Are you feeling discouraged as you look at all that is taking place in your life and in our world? Maybe you find yourself wondering if you are going to make it because it seems as though you'll never be released from your prison of pain or your prison of difficult circumstances.
Maybe you wonder if you'll have the stamina, the endurance, to go on.
Oh, Beloved, let me share some truths from 1 Peter to give you confidence and calm assurance and to enable you to face whatever your future holds.
First and foremost, realize that every child of God is going to undergo some sort of trial. Suffering is not a stranger to the child of God — but glory follows (1 Peter 4:12-13).
However, according to 1 Peter 1:6-7, when you suffer any kind of trial, you can be assured that the trial is only for "a little while" and that as far as God is concerned, it is "necessary." God has some eternal purpose in your trial either for you, for others, or for the sake of the kingdom; otherwise, He would not permit it. Remember, God is sovereign.
The trial is distressing — and God knows that — but it is a proof of your faith, precious one; and eventually it will result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Do you wonder why I call you "precious"? Because, feel it or not, believe it or not, you are precious to God. If God says the proof of your faith is "more precious than gold which is perishable" (1 Peter 1:7), then aren't you even more precious than that!
If you weren't loved by God, Christ would not have suffered and died for you, "the just for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18)! When you are in a trial, your adversary, the devil, would have you think you are suffering because God is angry with you, doesn't love you, or doesn't even care enough to hear your prayers and rescue you.
Or the enemy would have you think it is God's awful punishment because you deserve it. And it is possible to suffer because we deserve it (1 Peter 2:20; 3:14-17; 4:15-19); and if that is the case, you should repent, confess, and do what is right. God promises to forgive you — and God is always merciful. We may not be merciful and forgiving, but He is. However, all suffering is not a consequence of God's judgment. Many times it is simply because we bear the name Christian or because we belong to Him and He is preparing us to see Him without shame and in great confidence because we are able to weather the storms. Read Romans 5:1-5.
Whatever you are feeling, thinking, or experiencing, you must remember that you are precious to God and that will never change. You have been chosen by God. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. You are the "people of God." You have received mercy. Study, memorize 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9-10. It is pure grace. We don't deserve it, we can't earn it, nor can we maintain such status by our own doing. But we don't have to because it is pure grace — His lavish, extravagant grace.
As you stand firm in this grace, no matter the trial, no matter the suffering, glory will follow (1 Peter 5:10-12). How do I know? I know because God's Word says so and God does not lie! He cannot lie — it goes against His nature. And if, my friend, you are wondering if you can believe this, then remember who the liar is! It is the devil (John 8:44), and he wants to devour you (1 Peter 5:8-9).
The only way you have victory over the enemy is by believing and obeying God no matter what you think, no matter how you feel. Victory is for those who resist him firm in their faith. You may resist him once and he may flee instantly, or you may have to resist him a hundred times. Either way, resist! God's grace is there. Stand firm in it.
So whatever the trial, however long it may be, remember that it has an end — it is only for a little while, and God thinks it is necessary. "After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (1 Peter 5:10). You are precious to Him. Glory is coming...because Jesus is coming.
My friend, don't lose heart, stand firm in His grace, awaiting His coming.
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International