“Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. [Born anew] in an INHERITANCE which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] FAITH [till you fully inherit that final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time. [You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a LITTLE WHILE you may be DISTRESSED by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your FAITH is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with INEXPRESSIBLE and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) JOY. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your FAITH, the salvation of your soul.”
~ 1 PETER 1:3-9 AMPLIFIED BIBLE ~
The Supplies Necessary for SURVIVORS–
Okay, I am hooked on watching REALITY TELEVISION! My favorite reality show is “The Amazing Race”, then this summers “Stars and Stripes” and of course “Survivor”. If you have never been addicted to “Survivor” (I’m on a Survivor sabbatical as of this writing), it’s about dumping 16 people out in the middle of no-where; with no food and no water and to learn on their own how to survive. Sounds like fun, WRONG!
But that’s not all entirely true. The network show always gives them a supply of water to get started, a supply of canned goods and rice to eat. Also a first-aid kit with bandages, ointments and personal items included.
Despite the appearances of the people left in a wilderness setting to fend for themselves, the TV Producers have given them a few provisions for their survival.
We Too Need Certain Provisions to SURVIVE! (1 Peter 1:3-9)
In order for us to survive in this world, we need FOOD, WATER and AIR as essentials. I found out in my Detective search, that Homo Sapiens (Man), can live for about 40 days without food; 3 days without water and 8 minutes without air.
The apostle Peter’s warning of the impending persecution they are about to face as he encourages the Christians in the Roman Empire, is that God has made provisions to help them survive.
And God still provides the same provisions necessary in surviving life in today’s world.
GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES FOR OUR NEEDS:
We tend to get caught up in the material and monetary aspects of God’s provisions.
Missionary Hudson Taylor.
Hudson Taylor’s complete trust in God’s provisions were on display as he wrote the following in his journal:
Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning…He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all…Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. ~Our Daily Bread, May 16, 1992~
It Sometimes Seems Hard To SURVIVE During Trying Times.
I know that there are some of you reading this blog of mine facing some very difficult things in life right now. You even wonder how you are going to make it through all of it.
Peter’s message applies to you and he tells in detail how God has provided His provisions; for you to survive life with its trials and challenges.
So grab a pen and paper, and your Bible and start listing the 4-Basic Elements Needed for Christian Survival!
#1. AN EVER- LIVING HOPE (vs. 3):
HOPE defined, NOT a hope that is in doubt:
Like, “The weatherman says there’s an 80% chance of rain tomorrow and I HOPE it doesn’t rain.” The HOPE that Peter is talking about is more like a conviction of FAITH.
Peter describes that HOPE is an ever-living hope!
Our HOPE in salvation and eternal life rests in JESUS! Jesus died and was buried but was then raised to life and now lives today. Paul writes in Corinthians:
But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead,
and He became the firstfruits of those who have
fallen asleep [in death].”
~I Corinthians 15:20~
Peter is able to testify to this occurrence on a first hand basis. He saw the empty tomb and he saw Jesus after His resurrection with his own eyes. So OUR HOPE for eternal life rests in Christ Jesus; it’s an EVER-LIVING HOPE because Christ Himself is alive!
#2. IMPERISHABLE INHERITANCE (vs.4):
Maybe you’ve heard stories about what people leave as INHERITANCES in their wills:
A Philadelphia woman instructed the executor to take one dollar from her estate and invest it and pay the interest on this investment to her husband ‘as evidence of my estimate of his worth.’
Patrick Henry, the great revolutionary war figure most famous for his words, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” And yet, he wasn’t the most savvy business person. After his death in 1799, they opened his will to read,
This is all the inheritance that I can give to my dear family: The religion of Christ will give one which will make them rich indeed.
God has provided for each one of us an INVALUABLE INHERITANCE.
No matter what we lose in this life, may it be.
RICHES, HOMES, LOVED ONES or OUR VERY LIVES. These are NOT ELEMENTS you can survive on.
