Not only can we have confidence in what He has already done and the hope of what He will do but we know this resurrected life is ours now, TODAY!

Are you feeling discouraged, afraid, perplexed by your circumstances? Do you need some hope and encouragement today? The Gospel is good news for us. God became a man, Jesus entered our world, lived with us as one of us, encountered the struggles and complexities we face and ultimately gave his life for us. And God chose you and me long ago to be his holy people, cleansed by the blood of Christ and set apart for life with Him.

Peter, an apostle of Christ, writes to believers who were experiencing many hardships because of their faith. Many of them had experienced persecution from those who were enemies of Jesus including the Romans, the Jews and even their own families. When these believers refused to worship the emperor as a god or refused to participate in the blatant immorality of the culture they were ostracized and persecuted. The Jews did not appreciate being associated with Christians as they often were and so they drove believers out of their towns or worse yet imprisoned and killed them. Perhaps the most difficult trial for believers was the rejection they faced from their own families. Many were sent away causing families to splinter and emotional and financial hardship. Peter was led to write to these believers who had been scattered and needed the encouragement of the Church and its leaders in such difficult times.

When we think about their situation and ours most of us would say our struggles pale in comparison. But Peter’s words of hope to the scattered Church give us hope as well. God has given us new life, a resurrected life through Jesus. He chose us to be His forever and share in His kingdom. “It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance – an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see” (1 Peter 3:3-5).

Not only can we have confidence in what He has already done and the hope of what He will do but we know this resurrected life is ours now, TODAY! Whatever struggles we face today we don’t face them alone. We can have faith in these difficult times knowing that our lives are truly secure in Christ and that no amount of suffering can ever separate us from God’s love or His presence. Peter says we can have true joy in this life when we live by faith. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 3:6-7).

Be encouraged! Your faith and hope are in Christ through the storms of this life, and these are precious to God. And you will be rewarded for your refined and precious faith upon Christ’s return.

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