Yes, It Burns

From 1 Peter 1, one of the many passages where Difficult and Beautiful collide:

 

“3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”  

 

Boy, there’s a lot there.

I looked up the word genuineness in hopes of finding a key to the italicized portion of the passage, which is where I wrestle.  Genuineness, as expected, has multiple meanings; but “free from pretense or hypocrisy”* startled me.  That’s what we’re talking about?  

And the question slammed, “Do I claim a faith I will not live?”  For what is hypocrisy if it is not this?

The answer settled slow, “Some days, yes.”

Lord, let me move past the slippery slope of guilt to the firmer ground of conviction and courage.  Help me endure the burn as you create an environment in my life where false claims and empty expectations cannot survive. I am open to finding joy where I least expect it and security where it seems scarce.  I want nothing less than You.

 

Yes, It Burns

Where did I get the idea

That the refining fire

Would not burn?

Hypocrisy is flammable,

But sticky,

Stuff.

 

A faith

Free of pretense

Matters more

Than any opportunity,

Experience,

Or security

Money can buy.

 

Some day,

All this heat

Will end.

And even,

Or perhaps especially,

The gut-wrenching moments

When our trust hung by a thread

And obedience

Was nothing more

Than an act of

Unreasonable will

And the grace of God,

May turn out to be

Our finest moment

And His greatest praise.

 

 

kpeterson

May 2014

 

*Dictionary.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to Yes, It Burns

  1. Beautiful. I love the idea of hanging on and having it be our finest moment. Wouldn’t that be something?

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