People a lot of times say that life is about the journey and not so much about the destination. While I agree with this to an extent (that there is much to be learned and gained along the journey), I think this season of life has shown us all that the journey is not always how we thought or planned it would be. It’s not secure and it’s not stable. However, as Christians, even though we don’t know all the details of the in between, we can be certain of the ending of the story. We can have confidence in our destination.
I’ve recently been rewatching the new Hawaii Five O, and it’s fantastic. There are so many plot twists and turns with each and every episode. It’s difficult though to watch at times because some of my favorite characters are put in positions where I don’t know whether they will make it out alive or not. It’s nerve wracking. Yet the benefit of rewatching a show is that I know the ending. So, in those moments when it seems uncertain what will happen, I can remember the ending, and remember that even though I don’t remember a lot of the details of how they got there, that in the end, they will all be okay.
The Apostle Peter writes along similar lines to a group of spread out, exiled Christians who are facing extreme persecution in 1 Peter 1:3-9.
He writes: “3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Peter’s encouragement to this worn out, stressed out, spread out bunch is to remember the Gospel. Remember that God the Father, through Christ, in His mercy, has given them rebirth. Remember that they have an inheritance kept in heaven for them that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. Remember that they are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the last time.
Therefore, in light of all this, Peter calls for the believers to rejoice! For though they are suffering, their suffering is not only temporary, but it also has a purpose: to test and strengthen the genuineness of their faith. Through these trials they will come out stronger, and in the end they will receive praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Lastly, Peter commends them for their faithfulness. Though they have never seen Jesus, they love Him. And even now, in the midst of the suffering and persecution that they face, even though they can’t see what He is doing or where He is at, they believe in Him And His promises. It is in this belief that they are filled with inexpressible, glorious, joy. In this, they are obtaining the outcome of their faith, and the salvation of their souls.
What an encouraging and pertinent passage for us as believers in this time of uncertainty. While there is much that we don’t know, there is also much that we can. We can know that in His mercy He has saved us and given us rebirth. We can know that there is an inheritance waiting for us in heaven, kept by God Himself, greater than we can even imagine. We can know that God Himself will keep us and guard is til the end. We can know that suffering is temporary, and that it has purpose. We can know Him, love Him, and believe in Him even though we have not seen Him physically. And all this knowing should cause us to rejoice.
So today, child of God, rejoice!! For your present as well as your future is secure in Christ. While others put their hope in finite, fading treasures, we put our hope in God, our rock, who will bring us safely home.
On a side note, today is my 200th blog post, and I just want to give all glory, honor, and praise to God the Father for His faithfulness to me, and the gift of writing that He has bestowed upon me. I am unable to be and do what He has called me to do without Him. Over these past eight years of writing, while much has changed, two things have remained the same: my ever present need of Him, and His continuous faithfulness to me. I am thankful for Him showing me over and over again how much I am in need of Him, whether I am on the highest mountain or deepest valley in life. And I am also thankful for His continuous faithfulness to me. I have been blessed far more than I deserve, and I am thankful for all the people God has placed in my life that have helped encourage me, guide me, and love me as God has loved me. I am thankful that God is continually completing in me that which He started eight years ago, and I am truly blessed to be able to share this journey with all of you.