Monday, February 9, 2009
If you are a habitual reader of my blog, or just happen to skim a few entries every now and again, you will notice a running theme. Life in Korea is hard, not easy, not an overflow of happy times. Matter of fact, it has been a time where everything is stripped away from physical health to people in my life. The point of this entry is not to dwell on that, but I must mention it, so that the next part of this entry will come to complete fruition in all its glory.
Today, I was listening to a podcast from Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church. He is doing a sermon on trials and going through I and II Peter along with it. His message was regarding grieving your trials and out of that rejoicing. He was on I Peter 1:3-9:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ fro the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which is perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
The two things that left a dent in my heart were when he talked about how it's okay to grieve your trials. Some people have hard lives, and mine has not been a hard one up to this point in time, but we all endure trials of some sort in our lives. He said that it is good to grieve and be honest with how you are feeling about the situation you are in. Whether it be financial difficulty, chronic illness, or trouble in some life relationships, you do not need to belittle it, you need to grieve. Some times, as a believer, I feel I should suck it up, like it is wrong for me to feel the way I do now. So many people in Korea are shocked when you tell them that you do not really like it here and that it has not been a good time for you. This conversion mainly happens in the Church. I used to think that if I tried hard enough, I could love any place in the world, and people who had gone somewhere and said it wasn't for them were ignorant fools. I recant my words now more than ever. It is freeing to know that I do not have to be in love with this place. So how should we live since we have this grief in our lives? Mark's next point, was that rejoicing should come out of our sorrow. We do not rejoice in our trials, but rather in our Savior! I may never like Korea, and things may never be easy or enjoyable here, but there is sooooo much more at stake than that. The evidence is branded in my mind from Friday night, and other nights with related conversations of that nature. I should rejoice that my reward is my Savior here, and hopefully, it will become the reward of those I love dearly here who are searching for only God knows what (hahaha, hope you like my little pun). Now we move forward and rejoice, because this life may be hard, painful, and honestly, just suck, but it will pale in comparison to eternity with our Lord in Heaven. It won't always be this way. God may not fix your situation, but He will always be your reward. So rejoice my friends! For we know and have what the whole world pines after and yet rejects everyday. Ending on that note, let us be all the more excited to share our hope with them daily.