Today we started reading the Epistles of Peter – and what meaningful and thought provoking points he makes! He tells us [1 v.3] that we have “a living hope.” Our world today is full of hopes – there are ‘prophets’ who are trying to be hopeful about the future, such as halting ‘climate change’ – but they are all “vain hopes”. Remember what “the LORD of hosts” said through Jeremiah, “”Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you withvain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.”[23 v.16]
How these “visions” contrast to the visionary thoughts Peter was inspired to write! He says that God “according to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ …” [v.3] Those who embrace with all their heart this “living hope” have “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” [v.4]. This “inheritance” – is a “recompense” for how we have lived our lives – this is highlighted in the last chapter of the Bible, a final message from our Lord, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” [v.12]
To receive this “recompense” writes Peter, at present, “for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials”. Our minds must recognise this as “the tested genuineness of your faith” and that this is “more precious than gold that perishes” [v.6,7] How wonderful – yet how challenging!
Has our faith been, or is at present being strongly tested? As our world falls totally apart, it will surely be greatly tested then! Paul’s words in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians stimulate our minds on this testing question! “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” [1 Cor. 10 v.13]
Back in Peter we see how he paints a faith stimulating scene of what lies ahead for those striving with all their minds to be faithful believers, He says that even “though their faith may be tested by fire—(it) may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [v.7]
Then Peter adds more faith stimulating words. “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, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” [v.8,9]
What a ‘picture’ of the future – when we “by his grace” obtain “the outcome of (y)our faith, the salvation of our souls” – truly this is far “more precious than gold.”