. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Tag Archives: Summer Slowdown

How Complete Surrender Helps With Suffering {What I’m Learning From 1 Peter 4}

I do not like to suffer. At all. That’s why I’ve always wanted to be a runner but have never actually done it.

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But Peter seems to have this obsession with hope in such a real and crazy way that according to him, suffering is just part of life as a follower of Jesus Christ. (It’s actually the Holy Spirit using Peter to say this, but . . .)

And this is what I am learning through 1 Peter chapter 4.

Suffering for following Christ, he says, is actually an honor, reason to rejoice. It gives deeper cause for celebration when the hope of Jesus’ return becomes reality. It’s called living hope. Hope for living.

If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed . . . (1 Pt. 4:14)

I wonder if Peter recalled those pre-dawn moments as he wrote this. Did he play out in his mind a different ending to that interaction with the slave girl outside the courtyard where Jesus was being beaten? Did he wonder what might have happened if only he had entrusted himself at that time to His faithful Creator? How would he have done differently if only he had clung to that living hope?

It’s possible, you know. To live according to this all-consuming hope. To suffer through even the most horrifying trial and persecution.

It’s possible because what God has for us in eternity is way better than any comfort we might enjoy here on this side of it.

Hard to imagine, though. I mean, I like comfort. I like easy and nice and can’t-we-all-just-get-along. And I don’t want to face icky and hard and fiery trials. (Yes, as a matter of fact, I did just use the word icky in a theological discussion. You are welcome.)

That’s when it comes back to that whole complete surrender thing. It just keeps coming back to that.

Complete and utter surrender to God’s ways, His hand, His mercy, His life. It’s all about surrender. This summer. This year. This life. It’s all about surrender.

Because when I am living entrusted to my faithful Creator (v19), I am okay with whatever may come. When I honor Jesus Christ as Lord in my heart (3:14-15), I am more than just okay, I can rejoice in the fact that He knows what I need and is somehow blessing me through it. 

So what do you think? There is so much depth and hard stuff here in 1 Peter. Let’s talk it out. Let’s ask questions and help each other find God’s truth in it.

The Great Summer Slowdown {Find God With Me}

Well, it’s summer. And my kids are home from school.

Everyday. All day.

My oldest has already been to two different camps. And we just began what has been our favorite week of the summer for the past seven years. Vacation. Bible. School.

Because at Wooster Grace Church, the crazy chaos called VBS meets God-sized amazingness in ways that can only end in eternal memories seared into the hearts of everyone who shows up.

Also. My family moved about a week ago. So there’s that.

In the midst of the move, I crossed the Finish Line for a discipline journey God had me on this spring with about 70 women. A journey called reNew for which I was honored to lead the way with two other amazing ladies.

I also got to share my story with our adult Sunday school class, write some devotions, post a few blogs at the Life Letter Cafe, and help my daughter’s class turn into seventh-graders.

To sum up. I had way too much going on.

Can you say pushing overload?

That’s why this summer I have widdled my priorities down to a mere two.

  1. Finding God inside His Word. Seeking His truth with no agenda of my own except to find His way, know Him more, love Him more completely.
  2. Being a blessing to my husband and kids.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a little over-booked too. Like you need the natural break summer seems to provide. Why not join me for a Summer Slowdown?

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Everything in me believes the refreshment we need can be found in the Word of God. Because that’s where we find real life, God’s plan, Jesus Christ.

So I’m going to take it slow and journal through First and Second Peter this summer. Eight chapters of the Bible in eight weeks. One chapter a week.

I’ve got some questions from the reNew journey I told you about that I’m going to use to help me focus my thoughts each day. You can click this link and use them too if you’d like. In fact some of those ladies are joining us here. (So, so, SO glad you are here, my friends!! Welcome.) 🙂

Then, each Monday, I’ll write something here about what God’s teaching me. And I will open up the comments for you to do the same. You can write a long comment or post it on your own blog if you have one and then leave us a link. I’ll visit my Brianna Wasson page on Facebook a lot too, so make sure to “like” my page so you can join in the convo.

Because studying the Bible is so much deeper and more meaningful when we share the truth He shows us with each other.

See you in First Peter!

Consider sharing in the comments . . . What’s one way you plan to slow down this summer?