Word of Encouragement (9/10/2021)
We are reflecting on Peter’s prayer in 1 Pet. 1:3-5: “Blessed 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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Yesterday, we talked about the heavenly inheritance, to the hope of which God caused us to be born again. Today, let’s talk about the assurance we have for our final possession of this glorious inheritance.
Having described the glory of our new inheritance in Jesus Christ, Paul goes on to say that we are being guarded by God’s power for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. What is being guarded by God’s power? Not only is our new inheritance “kept in heaven” for us, but we are also being guarded by God’s power. We must appreciate this. In a sense, our heavenly inheritance is not an issue: it is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” The challenge is more with guarding us because we are not “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” like our heavenly inheritance. We are too susceptible to Satan’s temptation, too easily distracted by the glories and riches of the world, and not so firm in our loyalty to God. We would have abandoned our faith and our heavenly inheritance if God had not guarded us by His power.
We don’t always see that God is guarding us. We may even doubt that He does at times, especially when we falter and fail miserably in our Christian walk. But when we do that, we may be overestimating our own strength and goodness and underestimating God’s care for us. Again, left to ourselves without God’s protection, our failure would have been much more spectacular and we might not be here. We may feel like Job, feeling totally abandoned by God as all that he had in his life were suddenly taken away, including his family and health. But Satan could not hurt him one throbbing more than what God allowed. And God allowed him to suffer so for the vindication of his faith and much greater blessing in the end.
So, let’s not be discouraged that we cannot always see God guarding us. Remember that wonderful story in the Old Testament? When the armies and chariots of the Arameans surrounded Elisha the prophet, the servant cried out, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” Elisha prayed that the servant’s eyes might be opened to see. Then the servant saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha, that those who were with them were far more and stronger than those who were against them (2 Kings 6). What a wonderful picture of God’s protection! Even if we cannot see the spiritual reality as Elisha and his servant were allowed to see with their own eyes, we do see when we look back in hindsight.
Peter tells us that it is none other than the power of God that protects us from falling. If God is for us, who can be against us? If the power of God protects us, what power in heaven or earth or under the earth can destroy us? When we consider the glory of our salvation, can we not rejoice with exceeding joy? May that joy be yours in abundance as we give thanks to God!