“In this world you will have trouble…” Jesus spoke these words to his disciples right before he was betrayed and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew that as soon as the Shepherd was struck, they would soon be scattered about in fear for their very lives. Right before this Jesus told them that many men would seek to kill them thinking that they were doing the will of God. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 10, Jesus said to His disciples that they would be hated by everyone because of His name. Yet in all this, He told them to have peace and not to fear these men. He reminded them of His overcoming power in salvation, and He exhorted them to have faith in the midst of these trials.
The apostle Peter, in writing his epistle, picks up on this very same thought, as he writes to his brothers and sisters in the Lord who were going through great suffering and persecution in the region of Asia Minor which at the time was under the reign of Nero. In verses 3-9 of 1 Peter chapter 1, Peter bursts forth with his glorious doxology wherein he reminds them (and us) of what God’s great grace and mercy has produced in our lives – namely, a living hope, a promised resurrection, an imperishable inheritance reserved in heaven , a “divine guard” of our faith, and a faith in these promises that must produce an inexpressible joy in our lives, even in the midst of these great trials.
Peter’s exultation in God’s great salvation doesn’t stop here. This week as we look at verses 10-13, we will see how Peter wants us to know that this amazing salvation was: 1) long awaited. The prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Zechariah searched diligently into what God was revealing about the coming Messiah, for they longed to know who this Messiah was and when he would come. 2) prepared for you. The prophets knew that they were instruments of God to “prepare the way” for the Messiah which we now have full revelation of in the person and work of Jesus Christ. 3) anticipated by the angels. This salvation which you have received by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit is one that even the heavenly angels know nothing of; yet they long to know of it.
Brothers and sisters, if we are going to be prepared to serve the Lord in these last days in the midst of persecution and trials, we need to “set our hope fully on this grace to come”.
In preparation for next Sunday, read: Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9, Psalm 69