1 Peterby David Burge
The picture we get of Peter when writing these verses is a man who can hardly contain himself. His desire is to express how richly blessed we are as God's people. He writes from the overflow of his heart. What is it that he is so excited to share?
Peter wants to give credit where credit is due. All praise be to God, whom we now know as our Father through the revealing work of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3).
What has God the Father done that is so praiseworthy? Much more than we can yet grasp, and certainly far more than we deserve. The chain of blessings listed in verses 3-5 begins not with our merit, but with the Father's ″great mercy″ (v. 3) towards us. In mercy, He has given us a ″new birth″ (v. 3) to become His spiritual children who keenly anticipate the age to come. For this reason, we have ″a living hope″ (v. 3) that is like a strong rope that joins us with the One who is alive-the resurrected Lord-who has gone before us, who holds onto us, and who promises to return for us.
Our business may fail, people may disappoint us, our finances may be tight, and our health may deteriorate, but as Jesus taught Peter, moths and vermin can't touch our treasure in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). Our inheritance there ″can never perish, spoil or fade″ (1 Peter 1:4). Nothing can ruin what God is keeping safe for us (vv. 4-5)!
But what if our faith falters? Maybe we feel we might lose our inheritance. Maybe our anticipation of heaven is lukewarm, and our doubts make heaven seem more like a faint possibility or wish.
God's Word has something far better for us. Our place with Him is not up to us. No-we are saved by His grace; we also persevere by His grace. Verse 5 assures us it is not our power that will protect us, but God's power. You are ″shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time″ (v. 5).
Our faith is valuable, but we are never called to trust in our faith. Rather, we trust in the God who powerfully saves us. In His great mercy, His saving of us even includes guarding our faith until He brings us home.
No wonder Peter overflows with gratitude and praise for God. He knows where he is going and, if you take God at His Word, so do you!
Part of growing as a Christian is learning to stop doubting and to believe what God says about you. How sure are you of your eternal home with the Lord Jesus?
Read the following sentence a few times: ″Trusting the God who shields me brings overflowing gratitude and assures me of my eternal inheritance!″ How will this assurance change the way you live today?