3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who
through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
These parts highlight the glory and majesty of Jesus. In this chapter, Jesus is exemplified as God’s son, holy and perfect, who died on the cross for us and rose again to save us. His death was part of a greater plan. When Peter was writing this, he thought that the end times were near (I’m pretty sure we’ve all thought that at some point, or at least hoped for it.). Clearly, he was mistaken, but he was right about everything else. Even though we have yet to reach the point in time where Jesus’ glory is revealed through his return, we are still able to see the revelation of his glory every day. Just look at all he has done for you, even before you were born. One of my favorite verses is Romans 5:8 “For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” On top of that, he died for us before we were even alive. He didn’t just die for the people who were around at the time of his crucifixion. No, he died for everyone in the future as well. That means us. Even before we were born, Jesus knew who we would become and he knew that, by nature, we would be sinners. So he died for us then to give us salvation from who we were otherwise destined to be. Yes, we are still sinners. We always will be. Blame who you want, but that won’t change anything (If Adam and Eve hadn’t sinned, then someone would have eventually.). However, Jesus has paved a new path for us. He has allowed us, as sinners, a chance to be holy like him. We won’t ever be as holy as Jesus, it’s impossible and he knows that. All he is asking us to do is try. Instead of throwing our hands in the air and thinking ‘There’s no way,’ he wants us get down on our knees and try to find a way. Although we can never be perfectly holy, any level of holiness we can achieve is far better than giving up on it altogether. Trust in the grace of God, and you will go far.
These sections illustrate how we are given new life through the death of Christ. We have been saved and have entered into a life we will never lose. Our gift in heaven is eternal and will never fade away like the things of this life will. Even though our bodies are not saved, our souls are; that’s all that matters. One day when we lose this earthly life and our bodies waste away, our souls will live forevermore in Heaven. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, our souls will be. His death gave us life.
The central theme of this chapter is faith. All else revolves around it. Our faith in God, of more value than any other thing, gives us strength. We will one day receive the ultimate reward for our faith when we go to live for eternity in Heaven. We love and believe in someone who we can’t see, and that’s a pretty great feat since it takes a lot of faith. Surely, we all know that it’s not easy to have faith. It’s probably one of the hardest things in life, but also one of the most important. Our faith will not be in vain. Peter declares that the outcome of our faith is our soul’s salvation. We couldn’t possibly ask for anything greater than that. Sometimes, when it’s hard to have faith, remember how far your faith has gotten you so far. All those situations you have gone through up until now have proven to you that your faith is powerful and that, with it, God will save you from everything. Some of you are going through something and you don’t know if you’ll make it through. Let me tell you, there will only be one time in your lifetime where you won’t get through what you’re going through. That is when you die. And when that one time comes you will get to go to Heaven. So you never lose. You may think you’d be losing by dying, but you are actually being given eternal life in the perfection of Heaven. Until that day comes, have faith that God will bring you through your trials and make you stronger.
Although joy is only mentioned twice in this chapter, it is still an important part of it. When joy is mentioned it is as an outcome of your faith. When you have faith that things will work out, and then they do, you will be filled with joy. Certainly you know that feeling. After you’ve gone through something that really tried your soul and made it out alive, it’s the most amazing feeling of relief. There was something that I went through about a year ago and, when it was over, I felt so rejuvenated. I was all smiles as I prayed to God and thanked him for saving me from that thing that I never could have saved myself from. Even greater than that feeling of relief, though, was a feeling of all-consuming joy. I was so beyond happy. It was a feeling that lasted for far longer than fleeting happiness. Every time I come out of a trial, I feel guilty for not trusting God the whole time. I feel so stupid for ever doubting him. Yet, the next time I find myself going through something, I doubt him again. You would think that after all he has done for us we would no longer doubt him. But, sometimes, when we are facing a particularly rough trial it’s hard to focus on all the times he has come through for us. It’s easier to focus on the present problem. I challenge you, and myself, to try to shake your doubts when you are facing trials. Trust me, it will work out. Trust God.
After reading this chapter, I feel a renewed desire to trust God and not doubt him. My goal is to try harder to trust him despite my circumstances. I pray that will be your goal as well. It won’t be easy. At times we will forget about all he has done for us to give us a reason to trust him. No matter what you are going through, I challenge you to take a step back and look back on some things you’ve gone through recently and how God has helped you through him. Sometimes it’s best to view your life from a distance. Zoom out on it and reflect on how what you’re currently will affect your future. Of course, there’s a chance that thinking like that will make you sad. But there’s a greater chance that you will realize how silly your problem is in the grand scheme of things. Once you make that realization, it’s easier for you to go to God and say “Lord, this is silly. I shouldn’t be so worried about this. I shouldn’t be letting it drag me down the way it is. I trust that you will bring me through this, for you have brought me through things much worse than this. In the meantime, help me to learn from this experience.” And that, my friends, is where the healing begins.