January 1 – A Little While

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11 (ESV)

Perhaps it seems out of place to begin the New Year with a benediction. The New Year may not always be as “Happy” as we would wish, but as Christians we are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3) and can look forward to a “Blessed New Year” throughout the problems that may come. Suffering is a common experience for all humans. None seek it out but we know that it is part of our walk with Jesus Christ for He promises that we will suffer for His sake as we proclaim our faith in Him. So, Peter confirms for us that suffering is going to be ours for a “little while.” But, afterward, God promises that He Himself will be the one who will restore us, and confirm us, and strengthen us, and then establish us. What a promise that is! We are members of God’s family and we live in His dominion. This is what will be ours for eternity. So, the suffering of last year and the suffering we will encounter this year is all but for “a little while” when the rest will be ours for eternity.

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November 15 – A Time To Turn

“O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.”  Psalm 80:3,7, 19 (NASB)

Consider when you find yourself at the end of a blind alley or perhaps the Dead End on a country road. What is our first impulse? We want to get out of there. We’re likely lost unless we intended that as our destination. God’s people were frequently at a dead end and perpetually needed help turning back. Repentance or restoration was a way back. That is the idea the psalmist was writing about in this Psalm. He calls on God three times to “Restore us O God.” He also is asking for God to ‘shine’ His face – that is, show favor so that the outcome would be salvation from their predicament. Israel in the Old Testament, was many times and many situations in this need. We are too, aren’t we? Like this psalmist we need a revival. If truly we seek revival, it comes when we promote the glory of God through our lives and church assemblies. The proper object of our Christian life is God’s glory. The church was made for this purpose, to glorify God; but it is only a revived church that brings glory to his name. Let’s call on our LORD God for this restoration..

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