February 6, 2015

Read: 1 Peter 2:21 – 3:11

I have been taking a friend in a marriage crisis to counseling. I'm learning a lot guys. Y’all, it's difficult to work through conflict in marriage, but we can claim God’s promises. Not only does God bless our efforts based on His Word, but He also tells us He has an ultimate purpose for our trials.

1 Peter 3:8-9 says, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”

Every marriage operates on insult for insult  or blessing for insult. Yes, it does. Couples start trading insults—about the way he looks, about the way she cooks, or the way he drives, and the way she doesn't clean. Sometimes it becomes their only communication. We must return a blessing for an insult, folks.

What's that, you ask? To give a blessing first means stepping aside. It means simply refusing to retaliate if the other is angry. Changing your natural tendency is hard. It's very hard, y'all. You can’t do it without God’s help. No, you can't. You can't do it without yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit. It also means doing good. Sometimes doing good simply takes a few words spoken gently, spoken kindly, or perhaps a touch, or maybe a hug.

Finally, being a blessing means seeking peace, actually pursuing it. (v. 11) When you eagerly seek to forgive, you are pursuing oneness. God’s purpose in our conflicts is to test our faith, to produce endurance, to refine us, and to bring glory to Himself.
Will you accept His hope? Will you? He's offering it. It's for you. Will you approach these conflicts as an opportunity to strengthen yourself and to glorify God? Will you "turn away from evil and do good?" (v. 11)


Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship. 

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. 

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness. 

Supplication: Petition God for growth in your compassion and love toward others.  Offer prayers for your loved ones and others who do not know Jesus and for those in need.  Ask God to use you to tell others about Him and show His love. Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you have.