1 Peter 1:7; Deuteronomy 26:17-18
We held the first of a two part teaching on Faith in the Midst of Suffering yesterday and as usual I thoroughly enjoyed the day, although I am always mindful of the fact that as I always enjoy speaking and teaching about the Lord and His Word, it is a joy to my soul to hear that others have been encouraged and edified by His Spirit.
Generally after I have done this I awake the next morning to a sense of anticlimax, a sort of disappointment or even unease about what I said - was it good, was it right and more importantly did I correctly represent my Saviour? This morning was no exception but added to these things was a nagging doubt that I had used a Scripture in error, that I had taken something and misinterpreted it to suit my general theme.
I remembered the moment when I quoted 1 Peter 1:7 and said that the testing of our faith and our holding on to it during times of trial and stress and suffering would result in praise and honour and glory to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. This morning I awoke to a voice that told me I was wrong and that of course only our Lord Jesus would receive that praise and honour and glory as we persevered through trial and upheld His name.
And so I sat in my usual armchair and I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me if I had spoken wrongly and to give me a way to make that right - to maybe send an email to all those who were there or to make a statement to that effect on our website. Then I turned to my daily readings and started in Deuteronomy 23 making my way through to chapter 26 and it was there right at the end that the Lord spoke to me through verses 17 and 18. He spoke deliberately this morning in answer to my doubt and my concern that I might have misled or deceived those who heard me yesterday and the fact that He did took my breath away and caused my soul to fill with joy that God, the Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe would take the time not only to forgive me although that is amazing but that He would specifically answer my doubt with His truth.
Look at these verses in Deuteronomy 26. Can you see how they cross reference 1Peter? Can you see how the Lord promises that as we who have declared Him to be the Lord our God, as we walk in His ways and keep His statutes - as we live by His rules and seek always to do His will and thereby honour Him and proclaim Him to be the joy and the treasure of our life - as we do this He has declared us to be His people, His treasured possession! And more He has declared that He will set us high, above all that He has made - for praise and for fame and for honour!
As we hold on to our faith - as we refuse to compromise the truth of God no matter the circumstances, the trials, the tests, the tragedies of our lives, the Lord responds with the words 'this one is Mine' and prepares for us praise and honour and glory that will be manifested at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And actually it's not that I spoke the truth or that I correctly interpreted Peter's words. I am sure that there are levels of truth in 1 Peter that I have not even glimpsed yet - but it is that the Lord would answer me this morning - that He would hear my cry, care about me so much that He wanted to set my mind at rest. And I was stunned in the moment as He showed me that though I am a nobody - I am somebody to Him.
This morning I come Lord, with my thanks for yesterday and my praise for today and I give you all the glory and all the honour and all the praise - I give it gladly to You, my wonderful
Father, my Lord, my King and my God.