"Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit,
fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 1:13
When trouble or sorrow comes to your door, how do you react? We have had to answer that question ourselves this past week as our daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Her reaction was first, and foremost, she wants "God glorified in this." And I so wholeheartedly agree with that as all else would be in vain, empty. But, how did she get to that conclusion so quickly? The Apostle Peter gives us a strong guideline for responding to life's situations and she seems to be following those guides.
First, he says, "prepare your minds for action" - The only way to prepare is to be in God's word, know His thoughts, know His faithfulness, so that, our responses are as He would have us respond. When we know the loving, faithfulness of our God, we learn to not react in fear, but to step back to see what is God doing here. With our minds prepared to trust Him, even when we don't understand, then we are able to respond appropriately when we are called into the battle field.
Secondly, we are to "keep sober in spirit," allowing His Spirit to be in control, again, not letting fear become our "leader" but to soberly take stock of who is in control of our emotions & our decisions. When the Holy Spirit is allowed control our response is automatically what God would desire. We don't get "drunk" on the "what if's" and the "if only's." Fear does not control us, His Spirit does, and that Spirit contains "love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, kindness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22-23) Ephesians 5:18 tells us, "Do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit," meaning, be filled - saturated to the point of control. When He is in control there is indescribable peace. Peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7) So, keep sober in spirit.
Thirdly, it says, "fix your hope" - note where we are to fix our hope. It's not in a cure, it's not in a miracle, although both those things are prayed for. As a believer, our hope is found in our eternity with God, fixed on the grace that will be brought to us on that day when we stand before His throne, and He calls us His child. When our hope is on eternity with our Savior, we realize how short this life truly is. James 4:14 reminds us, "Yet you do know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away."
My daughter and I were discussing this past Christmas how blessed we have been not to have dire health issues in our family, we were both so grateful, but both of us acknowledged that it could change at any time, and it has. So, are we still grateful? I can truthfully answer, yes, but only because we have prepared our minds for action, are keeping sober in Spirit and are fixing our eyes on our future with Him.
It surely doesn't mean we will do this thing perfectly, we won't, but it does mean our mindset is ready to go into the battle a little better prepared - A mind set on God being glorified in every aspect of this. We'll need your prayers most certainly! And, if there is a battle you've been called into, please let us know how we can pray for you since we will be in contact with God all day, every day, anyway. God bless you!