May 1, 2017

God's power in our trials


1Pet 1:3-7 (1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1:4) to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (1:5) who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1:6) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (1:7) so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

These passages come forth from the pen of Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit to provide much strength and hope for the Christian who is buffeted by trials of their lives. The summary of the passage is the deep conviction that God is all powerful in our trial and that He is fully in control. I'd like to just touch upon a few things which ministered hope to me.

1. Living Hope
1 Pet 1:3 he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
Your hope is only as powerful as your God. Your hope is only as alive as your God! We are blessed to know and serve a Living God - who submitted to death for a period to provide the precious salvation for all of us and who, by the power of the Holy spirit was raised from the dead and is alive for ever more, and is even now seated at the right hand of God! When we were born again, these verses remind us that we were born again to a living hope of our resurrected savior. Also see {2 Th 2:16} What is this living hope ? Read on...

2. An Inheritance
1 Pet 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you
We all would love to receive an inheritance! (It's joyful because we didn't expect it when we were born, we receive beyond what we could have got out of our own work, and we receive the remaining portion of the fruit of a patriarch's entire life effort! All because we remained in the family). The heavenly riches have a great parallelism to this! The living hope of a believer is in the inheritance - but contrary to an earthly inheritance, it is imperishable, undefiled and unfading. It's kept in the heaven for us. It's the salvation package for our eternal life. It contains spiritual blessings, it contains intimacy with God, it contains an eternal ministry, Eternal rewards, etc. (We are joint heirs with Christ, and as Christ suffered and obeyed the Lord, so shall we inherit along with Him if we are obedient to the Lord!) 1 Cor 9:25reminds us that our effort for running this race is to win an eternal crown - so much more glorious than a medal that we receive when we win a race here on earth.

3. Power of God as our guard
1 Pet 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
Our salvation would be worth nothing if it were solely dependent on our human frailty to keep something so precious! Indeed, God has kept a role for us - we need to cooperate with His plan for our salvation. We have to repent, believe & submit to Him, we have to deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow Jesus. While this is true, the promise of God comes that it's finally God's power that is guarding these promises for us. We are kept by the power of God (see Jude 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, see also Rom 16:25Eph 3:20) This protection is available to us through  faith. The full salvation package is ready to be revealed at the last time!

4. Rejoice in your trials
1 Pet 1:6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials
The Lord frequently makes impossible demands on our lives - Does anyone really rejoice in their trials? It's so unpleasant.  (Heb 12:11)
The constant running theme of scripture is the testing of mankind. From the book of Genesis to revelation, we always come across this theme.  (i.e. the testing of Adam, to the testing of every single patriarch, to the testing of kings and kingdoms to the testing of Jesus to the testing of the disciples and apostles to the testing of the Church to the testing of the inhabitants of the eternal kingdom whether or not they would follow satan). It's the Lord's good pleasure to try us and to test us to prove us worthy of His kingdom. Also the trials in your life produce the very precious proof of patience and endurance in your life. (Rom 5:3Jas 1:3).

1 Pet 1:7 says: so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ
The reason why the Lord tests us is because faith that is tested and proven is much more valuable than the faith that is untested. The fire of the trial doesn't just test us, it purifies the faith. As Job says in Job 23:10 - He knows my way. I shall come forth as gold when He has tried me. It's not forever that the test will continue - Heb 10:37. The Lord will not test you beyond your ability. His desire is to purify you - not to destroy you! Often He chooses you in the furnace of affliction (Isa 48:10)

1 cor 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. The Lord says: After you have suffered a while through your trials, he shall restore, confirm strengthen and finally establish you! (1 Pet 5:10). Praise the Lord who truly makes all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and those who are called unto His purpose.

May the power of God be manifest in your trials and may He strengthen you through these verses. God bless!