We will gain a great inheritance in heaven and Peter has painted us a picture identifying the Israelites of old and the Christians today:
The Israelites wandered in the desert wilderness for 40 years, sustained by the promise of their inheritance of the Promised Land that god had told them was theirs.
Edmund Clowney [I didn’t make that up] writes,
Like Israel in the wilderness, the New Testament ‘saints’ of God are aliens and pilgrims. They make their way through a world that is becoming more hostile. Yet they are NOT wandering beggars, cast off from their possessions. They hold a sure title to the inheritance God has given them. Their ‘patch of green’ in a vast wilderness.
This INHERITANCE Peter speaks about is “beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading.” (vs. 4)
No one or thing can take away your inheritance of eternal life with Christ. As Christians, we are members of God’s family and an heirs to the inheritance God has kept for us. It’s much better than bandages and ointments in a Survivor’s First Aid Kit. A person can run out of those elements.
#3. A PRECIOUS FAITH (vs. 7):
Our FAITH is compared to gold.
FIRE itself doesn’t destroy gold but removes the IMPURITIES from it. Our FAITH is put to the fire during times of trials in which the impurities are removed and our faith is made stronger.
TRIALS and SUFFERING strengthen our faith by removing the pride, the dependence on our selves forcing us to trust in God even more when we draw closer to Him.
Peter goes on to say and describes to the Christians of his day, even though they don’t see JESUS, they believe in Him and love Him. That my friends describes us too. We have obtained A PRECIOUS FAITH from God and in God we’re made stronger through times of suffering in our lives.
#4. AN INEXPRESSIBLE JOY (vs.8):
God has presented us with a EVER-LIVING HOPE, AN INVALUABLE INHERITANCE, and a PRECIOUS FAITH; producing in us an INEXPRESSIBLE JOY.
Because we know that GOD LOVES US and we have nothing to fear because… we have a certain hope for life eternal after this life. We can REJOICE because GOD has SAVED US!
QUESTION: Have you ever been so happy that you don’t know what to do with yourself?
I felt that way when our first daughter was born. Dianne and I used to spend our nights during the last three months of her pregnancy, working on jigsaw puzzles on our first apartment’s cold floor (I was unemployed and we were ‘dirt poor’).
We used to have conversations while working on the puzzles on what it would be like to be parents and would our first baby be a girl or a boy (no ultrasound pictures in those days).
We were so excited!
When the day finally arrived for the baby to be born, I was so excited and could hardly wait for the blessed birth. Finally, the doctor strolled down the hospital’s long hallway with a big grin on his face, so I knew immediately…
The doctor said, “Did you want a boy or a girl?” And of course my answer was, “It doesn’t matter Doc. Is my wife okay and the baby…?”
“Well…(after a long pause, but with a bigger grin), the baby is a healthy girl and Dianne is doing just fine. You can go in the delivery room and see your lovely wife.” My response to the good news? “Don’t stand in the doorway!”
I had so much JOY in my heart in hearing the good news, I couldn’t contain myself. Now I’m not much of a ‘smiler’, but THAT day, it was a smile from ear to ear.
As Christians, there should be a SMILE ON OUR FACES.
That smile should be so wide that people will wonder what’s wrong with us. We should have JOY in our hearts and in our lives, because the apostle Peter says in verse 9, the GOOD NEWS:
“…you receive the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
THIS TYPE OF JOY IS CONTAGIOUS:
This type of JOY is infectious. Others want to know why you possess that much JOY. You can tell them when they ask, It’s because God sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins. I’m forgiven. And not only that…after JESUS died, God raised Him back to life! And He has promised to do the same for me.”
God Has Provided the Provisions Necessary.
God has given us the 4-Basic Elements needed for Christian survival in the wilderness; life in the real world. And as professing Christians, we possess:
1. AN EVER-LIVING HOPE!
2. AN INVALUABLE INHERITANCE!
3. A PRECIOUS FAITH!
4. AN INEXPRESSIBLE JOY!
Your Bible is your Christian first-aid SURVIVAL KIT: The provisions contained in God’s Word which will carry us through life’s trials that we daily face. You know that it there, so open up it up!