Not to be displeased
For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. —1 Peter 2:19
It is difficult to imagine God being pleased with us one moment and displeased with us in the next. Yes, God is judge. Yes, the final word on Judgement Day is His not ours, but, like a chart in a kindergarten classroom, I don’t think God moves our behavior cards from naughty to nice (and nice to naughty) every time we step or misstep; instead, God sees the bigger picture. By enabling us to know what is right and enabling us to patiently endure unfair treatment, God helps us see the bigger picture, too. It never becomes about us. It is always what we are doing in God and through God.
Is God ever displeased with us? Disappointed? Old Testament scripture provides examples of a punitive, judging God. These times cannot be erased or ignored. Yet as Peter moves further into this text, he speaks of the best love story ever, the one between God and humanity through Jesus Christ, our gift and our guide of love.
Peter writes that our gift and guide never sinned, deceived anyone, or retaliated when insulted. God’s Son did not threaten revenge when he suffered and he personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to our sin and live for what is right (verses 22-24).
When we live for what is right, we won’t be displeased with ourselves. Rather, we will find God in ourselves speaking clearly. Sins die. New life and new hopes begin.
PRAYER: Lord, we can be displeased with who we are and how we respond to life sometimes yet life new lives with new hopes. Keep working on us and through us each day. Amen.