“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls…
“You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot… You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” 1 Peter 1:3-9,18-19,23
Our God is a God of measureless bounty, and infinite attributes. In His divine economy, He is always on time, supplies perfectly all we need, never exhausts, never forsakes, and is able to do more than we ask or imagine. The Lord loves us enough to set boundaries, and discipline us, and steer us in His paths. He loves us too much to let us stray too far, or continue in sin without repercussion. He loves us to the end by living, and dying, and rising again, to accomplish our full salvation. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 121:3-6; Ephesians 3:20; John 13:1)
God’s mercy is great, and the joy He gives in Christ is inexpressible. Once we are born again to living hope, there is nothing here on earth, no earthly treasure or charm, that compares with our undefiled and unfading heavenly inheritance.
We may be tempted to idolatry- the love of image, goods, privacy, reputation, even family, over our love for God- but His power that saved us can guard us in the struggle. He tests our faith to uncover our depravity and absolute need for Him. He brings trials to refine us in their fire, to expose what is unpleasing and burn off our dross. He loves us enough to measure them with grace, and too much not to let them sting, and prick us to right action.
Do we recognize, in our present griefs, His surpassing power? Do we value our Savior’s surpassing worth, and that of our guaranteed inheritance? Are we too steeped in the world’s ways and habits of deception and delusion to exercise faith’s courage in the unseen? Are we trusting the perishable for our security, our solace, our good standing among men, when God is calling us to trust His supremacy?
Savior, wean me from the world and all its traps. May I respond to Your love-inspired tests and trials with vibrant hope and unshakable faith.