“I have written and sent this short letter to you with the help of Silas, whom I commend to you as a faithful brother. My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.”
I really appreciate this hidden little gem carefully tucked near the end of Peter’s first letter. He was writing to a group of Christians he loved and valued, who were living in an region and time complicated with varied challenges. Sound familiar?
In his closing words he referenced a few things I hope to use as I am writing:
- First, his choice of communication was “a short letter” written with the help of a friend.
- Second, his intent for the letter was “…to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is part of God’s grace for you.”
- Third were his words of hopeful loving advice for his readers to “stand firm in this grace.”
Peter’s words serve me well at the beginning of this series of short letters because I too hope to keep them brief, simple, and honest which is the reason I will need a little help from MY friends. Encouragement is my genuine intent. Finally while I don’t mean to sound narrow minded, of all the options I’ve read about, observed, or sampled, to live life on this earth standing in the grace of God is by far the best.
With the exception of God, everything has a beginning. That is what this is: a starting place, an entry point with the purpose of offering some information I believe can be life changing to anyone willing to apply it.
I can’t think of anyone I have ever met who hasn’t desired to live a good full life, and I have a feeling that would hold true with most of humanity. Some words heard to define this good full life sound something like these: fulfillment, purpose, and security.
The pursuit of these things with the hope of possessing them becomes the quest for life, and the arrival point seems to be some self-defined combination of the following:
While certainly there may be some temporal satisfaction from these things, in the end I don’t think they conclusively qualify for a life well lived. There is a lot of evidence for this heard from the countless stories of those who chased after these things, but instead of a harvest of satisfaction they reaped disappointment, failure, and the unquenchable emptiness that results when seeking value from things temporal.
There is a win waiting in the wings for anyone whose heart begins to sense the call of this haunting little phrase, “There’s just got to be something more.” The win occurs when we awaken from the vanity and empty promises of the things listed above and wisely and courageously seek the greatest treasure for life!
The treasure is Jesus Christ who came to give humanity life and to give it in abundance. He was there waiting all the time full of love, light, truth, full of real life. We are the ones that look over and around Him trying to ignore the obvious, trying to build a case to justify the lifestyle we want to live, and all the while doing our best to leave Him out of it.
This series of letters is for those who have quit blaming and quit doubting. Those who have finally seen the emptiness in the smoke and mirrors used to attempt to conceal the way, the truth, and the life and wisely embrace it instead. In turn He gives us a pattern to follow to experience the life well lived, the only one of divine design.
Albert Einstein is credited to have said, “There are only two ways to live life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” The second of course, the life filled with miracle, is the one of divine design.
God’s design is one of promises kept. His produces the greatest potential within us, the greatest opportunities for us, and introduces possibilities that exceed our thoughts and imagination for they exist beyond the limits of our natural boundaries and enter the realm of miracle and mystical.
The doubter and scoffer may accuse those who follow this divine design as preposterous naïve fools, but for more than 2,000 years there has grown a myriad of life giving testimonies from transformed and liberated hearts that has produced evidence to the contrary.
So, be encouraged, stand in His grace, and experience the life well lived: the one of divine design!
 1 Peter 5:12 NLT Tyndale
 Psychology Today, post by Stephanie Sarkis PHD 1/20/2012