29 April 20141 Peter 1:1-12
“Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (v. 8)
Peter is writing a letter of encouragement and support to those who are living as exiles after facing persecution for their Christian faith. Most of these people would have been Jewish converts with whom Peter had been living, so he would know them and their situation very well. There is a warmth to this letter that offers both hope and a warning that times will continue to be difficult as their faith is being tested. Peter encourages them to rejoice through their trials as their faith is precious.
In his greetings Peter sets out both his credentials and a blessing for those who have been chosen by God. The word 'apostle' reminds people that he was one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection with authority to lead and to share and spread the gospel (good news about Jesus).
As their leader he reminds the people that they have been chosen and sanctified (made holy) (verse 2), have a new birth and a living hope (verse 3), an inheritance and through all their troubles they will have the power of God to protect them (verses 4-5). They have been blessed by the Holy Spirit who has given them insights into the lives and work of the prophets who pointed the way to Jesus.
- How would you describe the blessings you have received from God?
- How does and how can the Church support those facing persecution today?
- Give thanks for the people or situations that have pointed you to Jesus.