Have you ever noticed that things don’t always go according to plan? Well, that may be true for our plans anyway. We all suffer or go through trials for one reason or another. It is the nature of our humanity. I Peter 1:7 tells us that there is value in our suffering, more than we could probably imagine. Suffering produces endurance, endurance, character and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-5)
Where is your focus? Do you dwell on the problems of the past, lament your current struggles or look with hope to the future. In Philippians 3:12-14, Paul encourages us to press on towards our goal, the prize, which is the heavenly calling of God. Our time of struggle is temporary in light of eternity. The living hope in I Peter 1:3 does not represent wishful thinking but a confident expectation of future blessings. I Peter 1:3-9 outlines them for us.
First of all, we have been redeemed because of Christ’s death on the cross, but we have assurance of everlasting life because of Christ’s resurrection. Because He was raised to life, we know that we can be too. Secondly, we have an inheritance reserved for us, that is protected by God, and we are protected for it; we cannot lose it. Thirdly, we will be purified like gold through our suffering. When gold is put into the fire the impurities are burned away, and the gold can be reshaped in a purer state. All of these blessings are because of God’s great mercy; we have done nothing to deserve them. However, we are called upon to have faith. Faith is being sure of what we hope for, what we have the confidence to expect, even though we cannot see it. (Hebrews 11:1) Jesus said that those who believed He was raised from the dead without seeing Him would be blessed. (John 20:29) You will be praised and honoured for your faith when Jesus comes again. (I Peter 1:7)
Even though you can’t see Jesus in the flesh, you can know Him, and knowing Him will bring you indescribable joy, no matter how bad the circumstances seem to be that you are in right now. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, just speak to Him—you don’t have to talk out loud; He knows your thoughts—and ask Him to make Himself real to you. Tell Him that you want to know if He really exists, and if He really wants to have a relationship with you. Then be open for the answer.