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July 25, 2017, 12:00 AM

SCATTERED STRANGERS


 

 

Have you ever felt as though the bottom has dropped out of life and you have nothing to stand on? Probably included in those thoughts is a sense of confusion. “This isn’t fair!” “Where is God?” “Have I done something to deserve this?” “I simply can’t go on like this!” These are just a few of the thoughts that scream at us and demand answers and explanation. However, so many times there simply isn’t any human explanation.

Simon Peter wrote to people in this kind of predicament. In fact, he calls them “scattered strangers” (1Peter 1:1). They were God’s people who were facing overwhelming persecution and adversity. What they were going through did not make sense. They lost property, homes, jobs, and many even lost their lives. It was all because they were Christians and dared live in a way that gave honor to Christ. Christ had not yet returned and discouragement would easily have been a companion in the dark days of pain and heartache.

They were scattered and they were also strangers. There is an old song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.” This was the focus of Simon Peter’s message. The Christians were hurting, struggling, and they desperately needed hope. Simon wrote to remind them that while they suffered they weren’t home yet. They were travelling through. This world was not their final destination. Through the Spirit, Peter lifted their eyes above their circumstances so they could focus on the Savior. They had a living hope and the foundation of that hope was the Person, Jesus Christ. He had not abandoned them. He was present with them in every heartache. There wasn’t a tear that He did not know about. There wasn’t a broken heart that He did not feel. What’s more is that their suffering was not some meaningless experience but God had purpose in their pain that their human minds could not fully grasp. Strangers, yes, but not abandoned, not forsaken, nor forgotten!

Maybe your heart is also broken, shattered, and the road ahead seems dark, bleak, and lonely. As a child of God, you are not alone. You are not forsaken nor forgotten. Your tears are seen by the Lord and the ache in your heart is felt in the depths of His heart. The hope we have in Him is not dead religion, rituals, rules, and regulations. It is based on relationship and our Father will never leave us or forsake us. He will use your broken heart and your confusing circumstances. He will mold you, shape you, and through those difficult fiery trials He will polish you so that your life will deepen and reflect our Lord.

We, too, may be scattered strangers. However, in the depths of painful times, Jesus walks with us and, so often, carries us when our strength is gone. Lift up your eyes and focus on the Savior rather than the circumstances.

Larry


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