Lord Jesus, I desire to love You perfectly, yet I don’t always tilt towards You with a deep and lasting devotion. Purify my heart.
Read 1 Peter 1:1-12
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“God, who knows all about us, wants us to know him. He is the God of all hope. With hope he created us to know and love him, and Christ came to provide the lasting basis of our hope” (Lloyd John Ogilvie). Thank God for his mercy towards us!
When we become Christians we are born into the “living hope” (3) that Peter describes here. By “hope” Peter does not mean something we merely wish for or would like to happen in the future. It is much more definite than that. It is our inheritance–our new birthright–preserved for us and indestructible. The hope is of eternal life with God, made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
It takes real faith to focus on this hope when we are going through periods of struggle and difficulty. Peter is aware that Christians may well have to face all kinds of sorrow, yet he believes this need not defeat our faith; it can refine it. Often it is through the experience of suffering that we find out what our faith is worth. The challenge is not to become bitter or defeated but to stay connected with God. I listened to a pastor’s wife in the Sudan, whose husband and sons had been savagely murdered. She wept, distressed and distraught as she shared her grief and desolation, but she was also able to speak of her faith and her trust in the love and goodness of God in the midst of sin and evil. It was a powerful echo of the hope that Peter writes of.
Our hope in Christ’s salvation links us through the centuries to millions of believers who have gone before. It connects us with the prophets who saw the coming of Christ and the sufferings he would endure, even before the incarnation had taken place. God’s revelation to them through the power of the Holy Spirit was for all of us who have followed since. It is indeed a wonderful inheritance to share, and to know that God keeps it safe for each one of us.
Is suffering creating a barrier between you and God? How can you pour comfort and hope into the lives of those who are suffering?
Father God, thank You for Christ’s death and resurrection. Because of his victory, I am confident in Your enabling power to address daily problems and challenges.
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