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My God is…supporting you 1 Peter 5:10

1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his mother-comforting-sonseternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

And after you have suffered for a little while

No one likes to suffer. Suffering stinks. It’s not fun, it can be frustrating, and it can even challenge our faith. When believers (and unbelievers too) go through really hard things, you’ll often hear them saying things like, “If there was a God, why would He let this happen to me?”. It’s not a bad question to ask really. Why would He? Maybe to give you pause as to what you’re doing in life. To turn you away from a destructive path you’re on. To point you in a direction you never would have taken without a major life change. Maybe so that you would come to rely on Him fully instead of trusting in your own ways. There are so many things that can change out of tragedy. Sometimes they heal families, sometimes they free us from oppression of our families. Sometimes struggles help us to see God’s hand in things so that we may trust Him more fully. Sometimes it helps us to let go of trying to be in charge of things we cannot actually control. We don’t always understand, but that doesn’t mean that the Lord won’t use it for our good. I also want to remind you that not all suffering comes from God. Some are a result of sin and the devil. The devil wants nothing more than to make you question the Lord and His love for you. That’s the devil’s goal, to separate you from the love of God.

The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ

So the devil’s goal is to separate you from the love of God, but God’s goal is spelled out in this verse. He, the God of all grace, has called you to His eternal glory in Christ. He wants you to spend eternity with Him, and provided His only Son as the way to make that possible. That we might forever give Him the glory. We might always point back to Him in our thoughts and actions. One of the things I love about this verse is that it says “you”. He has called you, not us. You are His focus. Yes, He cares about the rest of us, but if it was only you, He would still feel the same way. You are important to Him. He has called you.

The God of all grace will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you

God isn’t going to abandon you when you’re going through those hard times of suffering. Instead the God of all grace (what a great title) is going to restore you. He’s not going to destroy you, He’s going to build you back up. He’s going to support you. Like a mother on the sidelines of a game, He’s going to be there cheering you on, providing you with snacks and encouragement to keep your spirit and your strength up. He’s going to give you the strength you need to carry on and continue to point to Him in all you do, bringing Him the glory at all turns. Showing a reflection of Jesus to all who you meet. He’s going to establish you. He’s going to set you up. Not to make you rich necessarily, but to make you a man or woman after His own heart. Establishing your place in Heaven for all eternity. He wants only good for you.

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

Who can you count on to support you?

 

 

 

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My God is…Renewing a Right Spirit Within Me Psalm 51:9-11

Psalm 51:9-11 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart O God

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Renew a Right Spirit within me

My church often used this verse as an Offertory hymn. After 40 years of attending church, I can hardly read this verse without hearing that music. I’m humming it right now.

Definition of RENEW

1: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection<as we renew our strength in sleep>
2: to make new spiritually : regenerate
3a : to restore to existence : revive
 b : to make extensive changes in : rebuild
4: to do again : repeat
5: to begin again : resume
6: replacereplenish <renew water in a tank>
7a :
<renew a license>
 b : to grant or obtain an extension on the loan of <renew a library book>
Why do we need God to Renew a Right Spirit within us? 
There are a lot of opinions on what was meant when these words were written. The Psalmist asked for God to create in him a clean heart and to renew a right spirit within him. This is my prayer as well. We don’t need God to create a new heart from scratch, we already have a heart, but I think what the Psalmist is trying to say here is that we can’t make our heart clean apart from God. Creating is an action that only God can do. He is the only one who can truly make something out of nothing.
Renewal
Looking at the definitions of renew above, I am again blessed at the depth of the words chosen in scripture.
  • I want God to make me like new : restore me to freshness, vigor, or perfection
  • I want God to make me new spiritually
  • I want God to restore me to existence
  • I want God to make extensive changes in me
  • I want God to do again or begin again a good work in me
  • I want God to replenish a steadfast spirit within me

Unforgivable

There are many times in my life where I have felt very separated from God. Where I felt there was no coming back from the sins that I had committed. I felt that no matter how much God loved and forgave others, I could not imagine how He might begin to get past the evil I had committed. I had turned from what I knew was right. I recklessly abandoned my beliefs to satisfy my own desires. I was selfish and self-seeking. Sure I hadn’t done what some of those in jail had done, but I felt that those who came to know Christ after sin were more likely to be forgiven. I had known Him since childhood. I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew that the things I chose were contrary to how my Lord wanted me to live, but I did it anyway. I couldn’t forgive myself, and couldn’t see how God could either.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me

This section of scripture really puts into words what I was feeling. Lord, fix my heart. I am doing what I don’t want to do and not doing what I do want to do. Lord I need a clean heart, a fresh start. I need to be renewed, and only You can make that happen. I want to be right with you again. I want to be able to make decisions that are pleasing to you and help me to spread your word. I don’t want people to look at me and think, that’s why I hate Christians, they’re all hypocrites. I want my actions to match my beliefs. I want to live my life for you, Lord.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

The verse right after our reading above, Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.”  brings me hope. Those years when I felt I could never be forgiven for the things that I had done, left me craving the joy of God’s salvation. I didn’t feel like I could hold myself up anymore, and became dependent on my Lord for my joy. He upholds me and He strengthens me. I know now that I am forgiven, not because of anything I have done, but because of His love for me, in sending Jesus Christ to die for my sins. He restored my soul. He renewed a right spirit within me and now I am being equipped to do what the following verse in scripture says, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”

 

 
 

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