“...born again...to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1 Peter 1:4-5
We live in a world in which everything perishes. Nothing in this world lasts forever. Sometimes, this gives us hope in bad times, that they too will come to an end, but usually it steals our joy because we know that good times always come to an end.
However, when describing the ‘living hope’ that Christians have been called to, Peter describes our inheritance — something that is rightfully ours based on our sonship to God which Jesus bought for us in His life, death, and resurrection — as imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. When you consider how many words he uses to describe the same idea, you realize how important this point is. This is an inheritance that is not going anywhere! It is there, it is certain, it is precious, and it is being kept in heaven for us. Our inheritance is in heaven, where Christ is. He is our hope, our prize and the goal of our faith. And in Him we have all that we need: everlasting life, joy, fulfilment, and an eternity of pure delight in the Lord.
Now, these things sound great, but unfortunately, sometimes they feel distant. How can a Christian be comforted by this inheritance in the midst of very present, very real suffering? It is by considering that the inheritance is kept for us who are being guarded for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Peter describes this aspect of being guarded in two ways: firstly, we are guarded by God’s power, and secondly, we are guarded through faith.
Let us consider who is guarding us. Generally, we tend to sleep easier when we know that there are security guards outside. This kind of guarding cannot be compared to the safety and security that we have in God. We are being guarded by God’s power! This is the power with which He spoke the universe into existence, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power that caused us to be born again, the power that sustains all things. Even in the darkest trials and temptations, we are being guarded by God in His great power. He shall never lose us. Dear Christian, this is an anchor upon which you can rest your entire hope, even on the darkest days and in the deepest valleys.
Consider again, that we are being guarded through faith. The statement in this verse is similar to the one in Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” From this we see that salvation comes from the grace of God, and is received through faith. That is, it is God working graciously, and we receive it through faith. Even here in the text for today, we see that our faith is not the one that is guarding us (God is the One doing that by His power). Our faith is the means by which He is guarding us. And this is great news for us, because many times trials and suffering threaten to weaken and overthrow our faith and to shake our hope in God. However, knowing that He is the One who powerfully guards us through our faith in Him gives us confidence that no trial, temptation or suffering will have the final say concerning the state of our souls. We keep trusting and believing in Him, and we are comforted to know that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can overcome. And even in the toughest moments, He has promised never to leave us, nor forsake us.
Therefore, let us hold fast to the hope that we have received in Christ, knowing that our inheritance is, at this very moment, awaiting us in heaven where Christ our Savior is. And let us therefore stand firm in our faith, for it is the Lord who is guarding us in His great power.
When you are tried and tested in various ways, where do you look first? Do you look to yourself and the weakness of your faith, or are you gladdened by this blessed news that it is God who is guarding you in His great power?