I Peter 1:3-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Heavenly Inheritance
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
What a precious, powerful portion of Holy Scripture.
--Penned by the Apostle Peter, one of the leaders of the Twelve Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; and, the one who denied the Lord, despite His warning.
--So Peter knew heartaches, in ever so many ways, as he suffered - but found healing in God's grace.
--Because, "Peter remembered the word of Jesus..so he went out and wept bitterly" (Matthew 26:75).
--Peter knew well that Jesus is the heartache Healer.
--Thus Peter writes this Epistle to all who"..have been grieved by various trials". (I Peter 1:6).
Have any of you, in any way, ever "been grieved..by various trials"? I dare say, most all of us have.
--Jesus said, in John 16:33, "in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." He is the heartache Healer.
No matter what the heartache is, where it came from.
--Some deep loss..of a loved one, or dear friend.
--Or loss of some loving relationship, now broken by misunderstanding.. or misspoken word, or neglect.
--Perhaps it is our sorrows .. a wayward spouse .. or son or daughter .. out of fellowship with God .. or with you. You prayerfully long to be truly saved.
--Then too, it could be you hear the doctor tell you "It is cancer," or some other dreaded disease.
--Or possibly, it is the dimming of your eyesight, or ability to walk, or do, many things you used to do.
--Whatever the "various trials you have been grieved by," bring them all in prayer to the Lord God.
I know a dear Christian brother, going through various unexpected trials and difficulties, who said, with a smile in jest, "if it wasn't for my bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all!" He was kidding, of course.
--He knew, as believers do, that it is not luck - but it is the Lord - Who blesses, all who love Him.
--Yes, even in the midst of our heartaches or trials!
--He did for Abraham. Joseph of Genesis. For Moses.
--God did it for Joshua. For Job, in all his trials and losses; and in the end, was doubly blessed.
--The list is endless. Add your name or mine, to it.
--The crucified, risen, and Living Lord Jesus "lives to make intercession for us" and to give His help.
--Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled..."
Let us not forget that all these so blessed were obedient to the Word and will of the Lord.
--They were, in a word, "born again" as Jesus states in John 3; and Peter states in I Peter 1:3. Look.
--"The Lord Jesus Christ, according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus...from the dead."
--The "begotten again," is of course, "born again."
--It is to a "living hope," by Jesus' resurrection."
--This is how Jesus can be our Healer of heartaches.
--Therefore let us "Bless" or praise "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Say a good word of Him.
We have been told how, we were blessed, and Who.
--Verse 4 tells us what we have been save to - "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you."
--From the past, Peter points us to the future to all that God has prepared for us with Him in eternity.
--It is an "inheritance," He has laid up for us.
--It is, "incorruptible," that is, not destroyed, or diminished, or lose its value, like stocks, bonds.
--It is "undefiled," cannot be tainted, or spoiled.
--And, "does not fade away," get old, or lose value.
--That is, it does not disappear or vanish away or is ever lost, for it is "reserved in heaven for you."
--That is better than any lock-box, or bank vault.
Another thing let us not overlook, "who are kept by the power of God through (our) faith for salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time" (I Peter 1:5).
--My friend, what a comfort to know we "are kept, by the power of God" working in us by His Spirit!
--In a church cemetery, is a tombstone of the name of the person, and his dates, then one word, "KEPT."
--That in all life's ups and downs, God "kept" him.
--Let the Lord do that for us..day by day, friend.
In all these precious promises, Peter says, "you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials" (v 6).
--Life for us all, day by day, has its grievances.
--Its trials, testings, disappointments, difficulty.
--But so did our Lord Jesus - God Himself!
When Peter, by divine inspirations wrote this Epistle, he had trials; had in mind not only his own, but various persecutions, hardships, and sufferings of fellow believing Jews, who were going through tough times.
--Some had been forced to leave Jerusalem, flee their homeland, and whatever inheritance. Persecutions!
--Or possibly recalling the persecution of Israel all those years as slaves in Egypt, until delivered.
Let us never afflict another unduly nor a part of it!
--Rather let us seek freedom for all people, and civil rights that every creation of God deserves.
Peter reminds us that suffering and trials give joy!
--Trials bring joy to believers, as the cross to Jesus, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). So let us look for joy in our trials.
--Knowing that, after awhile, a victory, or a healing or a resurrection blessing will be our great joy.
Peter is just repeating to us the frequent reminders, of Jesus, that His followers will have some troubles; but "to be of good cheer, He has overcome the world."
--He seeks our growing in faith, and mature in Spirit.
Of course it isn't popular to tell of sufferings - yet it is good to know, that the Lord is with us in them.
Circle I Peter 1:7, "that the genuineness (or trial) of your faith, being much more than precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ." Each of these words needs a close look.
--He says that our faith, or life, is being tested to be improved, and for a great reward.
--Much like the auto makers have proving grounds, to put their cars through all kinds of tests, not to destroy them, but to improve, and make it better.
--I pastored near such grounds for a great car maker.
--And have been taken all around their huge tracks.
--Peter calls our trials "precious" - to bless us.
--Peter, this big fisherman, uses precious 7 times in his Epistles. So lots of precious things of God.
We don't think of trials as precious, do we? To God and later to us, we will discover they are precious.
--"Much more precious than gold." Think about gold.
--It is mined, from the earth. Put in a hot fire, as the dross is separated and burned away, by fire.
--Its product is valuable, and increasingly so.
--That is the only way you can get "pure gold."
--You and I, like the earthen ore, are not much value to God, until the Holy Spirit refines us.
--God has everything to offer us; we little, for Him.
Many today teach we have to do it all ourselves, without God. But, God says, "Follow Me. I'll help you."
--So despite not the trials and testings of the Lord.
Memorize I Peter 1:7, "Whom having not seen you love."
--Of course Peter had seen, and been with Jesus ever so close for those 3 1/2 years; but those he wrote to, did not have this precious blessing..as yet.
--I think it was at a breadfast on the shores of Galilee that the Risen Lord Jesus converted Peter.
--Restored and revived him, "Feed My lambs, sheep."
Jesus was giving Peter another chance! And to us!
--Jesus could have said that morning, "Peter, I can't trust you, you blew it, and failed." But no!
--Jesus is our kind of God - with skin on - of second or third or fourth, chances. Accept His grace!
Peter continues, "Though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory." Isn't that tremendous, and a blessing?
--The Holy Spirit, by His Word, makes Jesus real.
--So we, with the saints of old, rejoice in trials.
--In our heartache Healer! Is Jesus your Savior?
--Why not make sure?
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD. DD. 851