1 Peter 1:1-9
We all have experienced suffering in one way or another. Suffering is universal. We all know what it is to feel pain, to hurt, to feel the heat. As I look around, I see so many family members, friends and neighbors experiencing such difficult times in their lives with health issues, financial concerns, aging parents, family discord, family deaths, etc. Not to mention the fact that we live in a hostile world that has become so anti-Christian. The scattered Christians in Peter’s day were being singed by the flames of persecution and their circumstances were bleak. Peter puts pain in perspective by focusing on our position in Christ…we are chosen, we are being sanctified (set apart), and we have a full measure of grace and peace available to us. We have reasons to be joyful inspite of our suffering.
- We have a living hope–based on the resurrection of Christ. This world is not our home, we’re just passing through. Our final chapter ends in Heaven…what a hope we have. v.3
- We have a permanent inhertiance–We have a reservation awaiting us in Heaven. It is imperishable, undefiled, and that will not fade away. v.4
- We have divine protection–We are protected by the most efficient security system available–the power of God. We will not be lost in the process of suffering. v.5
- We have a developing faith–We can have joy, even though we go through various trials. The purpose of trials is to prove the genuineness of our faith, to teach us humility, and to come forth, after being tested by fire, shining in the likeness of Jesus. v.6-7
- We have an unseen Savior–Even though we have not seen Him or see Him presently, we love Him and believe in Him, and have inexpressable and glorious joy. Even though we cannot see Jesus beside us in our trials, He IS There! v.8
- We have a guaranteed deliverance–The final passage of our faith is the deliverance of our souls–not only from present sin but also the glorificaiton of our physical bodies. How glad I will be for the deliverance of both of these–my sickening sin and my sick physical body. What a day that will be! v9Resentment will be replaced with rejoicing only when we are able to see suffering from Christ ‘s perspective. If God brought Jesus through the most painful of trials and from the pit of death, He can bring us through whatever we face. He shall make of us a great work of art to conformed us to His image. Romans 8:28-29a