“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12
Not sure if you have experienced any fiery ordeals along your life’s journey, but can only assume that you have as everybody has had moments when our life’s roller coaster ride has ultimately crashed and burned. Believers and un-believers alike have their ups and downs throughout their journey; we are born, we live and ultimately, we die. As His children in this sinful world, we suffer persecution and ridicule from a world that is hostile to our Triune God. Quite often this happens because we do not conform to or participate in their godless passions and activities; we are different from them.
The attached photo is of a sign along Delmas which is the main street in Petionville and it is a perfect example of this world tempting people to sign up and be a ‘quick thinker’ in no time at all. The real paradox here is that this promise of ‘quick wisdom’ appears in a country where an estimated 65 percent cannot read or write. An estimated sixty percent of the people in Haiti practice vodou and call upon satan when fires appear on their journey; they need Jesus. This world throws out many ‘promises’ along our journey but there is only one sure thing, we need Jesus.
Our Triune God promises a day of judgment in which all, living and dead, will give an account of themselves. While we await this Judgment Day, we are to live as His obedient and faithful children. We are not supposed to conform to the ways of this world but we are to be self-controlled and sober-minded, loving, hospitable, and use our spiritual gifts for the building up of the church throughout His world. In this way, even when we suffer as Christians in this sinful world, we glorify God and Christ our Lord and Savior. The hymn ‘Come to Calvary’s Holy mountain’ was written by James Montgomery in 1819 and provides a wonderful invitation to each of us as we search for rescue from the fiery ordeals that clutter our pathway.
“Come to Calvary's holy mountain, sinners, ruined by the fall; here a pure and healing fountain flows to you, to me, to all, in a full, perpetual tide, opened when our Savior died. Come in poverty and meanness, come defiled, without, within; from infection and uncleanness, from the leprosy of sin, wash your robes and make them white; ye shall walk with God in light. Come in sorrow and contrition, wounded, impotent, and blind; here the guilty free remission, here the troubled peace, may find. Health this fountain will restore; he that drinks shall thirst no more. He that drinks shall live forever; tis a soul-renewing flood. God is faithful; God will never break His covenant of blood, signed when our Redeemer died, sealed when He was glorified.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay