“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials…”
As Peter writes this first epistle to people who ‘are being distressed by various trials’, having their faith ‘tested by fire’, he addresses them as aliens (those that don’t belong) reminding them that they are completely secure in God.
The message Peter is bringing to them in the letter is that God, being GREAT in His mercy, has given them a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This living hope belongs to us as well. It was ours yesterday. It is ours today. It is for us tomorrow. We have been given something of such quality that it will never be ruined by impurities; never, ever becoming less valuable. “…an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away.” What’s more, by this we are protected by the “power of God”.
Although this living hope is to be fully realized at Christ’s return, it is for us in the trials of today.
It is of this that Peter reminds the people so that they can “greatly rejoice” even though for a limited time they are in the midst of trials.
The living hope we have in Jesus Christ is of eternal value, the quality of which will never diminish with time, circumstances or situations: even under persecution, fears, anxiety or loss.
We can be “greatly rejoicing” in all circumstances, not merely to get through the hard times.
This hope which cost Jesus His life, is alive. It is a hope that points us to the person of Jesus Christ that “…we may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ…”.
By: Miriam Ellershaw