Strength to Endure
"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hopefully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13
The counsel Peter gave to these first century "pilgrims" of Christ is as relevant today as it was when first written. They were facing increasing persecution, as well as struggling with their former lives under sin's authority. It was vital that they develop strong minds prepared to withstand the onslaught of trials and temptations they were facing. Central to their strength in enduring the trials before them was their hope in the fulfillment of all they were promised eternally at Christ's return.
Their lives had been thrown into a fiery crucible that would have affected every area of life. To strengthen their resolve to endure, they had to "gird up" their minds with truth. That truth became a spiritual weapon that assured victory. This is still true for our generation today.
First, we must see our temporal suffering in light of our living hope in a risen Savior; one who promises an outpouring of glorious and limitless riches that will be ours at the second coming of Christ (v. 3-5). The suffering that we must endure as citizens of the Kingdom of God cannot compare to the eternal glory that awaits us. Secondly, we must have God's perspective on the trials and temptations that our fallen world and fallen nature heaps upon us. These difficulties provide a God-ordained role to purify and strengthen the genuineness of our faith in Christ. These troubles expose the traits of our fallen nature so that we may put them off, and then "put on" our new life in Christ (Eph. 3, 4).
Under the testing of our faith, we will find we are either "fair-weather" friends, or we are those willing to lay down our lives for the One who laid His life down for us. His love and His eternal friendship with us have been tested in His own crucible of affliction, and have been shown to be more than genuine. When we joyfully suffer fiery trials that our faith in Him brings upon us, we too can know if our hearts are genuinely given to Him.
Our faith, tested by fire, is a gift of love we can give to the One who is worthy of any sacrifice. Let us "gird up" our minds to face the fiery trials with the deep seated hope that Christ is worth more than any price we must pay in this fallen, doomed world.
-Calvary Church Boise
Created 11 months ago