Study #6 – 1 Peter – Futility

Study #6 – 1 Peter 1:14-21

Futility

“14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

There is so much richness in this passage. There is so much theology and doctrine. It touches the subjects of salvation, Jesus’ perfection, His foreknowledge, His perfect timing, God as judge, God as holy, the state of humankind without God, the resurrection and more. My encouragement is for you to read this passage four or five times slowly, taking it all in.

With so much goodness in this passage, I asked God how I could apply this passage to our lives as the sick and suffering children of God. What jumped out to me was the concept of adoption and transformation, and how those things affect our outlook. In other words, we were adopted by God, changed by God, and therefore how we handle the trials and pain we experience should be different than the world too.

God says through Peter in verse 18 that we humans inherited futile ways from our forefathers. In other words, we are born into the line of Adam and we are all sinners. We have futile thoughts. He also says our ways before God were ignorant. Then we received the salvation of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection and we were adopted into the family of God. We were delivered from the futility and the worldly thinking. We were saved from the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes and the pride of life…not that we never fall back into them but that we are not ruled by them. We repent and are forgiven and free. This adoption takes us from being sons and daughters of the world and transfers us to official sons and daughters of God Almighty! And you can say hallelujah to that!

So we no longer belong to the world. As children of God, He begins and works in and through us, transforming us into who we will be in His kingdom. We put off the old desires and thinking. We take on God’s ways and thinking by studying the Bible and praying….walking closely with Him. This means everything is different. God says, be holy for He is holy. Holy can mean pure, but it also means apart. He is apart from evil in every way. He is love, hope, goodness, truth…basically every pure and holy thing. So, as He is apart from evil and darkness, we also should be apart from the futility of this world’s way of thinking.

What that means for me, friends, is that we need not look at the struggle of our lives with the same despair and hopelessness that those without Christ exist in. No matter how hard our lives get, or how sick we are, or how much pain and suffering we endure, we have an assured hope because we know how this story ends. It ends with us in paradise with God. It ends with an eternity of joy and peace and bliss. God says that the sufferings of this present time aren’t worthy to be compared to the glory that’s coming. He says He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He says He will deliver us and that we will be healed when we leave this world (if not sooner).

Beloved, we belong to God. We are His kids. So let us think like His kids and not like children of the world. We know where we are going. We know God loves us, even if we don’t always feel it in our suffering. I pray that our pain be taken away, but even more importantly I pray that we are holy like He is holy, and that people would see us handle the pain and suffering with such steadfast strength (God’s strength), joy (God’s joy) and peace (His peace that surpasses understanding), that they too will be compelled to seek out this Jesus that changes lives. That’s my prayer.

God bless you!!!!

Study #5 of 1 Peter – Set Your Hope

“13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 Set your hope fully on the grace that is coming at the revelation of Christ. These are good words indeed. Let’s face it, what else can we set our hope on these days?
Can we put our hope in doctors? I know I, for one, have been really let down by many of the medical professionals from which I have sought help. I can’t set my hope in them. They are still learning too. They don’t know everything. They are oftentimes just as lost as we are. If I put my hope in doctors, I’d have given up a long time ago. I’m grateful for the doctors that do help me, but I don’t put my hope in them.
Can we place our hope in our health and strength? God forbid! I can’t depend on myself. Some days I can barely pull myself out of bed. I’m weak. I’m hurting. If I hope in my health, I’ve already lost the battle. I also want to declare here that we are not promised perfect health in the Bible. Jesus does not heal everyone at that moment or even on earth. If we were promised perfect health, Christians would never die. Ah, but sin entered in and with sin came sickness and decay and death. So we can’t “claim” health or “command” health. We can ask God humbly for healing and wait on Him. We can’t put our hope in health, but rather on the God who knows the very intricate workings of our body.
Can we set our hope on our relationships? Well that’s a tough one. I think many of us, who have experienced pain and suffering, have also experienced relationship struggles. Whether it’s in marriage or friendships or family relationships, sickness puts a strain on people and how they relate. We have to remember that people are sinners…WE ALL ARE. So our loved ones are sinners too. Our spouses are sinners. Our mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and children and “besties” and our pastors are all sinners too. (Catch that last one?) We can’t set our hope on people because people are imperfect sinners and we will all let each other down. We have to have grace on one another, forgive and work on mending relationships, but we can’t set our hope on them.
So what can we set our hope on? JESUS CHRIST and the glory and grace that is coming with Him at His revelation. Notice in verse 13 that it says the grace that “will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”? That’s talking about the great revelation. When Jesus comes back, everyone’s going to know about it. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Amen? That’s what’s coming.
So set your hope on what’s coming. Set your hope on Jesus Christ. No matter what happens to you, your circumstances, your illness, your pain, your suffering, financial struggles, divorce, abandonment… if you set your hope on Jesus you’ll never fail. He will never fail us, my friends.
Romans 12:12, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Psalm 39:7, ““And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”
Psalm 71:14, “But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.”
Titus 3:7, “So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Praying your hope abounds today!!!