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Good News - Bad News?
by GBC Ministry

     I received a devotional via email today that provoked me to read the context of its subject verse, 1 Peter 1:3. From the context there would appear to be both "good news" and "bad news" for the believer, or so it may seem to us at times.

The "Good News"

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

The "Bad News"

1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations [i.e., trials, testings]:

     Peter's plain speaking is no more direct than Paul's:

Philippians 1:27-30 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. 

     This may be "bad news" to the flesh, but to the believer walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:18) it is simply a reminder of the reality that we have been chosen to be faithful soldiers in a spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10-20). In this warfare we must fix our eyes not be on the vagaries of the battle, but on the surety of the victory, a victory that has already been secured for us by "the Captain of [our] salvation" (Heb 2:10), Jesus Christ.

     In other words, we should have our eyes focused on the fact that we have been saved to ultimately enjoy 

1 Peter 1:4-5 ... an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

     And we should be able to rejoice in all of our tribulation knowing that it has a holy purpose:

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 

     So let us rest in His love and providence today...and every day...being willing to "suffer for his sake," remembering in the midst of every testing that the very fact we are experiencing a godly trial is evidence that we are His children, and not spiritual bastards, i.e., illegitimate children and mere professors of the Christian faith (Hebrews 12:8 in contrast to Matthew 7:21-23).

     God's ways are perfect. He "only doeth wondrous things" (Psalm 72:18). In that, then, there really isn’t any "bad news" for the believer, for "all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Rom 8:28). May we rest in this assurance today, giving Him praise for His mercy, grace and love as He orders our path to exalt His glory and enrich our blessing.

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