Today’s AMI Devotional is written by Jin Ha Lee who serves at Grace Covenant Church in Philadelphia. Jin Ha, a CPA, graduated from Drexel University and got married last month to Aerin. Congratulations!
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Holding onto Jesus”
1 Peter 1:3-7
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
As the year comes to an end, it’s a great time to reflect on the Lord. For some, it’s been a great year of spiritual growth, while for others, it’s been a slow or even discouraging year—in every case, all of our faith has been tested in some way. But what’s most likely been tested isn’t something vague about God, but very simple, clear, and powerful truths: “Does God really care about me? Is He really faithful to take care of my family? Is God’s presence really with me?”
Several years ago, I was studying for a licensing exam: I went to work, came home, ate dinner, and then studied. Rinse and repeat. Day after day. It felt so monotonous. During this time, I was also serving at our church. Remembering Matthew 6:33, I believed that if I sought God’s kingdom first, He would take care of the rest—meaning, He would allow me to pass the licensing exam. But behold, after months of studying I did not pass!
When I looked up that dreadful test result, I brushed it off at first; but as time passed, different thoughts and feelings crept in. At the heart of it, I honestly felt disappointed and almost embarrassed that I trusted in God’s promise in Matthew 6:33. Seeking God’s kingdom first didn’t mean that everything I want will fall into place. But I really wanted to pass that exam and I felt that I was doing my best to seek His kingdom first. Through this experience, I learned that I need to seek Him first and that His provisions are exactly what I need.
For the recipients of Peter’s letter, they faced intense persecution. However, Peter reminded them to hold onto the hope they had in Jesus. With faith, they were called to hold onto an imperishable heavenly inheritance when their earthly possessions were taken away.
We are called to hold onto Jesus. Growing is not just learning new things about Him, but it includes holding onto what we already know about Him. Through trials, His promises go from words we simply know, to words we live by. It will all be worth it as one day, the tested genuineness of our faith “may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ”!
Prayer: Thank You Lord for both good and trying circumstances in my life. While I covet the good times, I also know that it is through difficult and hard times that I am reminded of my weakness and the need to truly depend on You. “In wrath remember mercy” (Hab. 3:2).
Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 19
Lunch Break Study
Read Ephesians 3:16-19: “. . . that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Question to Consider
- What does Paul desire for the Ephesian church?
- What is one result of being strengthened by the Holy Spirit?
- How does this passage encourage you to hold onto Him?
- He desires the Ephesian church to be strengthened through the Holy Spirit
- Being strengthened through the Holy Spirit gives us strength to understand with our brothers and sisters the greatness of His love.
- Personal response. For me, His love is my comfort in trials. There is so much more to His love than what I know now. Holding onto Jesus isn’t about the strength of my grip; it’s about being rooted, grounded, and strengthened through the Holy Spirit in His incredible love!
How have you been holding onto Jesus and abiding in Him? Let’s pray for times of great rest in Him the rest of this year. Let’s pray that God would use us and the brothers and sisters around us to encourage one another.