A Response to Suffering

This week's Psalm 34 post will focus on 1st Peter 3:10 - 12.
Yes, you read that right.  Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16 to support his teaching in verses 8 and 9.
Peter tells everyone to have "unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart,  and a humble mind."  While not repaying evil for evil or reviling for reviling.  "On the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."  Psalm 34:12-16 is the reason he gives for doing this.  Psalm 34:12-16 reads...

What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good? 
Keep your tongue from evil 
and your lips from speaking deceit. 
Turn away from evil and do good; 
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

The question in verse 12 shows the reader that everyone desires the good life.
However, the truly good life comes from living life that is dependent on God and seeks to glorify Him.
This is evident in the way you speak and what you pursue.

God cares for his children and His wrath is upon those who are against Him.  

These truths are what helps the believer suffer for the sake of righteousness, a common theme throughout 1 Peter.  

As you meditate and memorize Psalm 34, you may want to read Peter's first letter which was written to the "elect exiles of the dispersion" (1:1).  In your reading of this New Testament book, see if you can find another reference to a part of Psalm 34.  

Fighter Verses Devotional Set 5: Week 30


Book Review: The Color of Compromise

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby

"An honest assessment of racism should acknowledge that racism never fully goes away. It just adapts to changing times and context."

In "The Color of Compromise," Tisby writes to show how this is true throughout US history in the church. 
There are points when white readers will want to rationalize injustices exposed in the book.
There are points when black readers may want to become bitter. 
There are points when, in my opinion, where Tisby's "high degree of selectivity" in historical accounts causes problems for some people who read this book or don't read it and critique it anyway.
The reality is rationalization, bitterness, and pointing out the author's shortcomings will not help in the fight against racism.
After reading this book and several reviews and summaries I have realized that the answers and responses to racism in our country and the church are not simple but the starting point is very basic - Our hope is in Jesus Christ.

Here is a statement I made in a recent sermon.
"You have a stronger bond that is eternal with a brother or sister in Christ of a different color living in Africa or China or here in the United States than you do with your next-door neighbor who is from the United States of American, the same color, the same socioeconomic status, and the same political views but is not Christ-follower." 

After reading this book, I decided to make a conscious effort to help my children live in such a way that they know they need to glorify God and love others by helping them see the importance of God.  This love should embrace the diversity in this God-created world and should not have a hint of prejudice.  

At the same time, I don't want current issues to be the guiding factor in my thinking.  Biblical truth is our foundation and needs to be what controls our thinking.  We need to heed Paul's warning in Colossians 2:8 - 10.  Be controlled by Jesus Christ.

These experiences Tisby writes about our horrible:  chattel slavery, Jim Crow laws, ways churches dealt with issues throughout history, and even some recent events.  They should sadden us.  As part of the family of God, we need to remember, though, the experiences of oppressed people do not supersede the authority of Scripture.

Two books that have been helpful in thinking through current issues are Faultlines by Voddie Baucham and Christianity and Wokeness by Owen Strachan.

Updated on 1/17/22