Have you ever thought, “why me?” As we come out of Thanksgiving break and head directly into the ring of fire college students know as “finals,” it becomes all to easy to throw pity parties in our own head while guzzling coffee and reading textbooks in the wee hours of the morning. Cumultive testing is its own unique challenge that only presents itself in brief seasons of our lives but the truth is that we will always meet adversity throughout our adult lives. It could be debts that need to be paid off, difficulties in employment, or conflicts within your family; life will be hard and it will be easy to focus on all the disadvantages you have in your everyday life.

Following Jesus doesn’t make any of the difficulties of life go away either. Though He is our protector and provider and healer and comforter, life on this earth will never be without any adversity. And while that may sound discouraging, it also point to us this foundational truth: our best days are always ahead of us. What Peter writes is counter-intuitive to that pessimistic nature; our best days are always ahead of us. Peter writes,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

Here’s something worth be thankful for; we get to live everyday as a new creation. If you’re not well versed in lofty Christian lingo (or if you if it annoys you slighty), let me try to phrase it differently: following Jesus gives you an opportunity to leave whatever things have defined you as a person or have shaped you and then gives you an identity and a purpose to step into. That itself is miraculous.

Peter goes on to say that the trials that affect our lives then prove themselves to reveal Jesus within our own lives. Every time we suffer, we have an opportunity to teach the world about the God who has loved us and transformed us. Peter later goes on to write that all this good stuff he’s promising had been told to many of his prophets; but we’re the ones who get to live it out. God gave this message to some of the holiest men mentioned throughout scripture but it was one that was meant personally for you just as much as any living person past or present.
So if you start to feel down, either before, during or after finals (or all, for that matter) just remember this: you are rich. You have an inheritance in heaven that is preceded by a chance to be a new person while you still live on earth. You didn’t earn in, it was given to you. and to that end God says you’re worth it.In case you didn't know, gratitude has scientifically been observed to improve your physical and mental health. Many people like to keep track of the things they're thankful for in their journals. Find a way to keep track of what you're grateful and don't forget to always count that inheritance Peter writes about in this passage; it's better than golden.

Father, I pray that through all the hard things we go through,
We will never lose sight of how you’ve been so good to us in all seasons.
We pray for an ever greater sense of gratitude off all you’ve done and are continuing
to do through all of us. Prepare our minds for the end of the year and our hearts for the
new one to come. It’s in your name we pray,

Author | Justin Patton