More Precious than Gold
Romans 8:28 ESV
Galatians 6:7-8 ESV
2 Corinthians 9:6 ESV
Proverbs 11:18 ESV
Proverbs 14:14 ESV
Psalm 126:5 ESV
Psalm 1:1-16, Hosea 10:12-13 and Jeremiah 17:10 (Reap and Sow)
I Peter 1:6-7 ESV
I Peter 5:6-10 ESV
From the Jar
After being on earth for nearly seven decades I realized that all things really do work together for good.
He Apostle Paul knew it as well when he wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
I’ve also personally witnessed in my lifetime that everyone will reap what they sow. The Apostle Paul wrote about that in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
And again in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Truthfully, the Apostle Paul was a Hebrew Pharisee before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul had studied under the great Hebrew teacher Gamaliel which meant he knew the Hebrew Scriptures by heart. He had memorized the Pentateuch, the Proverbs, the Psalms, and the books of the Prophets.
Reaping and Sowing had been written about throughout the Old Testament.
Solomon wrote about it in Proverbs 11:18, “The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.” He wrote about it in Proverbs 14:14: “The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.”
The psalmist wrote about reaping and sowing in Psalm 126:5, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!”
In Psalm 1:1-16 the psalmist wrote about the man who does not walk with the wicked but instead delights in the laws and ways of the Lord.
The Prophets Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Micah also wrote about the righteous receiving the fruit of his ways (specifically see Hosea 10:12-13 and Jeremiah 17:10).
All of that is why the words of Peter are so important.
Peter knew that our suffering is not in vain.
I Peter 1:6-7 he wrote, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Peter knew while the church suffered greatly at the hands of the Roman Empire and while their trials were terrible, they could rejoice because the genuineness of their faith that had been tested in the fire would bring praise and glory and honor in the end.
Peter even told them their faith that had been tested by fire would be more precious than gold.
Near the end of I Peter he wrote words than I memorized years ago. Those words still resonate with me today, decades later.
In I Peter 5:6-10 he told them, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Through the years every time I would grow discouraged, during every trial, I recited those words to myself.
I was reminded to cast all of my anxieties on Jesus because He cares for me.
I remembered to keep my eyes on Jesus when I was being tested.
I thought of others who were standing firm in the faith with me.
I knew that after a while the God of all grace would restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.
See, every time we suffer it is God who gives us faith to stand on. Every time we choose to stand with God, it is God who provides strength. We do not need to have the strength. When we turn to Jesus and rely of Him, He provides the strength.
Then we can KNOW God is for us. God stands with us and we can rejoice because genuine faith is more precious to God than gold.
We can know that because that seed of faith had been tested in the fire and the seeds have been sown in righteousness by Jesus, which will reap a reward of praise and glory and honor when He appears in all His glory.
As we turn to God and surrender, God provides everything we need.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Turn to God
Surrender. Let God give you what you need.
In God, Deborah