I thought I was prepared. I wasn’t. The news that brought great sadness and far-reaching consequences came suddenly. It came hard. It came with hurt. It came with unanswerable questions. And as it came, it changed a great many things for a great many people. And I was not fully prepared.
But! Our God is never taken by surprise. Our God never changes – no matter what changes come at us. Our God is always and fully aware of all things, of all people, at all times, in all circumstances and, therefore, our God is fully prepared. Always. Because of God’s deep love for us and His transforming work within us, our God purposes to make each one of us more and more like Jesus. And that means we are to be prepared!
Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled;
set your hopes fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13
Our God calls us to prepare our minds for action. This doesn’t mean that we should live under a constant burden of stress as we try to figure everything out ahead of time or worry about circumstances and events that may never happen. However, we are to recognize the truth that we live in a broken world, and that reality – and the experiences it brings into our lives – can break our hearts, shatter our trust, rip away our peace and confuse our minds.
Our God calls us to be self-controlled. We, who are followers of Christ, never have to rely on our own powers of self-control. We never have to believe the lie that we are alone in handling the difficult, trying and tempting situations that come at all of us in this broken world. This is a Lie From The Pit of Hell. (Yes, a LFTPOH!) Our God is with us. The Spirit of the Living God is within us – giving us full access to God’s holy fruit of self-control. And our God gives us faithful brothers and sisters, His Body, to support, correct and encourage us. For our own sakes and for the sakes of others, we need to daily ask our God to take greater and greater control of our thinking, reacting and responding to every circumstance we face.
Our God calls us to set our hopes fully on the grace to be given us when Jesus Christ is revealed. As children of the risen King, believing in His imminent return, we look forward to the day when our Lord Jesus Christ will be fully and finally revealed as the Sovereign God over all that exists. As we set our hopes fully on our God and trust the truth of His ultimate victory over all that is sin-scarred and death-touched in this broken world, we will be held safely even in our most turbulent, unsettling times. Setting our hopes fully, intentionally and actively, on our Lord Jesus Christ will bring healing to our hearts, restoration to our trust, depth to our peace and calmness to our minds.
Our God is with us. Our God’s Spirit is within us. May we each choose to allow God’s transforming grace and truth to have full rule over our minds and our lives right in the midst of every unexpected, yet-to-be-expected circumstance we face in this broken world. God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 3:1). In Christ, and with the help of our faithful brothers and sisters, we will be able to rise up to meet every difficult, trying and tempting situation with a mind that is well-prepared for Christ-like action, held tightly by God’s gift of self-control, and overflowing with the full hope that comes in trusting God’s unfailing love and eternal promises! Be Prepared!