This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you. You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls. The prophets searched carefully and tried to learn about this salvation. They prophesied about the grace that was coming to you. The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, telling in advance about the sufferings of Christ and about the glory that would follow those sufferings. The prophets tried to learn about what the Spirit was showing them, when those things would happen, and what the world would be like at that time. It was shown them that their service was not for themselves but for you, when they told about the truths you have now heard. Those who preached the Good News to you told you those things with the help of the Holy Spirit who was sent from heaven—things into which angels desire to look. So prepare your minds for service and have self-control. All your hope should be for the gift of grace that will be yours when Jesus Christ is shown to you.
1 Peter 1:6-13
Our lives are not our own, and yet God has given them into our hands. Go back and read that first sentence again: Our lives are not our own, and yet God has given them into our hands. It is one of those holy contradictions that causes us to look resolutely into the face of God with absolute wonder.
It’s true – you are God’s workmanship. You have been created in Christ Jesus for one purpose alone: for the good works that God planned specifically for you before the beginning of time. It is God’s plan that you walk in the life that He has planned and prearranged for your advantage. But, the choice is still up to you. You really can either have it your way or have it God’s way.
Although you belong to God because He created you and He pre-designed an incredible life for you, He has still placed the choice for that miraculous life in your hands. One of the most practical instances of where we choose God or choose self is in our emotional
preferences and habits. You must give up your right to whine and pout and then wholeheartedly embrace the plan of God for your life, which is found in the fruit of the Spirit. You were created for good works and not for the works of the flesh or for the opinions of your emotions.
The good works that Christ planned for you before you were even born are so much more than reading a devotional book or listening to worship music. The good works that God had in mind when He thought of you were so glorious that He declared across the ages that you were His very own masterpiece. God has had His eye on you since the beginning of time to do something so extraordinary through your life that even the angels would stand back in wonder and long to do what you were created to do!