“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:3-9
Oh, what a glorious day it will be when we see Jesus! Until then, we must keep rejoicing “with joy inexpressible and full of glory”. Even when we face trials and troubles. (Anyone else getting beat up by life right now?)
We must “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9b), “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17)
And “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing… Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9, 15-17
Are we of one mind? Compassionate and loving each other as brothers? Tenderhearted and courteous? Returning a blessing for evil and reviling?
Have we sanctified — hagiazō in the Greek, meaning to “separate from profane things and dedicate to God” — our hearts? Are we able to readily explain and defend what we believe, meekly and with respect? Can people see “the hope that is in you”?
Peter gives us a lot to consider, doesn’t he?
May we live our lives in a pleasing manner, wholly and acceptable to God, by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, so that our consciences are clear. Then, when we are defamed by the people of this world we live in (oh yes, it does and will happen), our good conduct may speak the truth against their lies. But most of all, may we live our lives for God’s glory. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” ~ Colossians 3:23
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” ~ 1 Peter 4:7-10
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” ~ 1 Peter 5:6-10
Let’s be watchful and pray, love each other, cast our cares on Jesus, and armor up for another day of battle. And “may the God of all grace…perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you”.