FOCUS. I am REALLY enjoying this dig into I Peter. I’ve read I Peter before and done some studies in it, but this study has really brought out some new things about Suffering and Grace and as ever, it’s perfectly timed with real life.
Looking at Peter, a man who truly loved Jesus, but wrestled himself and his flesh in front of the entire world – well, it’s inspiring. It’s awful to see someone who struggled so openly – and yet it is also encouraging. Peter was a man who walked next to Christ, who was part of the Inner Circle with Christ – who knew Jesus so personally – and yet he stumbled and faltered in his faith.
And yet when the Holy Spirit got ahold of him, all of those previous weaknesses became strengths. Peter’s impulsiveness turned into passion for the followers of Christ. Peter’s fear turned into a fiery faith that did not mince words, and offered comfort to persecuted Christians who faced certain martyrdom. Peter KNEW Jesus and the power of His salvation – and the book of I Peter really taps into that knowledge and assurance of salvation.
Sometimes it feels as though God is far away – not listening – when he is silent – but as believers, we have a great cloud of witnesses and verse 12 shares with us the fact that the angels in heaven stoop to observe the life of the saints.
…And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. (NLT)
The angels are the ones who go before the throne of the Lord and do his bidding – and even they are intrigued by this salvation we have been given. Salvation is about suffering and grace. Salvation is played out in our lives and the challenges we face as believers, and in the heaping measures of grace that are poured out over us daily.
This passage reminds us that God protects us and that as our faith is tested by the fire of life, it becomes treasured gold. And despite the pain and suffering, we can revel in his grace for us and learn to be “truly glad.” (vs 3.) This is where I have had to keep my eyes this week – for the past few weeks – because life is hard and we don’t always have the answers easily given to us. But GOD keeps us – no matter what – and that is what matters!
What do you Focus on when life is tough?
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