12/31/17 1 Peter 1:3-9
This whole letter Peter writes is emphasizing in one or another, one central message - that because of the great mercy and grace of God in His providing salvation for our souls, we can have a hope that will be a buoy for us, while we live as aliens on this earth, going through fiery trials (sometimes directly BECAUSE of our faith is Jesus).
We can sometimes live under the delusion that if we just believe in Jesus, that things will always work out how we want them to and that we will gain superior understanding that will mystify those against us and turn their hearts toward God. Or that because of the faith we pace in Jesus that nothing bad will ever happen to us. The Bible never promises this. That if we just behave in a righteous enough way, just do the right thing, that the hate in people’s hearts will just melt away. It turns out there’s a while more to it than that. And in his second letter he gets even more specific in describing what the enemy looks like.
But for us, we can ourselves have hope, regardless of what we are going through. We can then therefore, provide hope for others - the hope we receive when we ‘entrust our souls to a faithful Creator’ (4:19).
This misconception of a smooth sailing life must have been common because Peter later writes, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you… if you are reviled for the name of Christ you are blessed.” But also, make sure you’re not suffering because you yourself are the one acting like a knucklehead. (4:12-16)
This hope, that is protected by the power of God, is both for now and for all eternity. Peter wraps up the letter by reminding us that it is because of God’s grace that we can have this hope in the midst of everything that is being dished out to us. “…after you have suffered a for a little while, the God of all grace… will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you… this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” (5:10,12)
Into this new calendar year, even when we don’t see God, let’s still love Him by putting our hope in Him.
Do you think it would it have been easier or more difficult to put hope in God during “biblical times”? When Jesus walked the earth? In the years just after Jesus walked the earth? (when Peter was writing) What about some 600 years BEFORE Jesus walked the earth?
In the weeks ahead, we’ll take a look at this through the little known prophet, Habakkuk.