We have spent a month in Peter’s first letter to the churches. What has stood out to you in this passage? Each of us would probably answer differently. But we might agree, that at the very outset, Peter expresses a depth of thankfulness, love and joy that is palpable. Take a look at these adjectives: His great mercy; living hope; imperishable, undefiled, unfading inheritance; faith more precious than gold; joy inexpressible; precious blood; lamb unblemished, spotless; living, enduring Word of God. Peter is pastoral from the beginning. He comforts God’s people by reminding us, that although exiles, we are experiencing new life that has begun and will continue – eternal life! We possess everything needed for our lives today and for the life to come: the mercy of the Father; living hope in Christ’s death and resurrection; the protection of the Spirit. But he does not neglect to tell us of the struggle and trial that will be ours as well: “even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold…may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
May God increase our faith that we may carry close to our hearts, all the promises of Jesus whom we have not seen but love. In our trials, may we know His abiding presence and His glorious Joy that we would, indeed, give Him all praise & glory when He returns.
This Puritan prayer from the Valley of Vision expresses it beautifully
The Valley of Vision
Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision…
Let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty
Thy glory in my valley.