The faith we embraced first buoyed us up (Part 1), then tore us down (Part 2) and (Part 3) , then, ragged and bleeding, brought us to the feet of Christ, the place He always intended us to come (Part 4). Grace has seen us through. All we need now is a good nap while we wait for heaven.
Wrong. God has more in store.
Arise, shine, for your light has come.
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land,
deep gloom enshrouds the people,
but over you the Lord will rise,
and His glory will appear on you.--Isaiah 60:1-2
God disciplines, but He then restores.
God will restore what he has taken a hundredfold. He did it for Abraham. He did it for Moses. He did it for Job. He did it for Joseph. He can do it for us.
And with restoration, the cycle completes.
The first and last instruction Christ gave to Peter was, "Follow Me." He says the same to us.
"Take heart," God says, "I have overcome the world." It is time for us to learn that, as we follow Him, we will overcome the world in His Name. And we have to do it the same way He did, by walking in obedience into the place of terror and, through grace alone, walking out again, hand in hand with His Father.
We cannot access glory from ease, but whatever challenge God deems appropriate, He brings to refine the gold He deposited in us way back at the beginning, when we first put on our faith. Now, after all the repenting and testing, He tells us to arise and shine.
Our story does not end until He accomplishes His resurrection in us.
Sweet Christ, let whatever glow emanates from our poor souls originate not from gold as I know it, but as You do, from the radiance of Your glory.