‘…you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.’ 1 Peter 1.6-7
The opening verses of Peter’s first letter speak in such exalted language about what it means to be a Christian that it is hard to recognise ourselves in what he is writing! The words above are an example of this, as they speak of the tremendous faith we are exhibiting in our trials and how this will be for the praise and glory of Jesus. Sometimes we read such words and feel a bit of a fraud. Compared to the persecution and martyrdom of the first Christians, or compared to the suffering that others go through, we may feel that these words don’t apply to us. Yet they do!
In Matthew 17.20, Jesus speaks of faith like a mustard seed; and in chapter 13.32, Matthew tells us that the stunning thing about mustard seeds is their growth from seed to tree. Whenever you look upward in your needs, bringing your difficulties and anxieties to Jesus, you are demonstrating faith - your belief that there is more to your life than what you are currently experiencing. Every time you do this, your faith grows a bit more and you honour Jesus.
You may not think that you are up there with the great saints, but the reality is that every time you expose the seeds of your faith to what is going on in your life, in some way glory and honour are given to Jesus. Keep going - you are doing fine!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission