To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout
Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge
of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit,
for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood;
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise be to the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth
into a living hope through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead,
and into an inheritance that can
never perish, spoil or fade –
kept in heaven for you,
who through faith are shielded by God’s power
until the coming of the salvation
that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 PETER 1:1-5 (NIV)
Imagine sitting down to write a letter to a friend who has endured a long period of personal struggle or pain – and who faces even more in the days ahead. What could you say? What counsel could you suggest? What comfort could you offer?
Sugar-coated platitudes and warm, fuzzy sentiments just won’t cut it. Neither will bland statements or trite generalizations. Your friend doesn’t need a greeting card; he or she needs hope – a reason to get up in the morning, a reason to carry on in the face of hardship and opposition. No pseudo-hope will do. What your friend really needs is a living hope.
Remind them that we are “strangers” in this world (1 Peter 1:1). Our real citizenship, our true residence is in heaven.
Remind them that we have a living hope that nothing can destroy (vv. 3-5).
Assure them that trials are neither wasted nor without purpose. Through it all, our faith is being refined like gold, and our Lord gains honor and glory through our responses (vv. 6-7).
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while
you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that your faith –
of greater worth than gold,
which perishes even though refined by fire –
may be proved genuine and may result in
praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 PETER 1:6-7 (NIV)
On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky