I really enjoy the book of the Bible, 1 Peter. I love how relevant that it is to given situations, including the one we are in right now. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote the letter to believers who had been scattered throughout multiple geographic regions. And he’s writing to believers who are facing various degrees of suffering, trial, persecution, hardship, and distress. Life is not ‘easy’ for these believers. And so Peter wants to encourage them in the faith that they are to cling to in all seasons, and in all of life.
And he refers to the Christ followers as ‘exiles.’ Because they are both literal exiles/aliens/strangers in foreign lands, and they are figurative exiles, for ultimately they are citizens of Heaven, and this world is simply a temporary ministry and mission field. Read this short blog post from JD Greear on the term exile.
Brother and sister, you and I are exiles and strangers in the land that we dwell in. And maybe you would use words such as trial, hardship, or distress to describe some of your 2020. Whether you would or not, I want to encourage us with truth from Peter’s letter that doesn’t change like the seasons of life do.
Loved ones, it is often in times where the world or our lives seem upside down, that we are prone to forget eternal truth that comforts us, convicts us, and changes us.
I’d encourage you to grab your Bible, and refer to the passages as you read this.
May the seed of the Word fall on humble hearts, including my own.
In the midst of all seasons of life…
- Our God is worthy of praise (1:3)
- We have new birth and living hope through the resurrection of Jesus (1:4)
- Our eternal inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1:5)
- Our faith is being refined for His praise, glory, and honor (1:6-7)
- The joy of the salvation of our souls remains (1:8)
- We reject being conformed into the desires of our former way of life (1:14)
- We grow into ever increasing holiness, as a reflection of our holy Lord (1:16)
- The precious blood of Christ forgives and redeems (1:18-19)
- He chose you before the foundation of the world (1:20)
- Our faith and hope is in God, who beat death (1:21)
- We show sincere, brotherly love to one another, because we have been born again (1:22)
- The Word of God is living and enduring forever (1:23-25)
- We rid ourselves of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander (2:1)
- We grow up into our salvation through the Word of God (2:2)
- The Lord is good (2:4)
- We, as living stones, are being built into a holy people who worship our God (2:4-5)
- Christ is our honored cornerstone (2:6-8)
- Our unchanging identity in Christ is that of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that we might proclaim His praises (2:9-10)
- We abstain from sinful desires that wage war against our soul (2:11)
- We conduct ourselves honorably among the lost, doing good works that glorify our God (2:12)
- We submit to those in authority, humbling seeking to do good (2:13-16)
- We honor everyone, love our fellow brothers and sisters, fear God, and honor our leaders (2:17)
- As employees, we honor those in authority, no matter if they are gentle or cruel (2:18)
- When we experience suffering, as a result of doing good, we know this brings favor with God and reflects Christ who suffered on our behalf (2:20-23)
- Jesus bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that having died to sins, we might live for righteousness (2:24)
- Jesus is our Good Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (2:25)
- Godly wives, whose hope is in the Lord, show and tell of the gospel to their unbelieving husbands (3:1-6)
- Godly husbands love their wives in an understanding and honorable way (3:7)
- We seek to be like-minded, sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble toward one another (3:8)
- We reject paying back evil for evil or insult for insult, and rather we bless, for He has blessed us (3:9)
- We keep our tongues from lying, we turn from evil, we do good, and we seek peace and pursue it, for the Lord’s eyes are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer (3:10-12)
- When we suffer for righteousness, we are blessed (3:14)
- Christ is holy and our singular hope (3:15)
- When we speak of Jesus with the lost, we do so with gentleness and reverence (3:16)
- Christ’s death and resurrection are completely sufficient for our salvation (3:18-21)
- Jesus Christ, our reigning Lord of Lords, is at the right hand of God the Father (3:22)
- Jesus’ suffering not only pays the price for our sin, but sets us free from its power. Because Jesus said, it is finished, we can be finished with sin and live for God’s will, and not our own (4:1-2)
- We no longer walk in the ways of the world, which are prone to unrestrained, evil, and idolatrous ways (4:3-5)
- We now live by the Spirit, and not the flesh (4:6)
- Knowing this life is temporary and the Lord will return, we remain alert and sober-minded in prayer (4:7)
- We maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins (4:8)
- We are hospitable without complaining (4:9)
- We use the spiritual gifts that we have been given to serve others and glorify Jesus (4:10-11)
- We are not surprised when trials and tests come our way. Instead we rejoice as we share in the sufferings of Christ, for the gospel reminds us that suffering for a believer is always temporary and never eternal, and our souls are entrusted to the sovereign care of our faithful Creator (4:13-19)
- Elders and pastors in a church are to shepherd in the way of Jesus, our Chief Shepherd.
- All of us are to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (5:5-6)
- We cast our cares on Him, because He cares for us (5:7)
- We are sober-minded and alert, for our adversary, the devil, continues to prowl with the goal to devour and destroy (5:8)
- We resist the devil, remain firm in our faith, and live with a global view of the various sufferings of our brothers and sisters throughout the world (5:9)
- The God of all grace, who has called you, will himself, restore, establish, strengthen, and support you, for His dominion is forever (5:10)
In the midst of all seasons of life. Amen and amen!