(Here is a recap of the first part of my message on ‘How Adversities Prepare us for Eternity?’ during our quarterly fasting prayer session).
1 Peter 1:3-9 New International Version (NIV)
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
God’s chief concern after our redemption is to prepare us for eternity.
He does this in ways that are unimaginable and beyond our comprehension. To prepare us for eternity, God sometimes allows pain and sufferingsin our lives.
Peter is writing to the persecuted church and so has many references to suffering from both trials and persecutions.
As Christians, we have our share of sufferings in life too. We not only need to cope with the trials, but also use them to deepen us spiritually and to conform us to Christ. But how can this be done?
Peter in this passage answers the question, ‘how’?
1. BY PRAISING GOD: When sufferings come, we need to praise God. How can we praise God in sufferings? Yes, because of who He is, and what He does.
A. Because He is our Father (v. 3) – In our trials remember, He has begotten us and His strength is ours.
B. Because of the Inheritance (v. 4) – In our trials remember we are to obtain an inheritance, which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
C. Because we are being Kept (v. 5): Every day, no matter what life brings us, ‘we are being kept’ (continuing action) by God’s power.
So dear children of God, take courage in the midst of your trials and praise God!