Today’s Scripture is: 1 Peter 1: 3-6 (NIV) Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!(A) In his great mercy(B) he has given us new birth(C) into a living hope(D) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,(E) 4 and into an inheritance(F) that can never perish, spoil or fade.(G) This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,(H) 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power(I) until the coming of the salvation(J) that is ready to be revealed(K) in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice,(L) though now for a little while(M) you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.(N)
I have read this passage many times, but for some reason, I’ve always focused on the “suffer grief in all kinds of trials” part. Isn’t it interesting how I gravitated toward the negative...the expectation of suffering part? I’ve understood that even in the midst of the trials, there’s hope... but what God revealed to me today is the incredible focus on the expectation of the positive through this scripture. Take a look at how The Message version puts it:
A New Life
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole. 6 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime.
It’s all about perspective for me today. Even though the trials I face can be huge and hard, they can be but mere aggravation if my perspective is right. If I am focused on the KINGDOM... not the world...if I am focusing on the new redeemed and everlasting life that I have because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I have nothing to fear from the world - because I know that at some point I will have it all! A life healed and whole - no pain, no suffering, no trails, no aggravation - a life with Jesus. So it’s not about the trials at all...except that they teach me and grow me and push me closer to heaven...it’s about the future and what God has given me to look forward to - whether here on earth or in heaven with Him. I love verse 6 in The Message because it puts the emphasis on how great we should feel knowing this hope... rather than focusing on the aggravation of trials. I don’t believe God wants us to downplay the difficulties that this world brings... but He doesn’t want us to make that our focus either, because we have everything to live for!
Jesus, please give me a change of perspective in all circumstances. Help me to remember that I can have joy, even in the midst of trials, because my future begins now... a future with you... a brand new life! It doesn’t begin when I reach heaven... it’s already begun! Thank you that until I reach heaven I am shielded by your power! I love you... Amen!
How did this scripture speak to you today? What is the Holy Spirit saying?