Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I Peter Introduction
Peter is writing to the churches in Asia. These are Jewish Christians who have been driven out of Jerusalem and scattered all over Asia. This was about the time that Nero's persecution of the church started.
These believers had been driven away from their homes, their families... all because a crazy emperor decided he didn't like their faith. Wouldn't that shake you?
So here they are. Stranded. Trying desperately to cling to a faith that has seemingly failed them. Where is God now? Why is persecution following them? Why are they suffering when they're doing right?
Can you relate? Have you been in their valley? Have you felt this darkness and despair?
The first century church felt persecution from all sides. First from the Jewish people. The brothers of these new Christians. Then from Rome because they would not bow to Caesar. Beaten, put in jail, railed upon, laughed at, mocked, tortured... would your faith stand true?
Peter begins by thanking God for His salvation. And in response to this salvation, this great gift, Peter says “live holy!” God has done a great thing for us... repay Him by obeying Him.
Then Peter starts talking about how to endure suffering. How to live during difficult times. To have a right attitude during persecution and to expect God's deliverance from it.
Footnote- “When you suffer for doing what is right, remember that following Christ is a costly commitment. When persecuted for your faith, rejoice that you have been counted worthy to suffer for your Lord. He suffered for us; as His followers, we should expect nothing less.”
God uses trials and suffering to further refine us. They strengthen our faith and make us better soldiers. So WHEN trials come... remain faithful to God and watch how He will use you.