Serve in Hope

Peter reminded the saints of Asia Minor they were not alone in their struggles. Their fellow believers were experiencing the same kind of sufferings. Their persecution was not an isolated situation. Throughout the world believers were being hounded because they remained firm in their faith. The church in Jerusalem had endured despite opposition that scattered believers throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1). Riots had broken out around Paul and his companions (Acts 14:1-5; 19:29-30). Knowing other Christians are going through the same suffering encourages us. We also can endure through Christ.

1 Peter 5:10 The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. 11 To him be dominion forever. Amen. 12 Through Silvanus, a faithful brother (as I consider him), I have written to you briefly in order to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Hurting people need hope in order to persevere. When we experience severe difficulties, we may despair if we don’t think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Peter concluded his letter by encouraging the persecuted believers to serve with anticipation of God’s ultimate victory. They were surrounded by painful circumstances with no end in sight. Peter wanted to leave them with the confidence that God would overcome and, in Christ, so could they.

Our hope lies not in political influence, financial might, or military power. We rely on the God of all grace. God’s grace enables His children to handle whatever situations He allows into their lives. His grace is sufficient to sustain us and help us not only to endure, but to excel. His grace is the only way we can find inner strength to get past the pain and find the ability to invest ourselves in others. All grace resides in Him. He loves us enough to share His grace as we serve others in His name.

We can trust the Lord because He has called us to be part of His eternal glory. God would not call us to glorify Him if He did not empower us to fulfill His purpose (1 Thess. 5:24). Too, His calling is eternal. His gifts and calling are irrevocable (Rom. 11:29). He does not bid us to His service only to change His mind. In eternity past, God set into motion His divine plan in Christ Jesus. In Christ, He calls us not only to find salvation, but to discover how we might serve for God’s glory.

The phrase in Christ can be applied in two ways within the syntax of this sentence.

  1. First, God’s calling resides in Jesus. God invites us to be reconciled to Himself through Christ.
  2. Second, in Christ, we encounter God’s eternal glory. Both applications are biblical. Just as His grace endures forever, even so His calling and glory are eternal because they reside in Christ Jesus.

Peter encouraged the believers not to doubt God’s calling because of their difficulties. He issued God’s promise to restore, establish, strengthen, and support them. Each of these terms offered hope for these hurting Christians. They had experienced unbelievable loss. Many disciples of the diaspora lost their homes, employment, and families.

By | 2018-04-15T17:57:26+00:00 April 20th, 2018|Categories: Hope|

About the Author:

Pastor Phil, his wife Carol, and their three children, started in Bixby over 23 years ago when New Beginnings was meeting in a downtown Bixby store front. As a result of God's blessings, New Beginnings has become one of the fastest growing churches in Oklahoma. Pastor Phil graduated from Tulsa East Central High School (1978), and Tulsa University (1982). After serving for 11 years as a Student Pastor, at the age of twenty-nine Phil began to pastor his first church in Edgewater, Colorado. Phil received a Master’s Degree from Denver Theological Seminary (1994) and completed his doctorate in Missions and Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. Phil and Carol are honored to serve God in a Kingdom minded church, with joy and longevity.

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