Peter, the Apostle, knew that hard days lay ahead for his fellow believers. So he reminded them about their security as children of God, they were chosen by Him, born into a living hope, given spiritual protection during this life, and guaranteed eternity in heaven with their Father.
1 Peter 1:13-14 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance. 15 But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
Peter then gave them specific ways to prepare for the coming trials. His words, divinely inspired by the Lord, can guide us as well.
His FIRST instruction relates to their minds - "Therefore gird up the loins of your minds." What we believe has a direct impact on our response to life’s problems. If we trust that God is caring for us, then we will feel less threatened by hard circumstances. But if we decide we must rely on ourselves to get us through, then we are more likely to react poorly to situations beyond our control. A negative attitude—whether from anger, fear, worry, or jealousy—can make a hard time worse. Preparation for the future starts with developing sound Bible thinking.
The SECOND instruction from Peter is to - "be sober." In other words, to maintain our balance in the midst of crises. That requires resisting quick fixes to problems and refusing to embrace ungodly ideas or philosophies. Our old enemy satan is quick to offer suggestions designed to trip us up or turn us away from God’s way and God's Word.
But with the Holy Spirit’s help we can learn to stand firm in a crisis and steadfastly follow the Lord.
Much of the world's culture is increasingly distancing itself from Jesus Christ and opposing His followers. Are you preparing spiritually for whatever the future holds? Now more than ever we must be counter-culture in our daily lives.
These two ways prepare us for life’s difficulties; biblical thinking and balanced judgment.
Peter has this THIRD instruction included in vs. 13 - "and rest your hope fully upon the grace." No matter how hard the circumstances, life has purpose and meaning in Christ.
The Saviour has promised always to be with us and to keep watch as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Through the Holy Spirit’s transforming power, troubled times can become opportunities to learn more about God’s faithfulness, draw on His strength, stand up under them, and experience personal growth.
Peter also says in his FOURTH instruction in vs. 14 - "not conforming yourselves to the former lusts." That means resisting our former lifestyle. It means renovating our minds. When troubles come, it's tempting to revert to ungodly habits. In these seasons of life, satan will encourage us to pursue any path that leads away from the Lord. We need to remember that we are New Creations whose lifestyles are to match our position as God’s children. That old behaviour does not fit us anymore, that lifestyle has passed away and is no longer a part of us at all.
Then his FIFTH instruction he says in vs. 15 - "you also be holy in all your conduct." Making holiness our goal or being holy, or set apart, begins with giving up control over our life to the Holy Spirit. As we submit to Him, He will begin to express the life of Christ through us. By learning what pleases God and acting accordingly, we cooperate with His efforts to conform us to the Son’s image.
While struggles can be part of almost everyday life, we do not have to be overcome by them!
Jesus said in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Amen, what a comfort.
Think about the specific steps you can take, remembering Jesus’ promise, and continue to carry out Peter's instructions today.
Have a wonderful week following The Lord.