Originally published on March 19, 2020
Hope For Exiles
Building upon our first Coronavirus devotional, it seems appropriate to pull from 1 Peter as we find ourselves in exile, aka social distancing, in 2020. In Peter’s day, the Christians were fleeing persecution under the Roman Emperor Nero, who was infamous for burning Rome and Christians, which became the origin for the phrase “Roman Candles”. While we are not under that sort of attack, the opportunity for fear and hopelessness can set in just as easily when the virus named COVID-19 seems to be taking more from us each day. So, what does Peter have for us some 2000 years later?
Exiles who belong to Christ have a future that is secure (1 Peter 1:1-5)
Peter addresses his letter to “elect exiles”, those whom God has chosen to be His own. If you are following Christ today, its because He has chosen you. If you have not begun to follow Christ but are reading this, He is calling to you. He can do the same work of new birth in you that He has done in His followers. Will you answer (Revelation 3:20)?
For those who have been born again, we were birthed into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This living hope gives us confidence that we too will live again after we leave this world, whether by COVID-19, a bus, old age, or the Lord’s return. We can be prepared for “the worst” when we have deep within us a living hope.
This living hope reveals an inheritance which cannot perish, be defiled or fade away because it is being kept in Heaven for YOU. This inheritance is eternal (Hebrews 9:15) and is rich and glorious (Ephesians 1:18).
Not only is this inheritance being kept for you, but you are being kept for it. Peter says that we are being guarded by God’s power through faith. This same power created all things (John 1:3) and raised Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:19-22). No one and No thing on this earth have that kind of power.
What will living hope do in socially distanced followers of Christ? (1 Peter 1:6-9)
The temporary trials of this life will not steal our joy even when our faith is tested by fire, because it will burn away the impurities that have found their way into our belief. This purified faith WILL result in praise, glory and honor for Christ as we express our love for and belief in Him. Our joy will reach its fullness (Psalm 16:11) when we obtain the outcome of this purified faith, the salvation of our souls. Be prepared to share the reason for your living hope with anyone who asks you (1 Peter 3:15).