Our scripture this morning is 1 Peter 1:3-9.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ 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. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must 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 mere 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. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
I see Peter as the poster boy for Christianity. He could go from the depths of sin, as when he denied even knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62), to the height of faith, as Jesus restores him to grace (John 21) and he speaks eloquently to those gathered at Pentecost (Acts 2). We should learn from his experiences.
In Peter we see human frailty, our doubt and fear taking hold. It would be frightening to see Christ arrested and mistreated, and not be afraid the same might happen to us. However, Jesus shows us that God’s power can overcome even death.
Peter learns this and later he and others rejoice even when they are arrested for preaching in Christ’s name (Acts 4). The power of the cross has changed their lives. We too must be ready to suffer whatever the world may hold for us, knowing we have been saved by the love of Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we are grateful for Your love, personified in Christ and demonstrated by faithful people through the ages. Help us to be the disciples of today, sharing the Gospel with the world. Amen.