Advent 3: Psalm 3, 4, 5 & 1 Peter 5:6-11

From Kristen Vogelaar

 As we enter the 2015 Advent season, our world does not feel merry or bright; our brothers and sisters suffer across the world; our brothers and sisters suffer here at home.  We suffer with them, because we love them.  It was to a suffering church that this letter of 1 Peter was written, encouraging them to humble themselves so that God can exalt them in the right time. The comforting and somewhat familiar passage, "[cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" is immediately followed by a serious warning to be sober-minded and to watch, being on guard against the devil, who prowls and looks for someone to devour. This warning, however, is not meant to terrify, as it directly follows the encouragement to bring our fears and sorrow to the Lord. On the contrary, the warning is to stand firm in our faith, even as we bring our anxiety and sorrow to our Father and suffer together.

And as we wait together.  Wait, in faith, for God to restore, confirm, establish, strengthen our family in this weary world.  To make things right, and to make all things new. To dwell with us, He as our God and us as His people. In humbling ourselves before God, we demonstrate our faith that though we are small and frail, we are confident in our Father's promised deliverance. Don't be tempted by the devil to forget who God is, even as we wait and suffer and resist the darkness of this present day. This is how the devil would devour us: to make us believe that we are waiting in vain, and are left as orphans to fend for ourselves against unimaginable evil. Our adversary would destroy us by feeding us lies and doubt of our Father and His promises to us. As we wait for Him to deliver us, we need to remind one another of who God is, and the beauty, hope, joy, peace, and eternal glory in Christ He has promised. He is so joyful! He is so generous! He is so loving! He is so trustworthy! When we see the suffering of the world before we see the character of God, we become easy prey for the devil to devour. But, though sometimes very difficult, when we choose to believe first that God is who He has revealed Himself to be, in spite of suffering, our perception of the world is made clearer through the lens of His goodness. So as we suffer and as we wait, we join our prayers with those of all of God's people throughout time, and all creation, and cry out together, "Come, Lord Jesus!" He is the answer to our suffering; His birth is the beginning of the death of Death. We wait, but we don't wait in vain, and we don't wait alone.

I work as a psychotherapist and enjoy actively pursuing truth, beauty, joyfulness, thankfulness, and relationship. I also really like trees, and apples.