S (Scripture): 1 Peter 1:3 May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth. You have been born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 4 You have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish—an inheritance that is presently kept safe in heaven for you. 5 Through his faithfulness, you are guarded by God’s power so that you can receive the salvation he is ready to reveal in the last time.
6 You now rejoice in this hope, even if it’s necessary for you to be distressed for a short time by various trials. 7 This is necessary so that your faith may be found genuine. (Your faith is more valuable than gold, which will be destroyed even though it is itself tested by fire.) Your genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
O (Observation): The early Christians are empowered by Peter to hold on to their faith in the midst of oppression. Peter (our author) knows that earthly things (like gold) only last so long. But one’s faith – a gift of the Spirit – lasts eternally.
The encouragement Peter gives, then, is that followers of Christ are given a new birth, a living hope, and a pure and enduring inheritance.
This is how Peter grounds his greetings: with thanksgiving!
A (Application): We have a lot we can gripe about in this world. White supremacists, government leaders with whom we disagree, the fact that the Church remains mostly silent when our neighbors are oppressed. All of these things can drag us down. And we can start to tell ourselves that our story is one of sadness and despair…
Or…we can remember Peter’s words today. We have a living hope in Jesus Christ! Our salvation is secure and thus we can live out our faith boldly, confidently!
When your faith is tried, and you stand out on the front line, the circumstances can seem overwheling. But we are empowered by the Spirit to remember our story. To remember that we have a pure and enduring inheritance that cannot perish. So no matter what happens in this life, we are secure.
So go! Act boldly, to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us steadfast in the faith. Amen.