EMBRACING THE CALL
Y O U A N D T I T U S 2 N E W S L E T T E R
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
EPHESIANS 2:10 ESV
When my children were small, they took great joy in running to me with a newly created work of art. My little artists, with enthusiasm, had crafted a new personal masterpiece. I have a collection that is priceless to me. I never thought to compare, complain about, or criticize their artistic ability. They were always received with admiration and appreciation for what had been accomplished even if I didn’t fully understand all of the various details. It was out of my sincere love of the artists that I knew my position and responsibility in that moment.
My great God loves me, and He has designed me and my circumstances according to His will. It is for the love of God, The Artist of all creation, that I must refuse to compare, complain, or criticize His work in me. I should find contentment in admiration and appreciation for what He has accomplished for my good and His glory even when I don’t understand all of the various details. In sincere love for The Artist, I must affirm my position and responsibility as His child.
Complaining, comparing, and criticizing come all to easy and hinder us from experiencing the life God has planned for us. The knowledge that His ways are not mine, His thoughts are much higher, and His purposes are infinitely noble and just brings peace when frustration comes in my heart and mind. Our sanctification process is being managed by the very hand of God. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (ESV). I can trust The Artist to accomplish something much more eternal and purposeful than my soul can ever fathom.
The older I get the more experience I have with God’s unfailing hand in my life. Older women can testify to the blessing of trusting God’s faithfulness and love. Younger Christian women need to see in our lives that we trust God is good and what He does is good (Psalm 119:68). We are His personal masterpiece, and His hand is faithful. Elisabeth Elliot saw the great missionary Amy Carmichael as a mentor in her life by reading her books. She once wrote, “Amy Carmichael became for me what some now call a role model. She was far more than that. . . . She showed me the shape of godliness” (Between Women of God, Donna Otto).
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Romans 12:1-5 ESV
Learning To Appreciate
the Hand of God
Peter’s enthusiasm is easy to hear as you read 1 Peter 1:3-9. Yet, right there in the midst of all this reason to rejoice we see the reality of various trials (verse 6). Peter explains that we have been born again to a “living hope” of an inheritance that he defines as “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” Obviously, that hope gives us great reason to rejoice! However, in verse 7, we find another cause for joy! Our faith will one day “result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” We are being prepared to bring our Savior the glory He deserves. God’s power is at work and we can appreciate His wisdom in all things.
S E R E N I T Y P R A Y E R
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Why do you think appreciation for God’s will in for our circumstances is not usually the natural tendency of our minds and hearts? What element of our circumstances in 1 Peter 1:3 can help us reaffirm that appreciation?
What had to happen so that we can have the “living hope” God’s mercy provided (1 Peter 3:1)? Peter is teaching us the idea of preaching the gospel to yourself. Why do you think believers are encouraged as they recall the sacrifice of Christ?
Appreciation for God’s work requires a trust in the truth that the hand of God knows what is necessary (verse 6). Why do you think our faith is compared to gold (verse 7)? What work is necessary to refine gold?
Read Romans 8:28-29. What do we learn in verse 29 that makes it clear why God is working in our lives? How does verse 28 help us overcome the details of our trails in appreciation of God’s will?