1 Peter 1:3-9
Reflect: The writer of the first letter of Peter sought to encourage followers of Christ who were living in a hostile world. Persecution was a constant threat, and the temptation to question Jesus’ sovereignty and love was ever-present. But this writer knew that it was only the believers’ faith in Christ and his purposes that would sustain them. He begins by reminding them of God’s great mercy and the grace that has come to us in Jesus. Then he draws their attention to the hope we have that Christ will be revealed to the entire world, and God’s Reign will finally be a reality that covers the earth.
Then, he offers comfort by assuring them of God’s strength and protection. These words must have been a wonderful gift to those who sought to remain faithful but were afraid of what could be done to them because of their faith.
Notice, though, that in spite of all these words of comfort, the writer does not promise that there will be no suffering. On the contrary, he tells the believers to expect trials, and he encourages them to be joyful in the midst of them. It is a powerful thing to be able to rejoice even when those who oppose Christ’s way are antagonizing you.
How can you remind yourself today of Christ’s Reign and rejoice, even though this world is a painful place?
Discipline: One of the most powerful tools we have for navigating difficult times is the practice of thanksgiving. When we give thanks, we remember God’s grace and we build up our faith in the Reign of God that works in us and through us. Use every opportunity to give thanks today.
Pray: Thank you, God for your grace and your Reign that are always at work in and through me.