Endurance for the Journey, False Guilt, Featured

But there were also false prophets among the people,
just as there will be false teachers among you.
They will secretly introduce destructive heresies,
even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them –
bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2 PETER 2:1

I remember one young man who confronted me during my battle against cancer. He told me I had cancer because of sin in my life and that if I confessed that sin, God would restore my health. What a load of guilt that was! By that time, I had struggled enough with the whys of my cancer to recognize the false guilt inherent in the young man’s solution.

I was fortunate to have the grace to politely, but clearly, reject that guilt. I responded to him by saying, “I appreciate what you’re saying. I do have sin in my life, but I can’t say this happened because of it. I do know that cancer has caused me to draw closer to God and that God can use this as a way of encouraging others. Who am I – or you – to say what God should or should not be doing in my life? God is in control of that. We are not.”

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone
who asks you to give the reason
for the hope you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect.
1 PETER 3:15 (NIV)

On the journey with you,
Dave Dravecky


Endurance for the Journey, Featured, Hope

But you are a chosen people,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people belonging to God,
that you may declare the praises of him
who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light.
1 PETER 2:9 (NIV)

Peter’s first letter, written to persecuted believers scattered throughout Asia Minor, is rich with real hope. This isn’t shallow “feel good” material; it is a deep well of wisdom, courage and need-specific counsel. So what do you say to Christian friends facing a prolonged season of pain, rejection or outright persecution? Peter’s letter offers a place to start.

Remind them of who they truly are! They are of inexpressible, surpassing value to God and his eternal kingdom (2:9-10).

But you are a chosen people …

Urge them to concentrate on the inner life, even in the midst of pressure and pain, recognizing that this will give opportunity to speak for God (3:13-15).

… But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord …

Encourage them to adopt the same mind-set that strengthened Jesus Christ as he faced suffering (4:1).

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude …

Encourage them to let pain and pressures turn them outward in love and hospitality, rather than inward in self absorption (4:8-9).

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins…

Urge them to humble themselves before God during their disappointment or difficult circumstances and remind them that Jesus Christ invites us to cast all our anxiety upon him (5:5-7).

… Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Challenge them to stand firm in the face of Satan’s attacks, remembering that they are not alone in their distress (5:8-10).

Be self-controlled and alert… Resist him, standing firm in the faith …

None of Peter’s counsel is sugar-coated. None of it is trite. But all of it speaks mountains of hope to our hearts. And isn’t that what we all most need?

And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you and make you
strong, firm and steadfast.
To him be the power for ever and ever.
1 PETER 5:10 (NIV)