Hello Chosen Saints of God,
I get so encouraged to hear of people walking in and by the Word of the Lord. People who read the word and spend time with Jesus, those who are truly led by the truth of scripture not their own senses, thoughts and emotions, are secure and steadfast in God and His promises. The longer one walks with the Lord, the more one realizes that we cannot build our lives on anything else but the very words of Jesus. As Peter said, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God…” (John 6:68-69). King David also learned this truth when he penned, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes…” (Psa 19:7-8) Just take a moment and read all of Psalm 19! The confession of who God is, what He is able to do, and the power of His word come from a heart that truly believes that God is God, sovereign, all-powerful, omniscient, holy and just. Do you believe that? No, I mean do you really believe that with all your heart? Why would you? Because that is who God is as He reveals Himself in His word, and hopefully, you have learned He is true to His word by your life experiences walking with Him. Now, take a moment to read the first nine verses of 1st Peter chapter one. Read them several times, in different translations.
If you could read the Greek text, you would see that the very first word after “Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ” is CHOSEN (or literally, to the chosen, which is one word in Greek). Why is this important? Because these people were rejected! They were believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, not the emperors of Rome. For their faith in Christ, they were rejected to the point that they were “dispersed”, driven from their homeland, to find refuge and shelter elsewhere. They were now “aliens” in a foreign land, without a home, strangers who had a flurry of thoughts and emotions, wondering why this was happening to them, just for saying yes to Jesus as Lord and Savior. Have you had that experience of being “rejected” for choosing Jesus? The antidote to rejection is acceptance – and that is what is embodied in the word “chosen”. Accepted by God – chosen by the One who formed and fashioned you in your mother’s womb. Literally, “chosen from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4; Matt. 25:34; Eph. 2:10; Luke 10:20; Rev. 3:5; Rev. 13:8).
Now let me point out the obvious. Peter is the leader of these people – these followers of Jesus who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ. Does he validate their feelings, appeal to their emotions, or “enter into their suffering”? No! he immediately starts his letter with theological truth; with biblical realities about God, their salvation, their status in Christ – He takes them to the truth of scripture! You are chosen by God! You are Sanctified by Holy Spirit! And…you are washed by the blood of Jesus! In other words, “You are saved!” When the world rejects you, hang your hat on the truth of the Gospel. When you experience trials and tribulations, cling to the truth that there is joy in knowing you belong to God because He chose you, saved you, set you apart. We are not of this world, and we do not respond like the world because we have a truth we believe beyond the reality of our physical circumstances. I am chosen by the Father; Praise God! I am sealed and sanctified by Holy Spirit; Praise God! I am washed in the blood of the Lamb; Praise God! I am secure in Christ, and earth is not my home, I’m just a passin' through! I cannot and will not put my trust in anything but the word of God, and what He has said and done in and for me through Christ!
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials” (1Peter 1:6). Agalliaó- greatly rejoice – made up of two words – “agan” – very much; and “hallios” – jump up and down. The truth of our salvation should cause us to agallio like crazy, no matter what the situation is. The same word is used in Luke 10:21 of Jesus, who told his disciples after a very successful healing campaign, to not rejoice in the physical works they had just performed, but in their being chosen and saved – “but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Here is the message friends: circumstances are ever changing – there are always highs and lows, just like emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. We need to cling to and be secure in what does not change, in truth. That truth is found in God’s word, which reveals the salvation given to us in Christ, which includes, election, sanctification and cleansing by the blood, and eternity with Him. We are saved by God! That is the truth that carries us through the storms and challenges of life. That salvation does not prevent us from experiencing trials, but keeps us through the trials, even if we should lose our life in them. God’s truth is secure – a sure anchor to hang on to. That’s where Peter, by the Holy Spirit takes his persecuted church to when the going gets rough. That’s where God takes us to get through our challenges. Our theology is important! Hang on to God and His word – it will get you through to the finish line. If you lack wisdom on this matter, ask God (read James 1:1-12).
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test,
that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)
Have a blessed week!