I enjoy lifting weights. I’ve been enjoying running over the past few years. I like to play golf. I’ve spent many hours with technology, building computers, and programming. I enjoy graphic design. I love to BBQ (and all of the different ways of smoking meat). Honestly this list could go on and on!
As many hobbies as I have had over the years, I have become moderately proficient in most of these areas, but never a master. Outside of following Jesus, I have never spent enough time doing any one of these hobbies to become stellar. Starting something new is fun and exciting. However, Peter reminds us today of the importance of perseverance. While starting something new may be fun, it is in the grind of continuing, that we reap the rewards of our persistence.
Peter says, “Keep on doing what is right . . .” Keep on. I have started more diets than I would care to admit. There is a reason why gyms are packed in January and empty by March. As a human, the excitement of something new quickly wears down and we are left with a decision: do we continue without the zeal of a new beginning, or do we let our new action/direction pass away?
Our journey of apprenticeship to Jesus is filled with wonderful emotions and endorphins as we begin following Him. It’s a gift! But eventually as the newness wears off, and the difficulty arises as we submit our broken ways to the Lordship of Jesus, our perseverance is tested. Will we continue to follow Jesus even when it is hard, when it is mundane, when it isn’t filled with “ooeey-gooeey-emotions”? Peter invites us to “trust your lives to the God who created you . . .” God’s ways are best even when we feel otherwise (or nothing at all). God’s direction is for our own flourishing and the flourishing of those around us (even when we suffer).
As you read today, is there any part of you that is weary as you “keep on doing what is right?” I would encourage you to spend some time after you S.O.A.P. in the quiet. Sit by a window with a cup of coffee, or go for a walk and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your weariness. He is for you! One of my favorite verses is found in the book of Philippians:
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
As you submit to God, HE WILL complete this good work within you. God is building something strong and resilient as you are committed to your apprenticeship. We are praying for you!
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
19 So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.1 Peter 4:19 (NLT)
We will see you next week!