My son-in-law has had a tough go at life these past few months. His career path has careened in directions my daughter and he never imagined. It has tested their faith, love, and trust in one another and their Lord. I am thankful to God to report they have past that test through the grace of their Lord Jesus Christ. A couple 20 years their senior would have buckled under the weight. By staying focused on the Lord and his family, my son-in-law lived out this verse:
“Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (Psalm 40:4)
It would be easy to succumb to the lies of Satan and our own doubts and just check out of life. We could rationalize in our minds that we gave it our best and that our best just wasn’t good enough. We could look at others who got knocked off course for something much less and decide to take their approach to life, relying on the government and others to get them through.
But that way of thinking is of the world and not that of a man who is a blood-bought, born-again Christian. A Christian man is rugged in his faith and has the mind of Christ, not collapsing under the weight of negative thoughts. The Apostle Peter explains:
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:13-16)
You need to go back and read all of 1 Peter to see why the “therefore” is there for, but know that Peter is explaining who we are in Christ and how that should manifest itself in our lives. I really like Warren Wiersbe explanation of verse 13:
“‘Girding up the loins of your mind’ simply means, ‘Pull your thoughts together! Have a disciplined mind!’ The image is that of a robed man, tucking his skirts under the belt, so he can be free to run. When you center your thoughts on the return of Christ, and live accordingly, you escape the many worldly things that would encumber your mind and hinder your spiritual progress.”
The Christian man is not one prone to panic. How does he accomplish that? Much grace from the Lord, but also knowing that no matter what his future is in this world, it is only temporary. He has eternity awaiting him and all the injustice, pain, and strife of this fallen world will be wiped away by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” (Revelation 3:11-12)
No earthly prosperity of even poverty can overcome the man that keeps his eyes on the return of his King. Dear brother, I do not mean to minimize the anguish that tough times can bring. However I do want to help you understand that even when we are overwhelmed by events in our life, we are to persevere against all odds:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
Due season is not what my son-in-law is experiencing in his new job. My daughter and he are of course excited by this new chapter in their lives. It took quite some time to be written they would no doubt testify. However, the due season is the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when all things are made new and we will escape all the worldly things that encumber us now.
So for now, “Gird up the loins of your mind!” Stand steadfast in your faith and do not lose heart.
Let Jesus be your strength!
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Copyright © 2014 David Jeffers