“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
On any given Sunday, in congregations across this community, you’ll see what we would think are good looking men, women, boys, and girls. We’re dressed nice and we’ve learned the Gospel Lingo. We know how to clap and how to sing. We know how to display an outward appearance of everything being alright and ok.
But what we really see is just a shell of who people really are. Individuals in this community are concerned about their children’s future. They’re confused about the seemingly upward spiral of multiple issues within our schools. People are angry about the state of our local taxes. All these things are running through our heads as we personally deal with our own hatred, disappointment, financial embarrassment, and intense loneliness. Yet, we come to church dressed to impress and going through the motions.
We plainly see the outward appearance, but we serve a God that deals with the heart. What happened to coming down to the altar and crying out to the Lord? What happened to singing your song until you feel something? What happened to sincere tears of repentance? What happened to grabbing your sister or brother by the hand and saying I’m sorry? Why not Give It To Jesus?
What walks into our sanctuaries is Dirty, Unclean, Confused, Sad, Depressed, Distant, Disappointing, and Defiled. We walk in with it and because of our pride and arrogance; we walk right back out the door with the same mess. Why not Give It To Jesus?
Peter reminded the people that God could, “…make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” In other words, He can help you out of your situation, if you give it to Him! You’re trying to work it out on your own, fix it by yourself, be the strong independent woman, and trying to be The Man….just Give It To Jesus!
So, Peter reminds us of the job and the purpose of our lives. We don’t have time for the pity party, blasting our emotions over social media looking for any and everybody to console you. We don’t lay up to the wee hours of the night talking about things that are unprofitable to our soul salvation. We don’t expose the preciousness of our walk with Christ to those who take our Faith for granted. Be careful of those that will pour out their hearts in darkness, but won’t stand with you in the Light. Listen to the words of Peter, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”. 1 Peter 5:6-7
No matter what you’re going through, make a deposit at the altar and Give It To Jesus. He asks for you to bring all your cares to Him and as you humble yourselves before Him, he will exalt you. Jesus is the reason for the season.
Richard D. Hayes, is the Pastor of New Day Community Church and President of the United Ministerial Alliance.