“An Unshakeable Faith”
Suffering has many forms. It may come from physical abuse, debilitating disease, social ostracism, or some type persecution. The side effects of such things can lead to low self-esteem, depression, brokenness to the point of wondering if there is a God, can He be trusted? Perhaps the greatest suffering is feeling unloved, unwanted and afraid. The Books of I and II Peter have to do with suffering. The author (Peter) understood persecution. He had been beaten, jailed and his life was often threatened. He had seen fellow Christians die, simply because they were followers of Jesus. Peter also had a relationship with Christ and nothing could shake his confidence in his risen Lord. I Peter is written to Christians everywhere who are suffering for their faith or other reasons. He gives comfort and hope with encouragement to stay loyal to the Lord.
Peter urges us as believers to keep doing right things when trials and any type persecution comes along. We are currently living in perilous times. Many people are acting out their anger and the result is destruction of homes, businesses, bodily injury and many deaths. When anyone acts on the impulse of anger, rarely does anything good come of it. Peter commands Christians not to give up hope during times like these, but to draw even closer to God and depend upon His Spirit for wisdom and guidance.
As believers, we serve an unshakeable and unchanging God. Peter said, “In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil of fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power …” (I Pet. 1:3-5). He drives us toward holy living that in the darkness of any day, unbelievers will see the light of Christ in us. Rather than fight or seek revenge, “be self-controlled; do not conform to the evil desires YOU HAD when you lived in ignorance. But just as He called you to be holy, so be holy in all you do” (1:14-16). God calls His people to be different. We don’t respond to evil with evil actions, nor do we contribute to the problems with foolish talk or gossip. God’s people have a faith that is real and will not be destroyed or denied by evil doers.