"He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God." 1 Peter 1:21
Sometimes pastors will say, "The "you" here is referring to the church, to all of us." This has, at times, made me want to refrain from making it too personal because I don't want to apply something to myself, or claim a truth that wasn't meant for me in particular. When I read this verse above, I thought, "He was chosen for me", then caught myself, "no, for all of us, let me not be too self-centered." Then another thought pushed that one back. The "You" here is not "You" without ME in it! So, if it doesn't apply to me personally, than it doesn't apply to the body of Christ either because I am part of the body. You take me out, and the body is just not the same. I don't think this is self-elevating. I think it is self-penetrating and God-celebrating! It touches me deeply to know that Christ was chosen for me before the creation of the world, and I believe in God because of HIM, and MY faith and MY hope are in GOD...along with all my brothers and sisters around the world!
I listened to a song called "Pieces" by Bethel Music. I don't agree with all the ideas in the song, but these words did impact me as I searched for God over the last few days:
"Your love's not fractured
It's not a troubled mind
It isn't anxious
It's not the restless kind
Your love's not passive
It's never disengaged
It's always present"
Our world is broken, and the suffering that people around me are experiencing is reason enough to cry out to God for restoration and healing. In praying I sometimes feel like God should reach out to the hungry child, the abused woman, the dying baby first before he comes to me, like a queue of need. I keep moving to the end of the line as I see the needs of others. I realized, in this time apart, that God doesn't need to choose! He already chose me, and that means that his eyes are one me, weather my need seems as desperate as the next person or not. His delight is to bring me to wholeness, and in reaching me, he's not ignoring the dying baby. He's holding us both.
To say that we are each included, individually, in the promises and hope of Christ, shows how our God is not only loving and powerful but personal and close. Jesus was chosen for you and me and us!