Today’s read was 1 Peter. We love Peter because he is the epitome of the “come back story.” Fearing for his own life when Jesus was seized by the soldiers and taken to trial, he denied His Savior three times, just as Jesus had prophesied. Fifty days later we find him publicly preaching about Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem. God did an amazing work in and through Peter, and his life gives all of us hope – all of us who still struggle every day.
Peter writes to encourage believers who are suffering. His audience is “those in exile,” believers who have scattered across the provinces because of persecution. If there is one theme running throughout, it is that “this is only temporary” and “the outcome is going to be worthwhile!” Peter reminds us (as fellow exiles) that suffering as a Christian serves to refine our faith, as well as prove it to be genuine.
As you read this letter, you get the sense that Peter is expecting Jesus to return at any moment. In fact, that is how one will remain faithful, by focusing on what lies ahead, rather than on what is happening in any given circumstance. Here are a few encouragements about our expected future.
* We have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. It is kept in heaven for us, “ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1:4-5)
* The refining of our faith through suffering will result in praise, glory and honor “when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1:7)
* We are to set our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us “at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1:13)
* As we live godly in an ungodly world, our good deeds will cause others to glorify God “on the day He visits us.” (2:12)
* We are to live wisely and soberly because “the end of all things is near.” (4:7)
* We should rejoice that we are considered worthy to suffer or be insulted because of the name of Christ because we will be overjoyed “when His glory is revealed.” (4:13-14)
Do you see Peter’s point? The hope of Christ’s return is what sustains the believer. What’s our responsibility? “If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.” (1:17)
That phrase, “during the time of your stay on earth” is one of my favorites, as it reminds me that this life is only temporary. Our struggle to live godly, to please Christ, to obey His word, will end one day when we see Him face to face. My friend, hold on! We just have to be faithful for a little while longer…because the glorious completion of our salvation is coming!