Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11 and John 17:1-11
- As you read Peter’s exhortations about trials in life, take a moment to consider your own circumstantial situations and anxieties. What about them most challenges or discourages you? Do the trials seem beyond your capacity to bear? What if anything are you most acutely aware of as you experience these trials (sense of being stuck or defeated, lack of physical stamina, feelings of abandonment, need for clarity or wisdom, a sense of being trapped, woundedness or hurt, etc.)?
- Take a few moments to talk to God about your trials, troubles, cares and anxieties. Honestly expose your deepest fears, frustrations, or any discouragement you are presently experiencing in your circumstances. Ask for the Holy Spirit’s specific help today as you identify your internal and external struggles. Do the very thing Peter instructs: In humility, cast your anxiety and cares upon God because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7).
- Peter, writing to exiled believers who were experiencing varied persecutions and injustices, exhorted: rejoice when tried (1 Peter 4:13)! When circumstantial trials occur, we often experience narrowing perspectives on life and about God, especially if the trials seem unjust or are injurious in some way to ourselves, our families and friends, or our ideals of “the good life”. As you sit in God’s presence, what, if anything, might you rejoice in today?
- Sit with Jesus and his disciples as he prays during his darkest hours of trial (John 17:1-11). What do you hear from the content of his prayer about what matters most to him in his final hours on earth? Is there anything from his prayer that brings you comfort today? Is there anything he says that you desire to experience more deeply in your life? Talk to God about these things.
- Peter reminds us that there is an adversarial spiritual realm that we are to resist, standing firm in our faith (1 Peter 5:8). He mentioned that we are not the only ones suffering in this life; but that we are connected to a global community who suffer for Christ’s sake. Conclude your meditation by praying for audacious faith to stand firm, to resist the devil. Pray also for others: for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are suffering in various ways.
Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22 and John 14:5-21
In Peter’s letter we are invited to take a look at our conscience. He advised in the face of conflict and accusation a clear conscience is the best way to experience God’s peace and security.
Jesus gives us a Helper, Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:15-17). Take a moment to welcome the Holy Spirit into your reflections, asking him to examine your heart to see if there is anything that needs your attention or confession. You might want to use the prayer below to begin:
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts,
and see if there is any hurtful (or grievous) way in me,
and lead me in the eternal way.
- Attentively wait in silence as you pray. What, if anything, comes up? Is there something to confess? Take moments to confess fears, wrong choices, insecurities, anxieties, sin issues or attitudes, ingratitude. Is there anything comforting, assuring, loving you are experiencing as you pray? Do you have a sense of a clear conscience in these moments? Give thanks.
- As you continue to reflect on Peter’s words from 1 Peter 3:13-22, what invitations, instructions, commands or assurances do you hear? How might you respond to these things? How might you see your own daily conflicts and challenges in the light of Peter’s exhortation? Take a moment to talk to God about these things.
- Jesus assures us that we will not be left without comfort, security, or a sense of true belonging where we might experience safety. Sit with Jesus. Listen to him speak to your heart and your concerns through the words of John 14:15-21. What do you receive from him? What feels difficult to receive from him? Tell him the things on your heart and mind.