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July 2

1 Peter 1:1-9

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. — 1 Peter 1:1-9

A Living Hope through the Resurrection of Jesus

by Gayle Haywood

Scanning the newspaper headlines or listening to the evening news can be depressing and sometimes frightening. When we hear about Christians who are being persecuted, riots over racial issues, earthquakes, flooding, water shortages, famine and horrendous murders, we wonder how this can fit into God’s plan for His people. Yet throughout history believers have been faced with adversity, persecution and challenges. Peter encourages us to view these hardships in light of eternity.

Writing to Jewish believers struggling in the midst of persecution, he reminds them they have been born again to a living hope. Their lives should be marked by inexpressible and glorious joy because they are God’s chosen people.

From his own experience, Peter understands that suffering and adversities are times of testing; they strengthen us as we persevere. Testing under these difficult and challenging situations tries our faith, and if we stand firm our faith will shine forth like gold. God is working to make our lives holy, so we might become more like Him.

Warren Wiersbe reminds us, “The trials of life test our faith to prove its sincerity. A faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted. A person who abandons his/her faith when the going gets tough is only proving that he/she really had no faith at all.” (Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Hopeful. Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1982, p. 25.)

Through Christ we have been born to a living hope which comes from two things. First, we have been born not of corruption but of incorruptible seed through Jesus Christ. Secondly, Christ conquered death in His resurrection, and consequently we have nothing to fear.

God has set aside a wonderful inheritance for those who stand firm in faith. Peter describes this inheritance as imperishable, incorruptible and unravaged. Believers in Christ are heirs. Knowing Jesus assures us that our pain and suffering does not diminish the living hope that has been given us through His death and resurrection. 

Praxis

  1. How does it make you feel to know you have been chosen by God? In what ways does being chosen affect your attitudes and actions?
  2. Under what circumstances and situations has your faith become more genuine through adversity?
  3. Who in your life needs to be reminded they are chosen and special to God and to you? Remind them today.
  4. Think about the inheritance waiting for you. What thoughts and emotions does this evoke?