Monday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.
“Grace to you and peace be multiplied,” proclaims St. Peter in the opening of his First Epistle. Speaking as an ambassador for Christ Jesus, Peter bestows these very things upon the Christians who read and hear and meditate on his words. What greater comfort can the Christian find in this life than to know that our Triune God has arranged everything for our salvation, from beginning to end? From the Father’s election in eternity, to the Spirit’s sanctification in time, who sprinkled us with the justifying Blood of Christ that is mixed with the water of Holy Baptism, our God has devoted Himself to helping us in our desperate need, working mightily to save us for time and for eternity.
Since we have been born again and made children of God through faith in Christ Jesus, Peter directs our eyes heavenward, to where our risen Savior reigns, and where our everlasting inheritance awaits. There is comfort and joy to be found in knowing ahead of time how the story ends for us, if, by God’s power and strength, we persevere in faith until the end. The story ends well, in unfading glory, in joy that will never end. But there is great comfort, too, in knowing that even our present trials are not beyond God’s control. They are part of God’s design to keep us steadfast in the faith by exercising our faith, testing it, purifying it, and causing it to shine. And best of all, such trials are temporary, lasting only a “little while.” How it must drive the devil mad! He persecutes and afflicts us in order to tear us away from faith. But God uses those very afflictions to drive us closer to Him and closer to His Word, as part of His good and gracious plan to bring us safely into our eternal inheritance.