"He Then is All My Hope and Stay": Journal Entry for May 21, 2007

I have come into a period of significant spiritual dryness or deadness in the past two weeks. A lack of discipline and the stresses of the pastorate have conspired to bring me into a state of excessive anxiety, hopelessness, prayerlessness, neglectfulness of the Word and of the means of grace in general. The fault is entirely my own, but I am pleading with Christ for the grace to end it this morning. May this be a rich time of communion with him that will flood the dry ground and fill in the cracks. …

1 Peter is absolutely a treasure. Every time I come to it I am amazed by its breadth and depth in so short a letter, and by its eloquence and majesty. I fawn so much over Paul, I fear, that I may too often neglect gems like 1 Peter and Hebrews when I think about doctrine and form my categories of theology and devotion.

1 Pet. 1:1-2 may be the most succinct and concise statement of the nature of salvation in the Bible. 1:3-5 assures me that God sovereignly keeps me by faith and guarantees, despite my failings, that I will not fall away before I obtain the inheritance kept for me. I need to memorize these three verses for my “inexpressible joy” (1:8). 1:10-12 is an incredible statement on the nature of Old Testament prophecy. 2:2-3 pictures not duty but longing as the motivation for “tasting that the Lord is good” this morning. 2:9-10, if the letter is, in fact, written to Gentiles (the near consensus of modern commentators), is a statement of our absolutely unspeakable privilege to have been included in God’s “chosen people”; his “royal priesthood.” 2:7, 2:21 and 2:24 war against an oversimplification of the meaning of the cross by those who would deny substitutionary atonement (2:24) in favor of Christus exemplar (2:21) or Christus victor (2:7) views alone. I need to preach or teach this letter soon. This was the perfect remedy for spiritual dryness this morning.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

UPDATE: This is interestingly providential.

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3 thoughts on “"He Then is All My Hope and Stay": Journal Entry for May 21, 2007”

  1. I find it significant that Peter uses the imperative mood in 2:2 — literally “you must desire.” If our motivation for knowing Christ and growing in grace is simply desire, then why does Peter command us to desire the pure milk of the Word?

    Often I find myself in the same place as you were — dried out spiritually. I will neglect the Word, allow my prayer life to become anemic, and even allow my heart to wander from the Savior. My problem is that I tend to strive on my emotions — only loving God with my heart/emotions, and not loving him with everything. The days that I don’t desire God are the days that I must obey and begin desiring Him again — I think this is loving God with our will…

  2. Good thought, Dave. Maybe the best thing to say, then, is that, according to Peter our duty is desire. Or as John Piper would say, our duty is delight.

    Thanks for dishing what you go through as well. Brother who can empathize and encourage are such a gift.

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