- Pastor John Conover
The Church Grows in Trials
Let us Affirm these three realities during our difficulties so that we excel for Christ. I Peter 1 teaches us that believers to whom he was writing had trials and persecution just like we still do throughout the world.
1. Believers Can be Scattered, yet they Can Feel Secure. Verses 1-5 introduce the truth that no matter what happens to us on earth, we are secure in God's hands, or plan of the ages. Does God know what is going on down here? Does He know the pain or fears you have? YES, and He has known for a long time. Look at "foreknowledge" in verses 2, and 20. Can mankind stop God's plan? No! Compare with vs. 10, 18-25. God has predetermined that His "picks of the litter" can be saved only through the Chosen One, Jesus Christ; that those who trust in Christ alone are destined for obedience to Christ, a place in Heaven, and protection by God's power until we get there. Hope in dark times.
2. Believers can Suffer, Yet they Can Rejoice.
Verses 6-9 teach us that we should rejoice in so great a salvation. We should rejoice in every opportunity we have to prove that our faith is genuine; that it is not fake news or empty religion. Suffering gives opportunities to show and share passionate, earnest love for God and others. Hallelujahs in dark times.
3. Believers can See Changes, Yet Trust in the Unchanging.
Verse 10 reminds us that the prophets of the OT suffered, yet they endured in faith. They searched the Scriptures, and sought God's revelation about the first coming of Jesus. They wondered who would be involved, and what time He would come. They died in faith that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The NT apostles suffered, but spread the good news as they approached the disasters of A.D. 70. See their endurance through changing times (vs. 12, 25). We must change in holiness and helpfulness in order to endure in the Faith (vs. 13-16). Finally, our trust is in the Word of God which never changes, and endures forever (vs. 22-25). Holy & Helpful in dark times.
I encourage you to cross-reference this passage with Mark 4, where Jesus commanded the storm to stop. It is the storm that has to die. There are greater ministries and miracles on the other side of the storm. And Jesus demonstrates His power during the storm, and when He stops the storm.
Does God know what is going on? Does He know what He is doing? Does He still have a plan of the ages that you are part of? Will you be okay? Who and what can you trust, which never changes?