Rev. Brian Johnson
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-9; Mark 16:1-8
At the outset of 1 Peter, we recognize that things in this time aren’t all sunshine and butterflies. 1 Peter is written within the context of the burning of Rome, a time in history filled with tumult and worry. The writer of 1 Peter has a clear reminder for his audience: what you are enduring now does not compare to what God is doing in you. The encouragement in this season is to take hope and cling to what God might be doing in your midst. In reality, God is all too familiar with the suffering that is at hand. After all, God has endured the painful death of his son Jesus. And yet the call is not to focus on the suffering, but on the call to press on and move forward. It’s a call to people but it is a call to the church as well. With all that is happening in our world today, our hope isn’t to be found in a denomination, a leader, or in our own way of thinking. Our hope is found in Jesus.
No matter what you are going through right now, God loves you and God is with you, encouraging you to look ahead to what you hope for instead of focusing on the present suffering.
- What you are enduring now doesn’t compare to what God is doing in you.
- Salvation of your soul — this is the inheritance and the gift.
- The distress of the current moment as a temporary trial.
- This doesn’t have to mean that you are “being tested”; it does mean that what is happening now doesn’t have to be how it always will be.
- In the midst of suffering, realize you aren’t alone. God has done this too. It can suck but it doesn’t suck by itself.
- What you feed grows and what you starve dies.
- This isn’t a prescription just for us as people, it’s a community call as well. In the midst of what we are going through as a church, can we hold onto a real hope that can’t be found in a denomination or a pastor, but only in Jesus.