1 Peter 1:3-7 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
In this passage Peter talks about our Living Hope. These verses are such an encouragement to all who put their faith in Christ. Hope is such a key thought in this passage.
As we read these verses, we are informed by Peter to be full of praise for what a glorious gift we have.
What is that gift? – It is the gift of salvation, a new birth into a living hope. Hope in Jesus is not wishful or positive thinking, it is firm conviction in our Lord, His works and His word.
For us: We have the greatest gift one can ever receive. When we yearn for something or give undue importance to something that we are yet to achieve or have in this world, let us remember what we possess, the glorious gift of salvation and a relationship with God. And it helps bring everything else that is of this world into its rightful perspective.
How do we receive that gift? Our gift of Salvation is God’s work. It is something we can never deserve on our own. In his great mercy He chooses to make us worthy by taking our sin upon himself. We do play a part in choosing to accept Him as our Lord and saviour but it is because He works in our hearts to draw us to Him.
For us: There will be moments we feel unworthy, unloved or unwanted and when we do, remind yourself that the Lord sees you, He knows you by your name, He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. He chooses you always and wants to have a relationship with you and wants to draw closer to you. Your worth comes from Him.
Choose to let His love and truth fill you so that there is no room for Satan lies and taunts.
When we accept Jesus what do we have? – A living hope, Peter goes on to describe that we are born anew into not only a hope but also an inheritance. An inheritance that is not of this world but is eternal for it does not perish, spoil or fade.
For us: When we go through moments when we struggle to come to terms with what we do not have or the little we have often in comparison to someone else, let us remind ourselves of the great inheritance that we share because of Him. Our riches are not in accordance with the metric of this world. We are rich in Him. Our spiritual inheritance is according to His measure and not ours, let that sink in for it is beyond what we can grasp or understand.
Who preserves that inheritance for us? – It is preserved by the power of God through faith. It is in God that we find our security and the assurance of our hope, but it comes by placing our faith in HIM. An active, abiding faith in God allows us to be aware and experience the glorious power of God in our lives.
For us: There are times we feel so powerless and helpless. At those moments let us remember whose we are, we belong to the King and the creator. Remember who is in sovereign control and who holds everything in His hands. Let us rest in His power and lay our fears at the feet of the one who is all loving, just and most powerful.
Although there is so much cause to praise and greatly rejoice over, we are reminded in verse 6, of the sobering reality of living in this fallen world. There will be trials and they are something that will be a source of grief. The nature and necessity of these trials is explained by Peter in these verses. There will be grief, but it is only for a time and there is a purpose for it.
For us: We as Christians are not promised a trial free life but we are promised that He will walk with us through each one of them and is always with us. I am reminded that it is ok to feel grief in response to a hurt or trial we are going through. We do not have to always put on a facade of happiness or positivity just because we are Christians. We have to allow ourselves to feel and take time to process those feelings. But we do not succumb to that grief because He is the source of our Joy. And although we grieve, we remind ourselves that He understands, He is with us through it all and His love and comfort surrounds us.
Why the suffering Lord? – There is a reason for everything. We might not like it or understand it, but this passage reminds us that going through trials that tests our faith are valuable.
The purpose is for us to prove that our faith is genuine, reflected by not choosing to believe in God only in good times but continuing to hold strong in our faith and trust in Him through our valley moments. What do we say of a friend who hangs around us only when things are going good but is the first to abscond when difficulties hit. We know they are a true friend when they stick around through thick and thin. The same for us in our faith. A true and genuine faith that brings glory to God is what He seeks to see in us.
Notice that in verse 7 it says that these tests are so that “your faith may be proved genuine and may bring praise and glory to God”.
May – It is up to us to choose how to respond in those trials. Our response matters. Our choice to cling to God during trials strengthens and deepens our faith, just like the roots of a tree run deeper when it endures a storm.
So, take a moment and reflect on your response during a storm –
- Where are you seeking your shelter?
- On whom are your eyes fixated?
- In what or whom are you seeking comfort, peace and security?
- Are your voices raised in prayer and praise or in whining and dissatisfaction?
God is glorified by faith, our faith and trust in Him because of who He is and not because of only the good things He bestows on us.
May we always rejoice in His wonderful and precious gift of salvation. May we take comfort in knowing that we can stand firm in our journey of faith by His power. Have assurance that although this earthly life brings trials, they are only for a little while, a part of the present now and not of our eternity. And our response to those trials can shine a light so bright for HIM, that it will cause others to notice and seek His light.
There is power in the name of Jesus. That power is unleashed when we pray. So, let us buckle down and spend time on our knees and call on His name. Let us live reflecting that Living Hope.