1 Peter 1:3-9 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, (4) to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, (5) who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (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. (8) Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, (9) obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
So if the Christian life is so great, why is it so hard?
- We seek to stand in a fallen world. “now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials”. Our allegiance is not with the rulers of this world and their ways, so we are against the grain. The natural way to live in the world, managing ones image in order to get the most for one’s own interests, is to be rejected. That is hard, especially when it seems to work for others. The idea of ‘dying to self’ and being alive to God is not normally reinforced in daily life. It makes us question ourselves and God.
- We can’t see the leader. “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him”. Those who are not loyal to Christ don’t seem him either, and they don’t mind pointing that out. “Have not and do not see him, huh? Well, that’s… different.”
- Our joy is ‘inexpressible’. “you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory”. We tend to prefer expressible joy. It is easier to refer back to when we are between surges of joy and glory.
Is it worth it?
- An inheritance that can’t rot, be soiled, fade or be taken away = security
- A salvation of the soul = the self fully fixed and alive
What is ‘it’?
Even though I can’t use the world’s coping mechanisms like they do, and even though I can’t see Jesus with my eyes, and even though my joys are not easily expressed (for refreshment as needed)…I am grateful for being brought to life through God as a son with a future. Growing in wisdom, day by day, loving the one who bought me…yeah… living in hope is worth ‘it’.