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.