Summary: In times when being a Christian is frowned upon by many, Christians have a hope so sure that, despite the frowns, we will spend our remaining days on a high note of reverence for God and readiness for His final victory in Christ.
5 R’s for the Remaining Days of Our Lives
When my son and I attended a Braves game at Turner Field, he asked me how it feels to be 80 years of age. “No different than it felt at 70, but, if and when I get to 90 the Lord willing, I suppose I’ll begin to feel my age then.” Come to think of it, if I make it to 90, might as well set yet another goal – Be a Centenarian!
Needless to say, none of us knows how many years we have left, but as Christians, we do have the blessed assurance of hereafter, based on our sure hope made secure by the resurrection of Jesus.
Although things may not be going well in the present, due to unwanted situations or circumstances, each of us as is able to say assuredly: “It is well with my soul; therefore, I am at peace with God”.
Keep in mind that, whether what we are going through is due to our humanity or our Christianity, our journey on this earth is temporary; we are pilgrims making progress toward our heavenly abode - the place Jesus promised to prepare for us.
The apostle Peter most likely had the believer’s ultimate goal in mind when he strongly encouraged the persecuted church of the 1st century to endure suffering for the Lord’s sake, remembering how Christ endured for our sakes.
In our scripture today, a very thought-provoking question is put to believers: “Who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good?”
This is not a “shrug of the shoulders” question as if he were making light of painful experiences that some Christians go through. Rather, it seems to me, his thinking was more in line with that of Isaiah, who also wrestled with the issue of suffering, yet Isaiah “rested his case” on the goodness of God:
“It is the sovereign Lord who helps me. Who is he that will condemn me? They will all wear out like a garment.” (Isaiah 50:9) God’s Goodness will prevail!
Peter urges fellow believers to spend their remaining days committed to what is good - in spite of suffering – I Peter 3:8-17 . . . Based on Peter’s sermon,
I suggest 5 R’s for the Remaining Days of Our Lives: This first R is Right.
For goodness’ sake, do right! As committed Christians, we are expected to do right in God’s sight with regard to our manner of living and in relationships to others. At our age and stage in life, considering our situations and circumstances, I’d say that “One for all and all for one” is a pretty good motto for us to live by.
So important that we: live in harmony . . . relate sympathetically . . . prove our love – compassionately . . . forgivingly . . . in a spirit of humility - marks of the Christian life as taught and practiced by the Lord Jesus! For goodness’ sake, do right.
For goodness’ sake, spend your remaining days in reverence! To “reverence (honor) the Lord in your hearts” is to be blessed - in the sense that you live out your days genuinely happy - which, in a spiritual context, has little or nothing to do with material things or physical well-being, but has everything to do with the inner peace we have because we know of a certainty that God looks with favor upon those who repent of their sins and commit their lives to Christ as Savior and Lord. This we have done; this we will continue to do daily.
In the short term, what’s happening may bewilder us; and for the life of us, we cannot see how God is going to be glorified by it all; after all, a Christian may run into “suffering” simply and solely for righteousness’ sake, due to the fact that the way of the Christian and the way of the world are incompatible.
However, in the context of eternity, Peter tells us that a holy and just God will make things right. Goodness will be rewarded and evil punished. Don’t give up on the Lord God! And let no one lead you astray!
Until things do turn out the way they are supposed to, reject fear as a way of life, and rely on God’s grace to strengthen you in and through it all. Put yourself in God’s hands. Leave the outcome up to Him.
Spend the remaining days of your lives in reverential awe of the Lord, meditating on all He has done . . . is doing . . . will do! To God be the glory!
To “reverence the Lord” is to be so blessed that there’s a longing in our hearts to see others blessed.