Many of us may still have good memories of the New Year service and celebrations on January 1st 2020. But none of us imagined that this year of 2020 would be so challenging in many ways. We love our schedules and especially our control over them. But in God’s providence, Covid-19 has had some other lessons to teach us. Suddenly the most important questions became “How long is this going to last? How many of us are going to remain alive? How bad is the economic effect going to be? Will our kids ever go back to school and lead normal lives again?” It seems like our smoothly sailing life boat has been rocked by an unexpected storm. But how wonderful to know that the Bible can anchor our souls and stabilize our worried hearts even in these times.
Many of us may have really been blessed by meditating upon the Psalms. But 1 Peter chapter 1 also can have a tremendously anchoring effect upon our lives. Peter is writing to scattered aliens (temporary residents) who were living in Asia Minor. Peter knew that the readers had begun to experience trials and their faith was being tested. The future too for those believers did not look so bright. But instead of ‘binding and releasing’ their trials, Peter gave them some wonderful Gospel reminders that would keep them anchored. In verses 1-2 Peter reminded them about their identity as “Elect aliens”. We are pilgrims and temporary residents when it comes to our identity according to this world but God sees us differently. He sees us as His “Chosen” special people according to His eternal foreknowledge. He set His love upon us from before the foundations of the world. Our God is good to all in a general sense but His unique and relentless love is upon His chosen people. We as His chosen people are “sanctified” or set apart by the Spirit at the moment of our salvation. We have been drawn and changed by His grace to love Christ as both Saviour and Lord. We have the blood of His eternal covenant sprinkled upon us to mark us out as God’s covenant and forgiven people. Even though from our perspective life seems to have taken a sudden turn into the rapids, but vv1-2 remind us about the truth that has been settled forever in Christ.
The word of God is such an endless treasure because God is so great and His work toward us is unfathomable. Peter goes on in verses 3-5 to Praise God for His gracious new birth given to His elect through the work of Christ. Sometimes when life is difficult it seems impossible to praise and thank God. All we can see are broken dreams and unexpected problems. But Peter is inviting us to the front row to behold the wonder of God’s great saving grace. Some of us like Peter’s Jewish readers were born into believing families physically, but needed the new birth spiritually which comes only from God. Some of us were far away and never heard the wonderful Gospel but were in need of the very same life from God. A baby never gives birth to itself; the birth of a child is entirely the work of another. So also, God who set His love upon us also sent His Son for us so that through Him we may live.
In Adam we were sitting lifeless, desire-less and hopeless awaiting our final doom. But God sent for us the last Adam who was born for us, lived for us, died for us and rose again so that we can partake of His resurrection life. It gets even better! Peter tells us that we have a lively, unshakable hope that is looking forward to an amazing inheritance. We are temporary residents on earth with a permanent, unshakable inheritance waiting for us in heaven. Imagine those first moments when we see the fullness of that inheritance. To be in the company of the saints made perfect. To have the most loving welcome from Him loved us. Imagine never to fear any disease, never to drag our tired bodies, never to fear the future. But what makes our inheritance such an incredible gift is that we will be caught up into the fullness of loving fellowship with our Triune eternal God.
Dear believer our earthly life is unpredictable but our eternal life is secure, earthly possessions are not forever but our inheritance in Christ is! Even the present trials are not a waste but being used by
God to prove our faith and conform us to the image of Christ. May we be people anchored in our Gospel hope in these uncertain times.