Hope is not a sedative. Hope ought not to have a calming effect, soothing our jangled nerves, and making us feel more at ease with what is about to transpire. Hope is more like an adrenaline shot straight to the heart, stirring us to action, to movement, animating us, and causing us to do what we ought to have been doing in the first place which is to be about our Father’s business.
As Peter writes to the pilgrims of the dispersion, those who had fled to Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, he does not pull any punches, nor does he try to whitewash what the future held for the true believers and for the body of Christ in general.
Peter does not go into a long drawn out soliloquy as to how self-esteem will carry the day, or how they will never see a moment of heartache, feel an iota of pain, or be distressed in any way.
I despise cowardice, and cannot stand the tongue twists some ‘ministers of the gospel’ feel the need to put themselves through thinking that they are softening the blow for the children of God, or making them feel more hopeful about a bleak and turbulent future.
The knowledge that our inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, does not fade away, and is reserved in heaven for us, ought to be all the impetus we need to greatly rejoice no matter the difficulties we might be facing, or the persecutions we might have to endure.
Even after all my years in ministry it still stuns me that some individuals need something extra in order to greatly rejoice, whether the extra is something of the monetary persuasion, a possession their heart lusts after, or a juicy position they’ve had their eye on for some time.
Nothing of this earth, nothing we may possess, acquire or receive having to do with this mortal plain can compare with the reward which awaits us in heaven, and nothing of this earth ought to compel us to greatly rejoice as should the knowledge of this standalone truth.
It’s as though Peter was saying ‘yes, I know times are hard, and they’re going to get harder, but no matter what distresses, no matter what grievances, no matter what trials, your default position ought always to be that of greatly rejoicing because of the inheritance that has been reserved in heaven for you.’
We’re not just supposed to muddle through. We’re not just supposed to grit our teeth and bear it. We’re not just supposed to shut our eyes and hope for the hardship to pass. We are supposed to greatly rejoice because there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a crown at the finish line, there is a reward waiting for the faithful once their race is run.
1 Peter 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
The only way we will be able to greatly rejoice though now we have been grieved by various trials, is to know our identity, know who we are, and stand on the foundation of this truth unshaken and undeterred.
Peter had no qualms about who he was, or who those he was writing to were. He did not specify a denomination, a man, or a fellowship, he simply wrote to the elect of God the Father, those sanctified of the Spirit, and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.
It is in knowing who we are, it is in knowing our identity, it is in knowing who we belong to and who has sanctified us, that we can stand strong, and bold, and true, because the knowledge of who we are cements the knowledge of the reality of the reward that is waiting for us, kept by the power of God through faith for salvation, and ready to be revealed in the last time.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.