“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 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. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
-1 Peter 1:3–9
That’s one of my, I think, favorite passages in all the Bible. There’s so much we could talk about here. I actually was preaching through 1 Peter over the last couple of years and this text in particular. So I preached on 1 Peter 1, three through 12, I don’t necessarily love recommending my own sermons, but just what this word did in my own heart, as I was preparing, and then proclaiming the truth in it, I would encourage you. And there’s a lot of good truth in 1 Peter 1, three through 12 to soak in that I would point you to, even in that sermon, but I don’t have time to do that here. And I want to lead us to pray here, but just to summarize, give you a little cliff notes.
1 Peter 1:3–9 Reminds Us that We May Struggle with Our Faith
1 Peter is written to Christians who were suffering, who were struggling in their faith, actually suffering because of their faith. It’s a picture we see all throughout the Bible that faith often leads to struggle, that faith endures through suffering. So in this passage, we’re seeing how to hold on to faith in the middle of suffering. And just to summarize, how do you hold onto faith in the middle of hard times? I know I’m speaking to people right now who are walking through hard times.
One, you look back, you look back at how God caused you to be born again. Even 1 Peter chapter one, verse two talks about how we are foreknown by God. Like Ephesians 1 language before the creation of the world, look back and know that God loves you and God has pursued you and God has caused you to become his child. Look back at the Cross, at Jesus, dying on the Cross to make a way for you to have eternal joy and eternal life.
So look back, look forward at the inheritance that’s coming for you, that’s imperishable and undefiled and unfading, and it’s kept in heaven for you. The outcome of your faith is the ultimate salvation of your soul. And as you look back and you look forward, then look up at the God right now, who has promised to guard your faith, who has promised in the trials and the testing of your faith to purify you, to work all of this together for your good that your faith may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:3–9 Leads Us to Pray for Those Suffering
So I just want to pray that over you, especially if you’re walking through hard times in any way. God, I pray for the faith of every single person who’s listening right now, especially those who are walking through struggles, who are walking through suffering.
God, I pray that you would sustain their faith, you would guard their faith, that you would help them even right now in a fresh way to look back at your love for them before the world was even formed, how you knew them, how you set your heart on them, how you sent your son to die on the Cross for them, how you love them. May they look back, may they look forward into what’s coming to this inheritance you’ve given them that is imperishable and undefiled and unfading.
So, God, we praise you that testing trials are only for a little while, that that’s not where the story will end as we look forward and as we look up to you, who promise to guard us and guide us and lead us through trials that grieve us and through testing, we walk through in ways that will result and praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. We pray all of these things for our lives and God.
This Verse Calls Us to Pray for Suffering Afghan Believers
We pray all of these things for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. Amidst the suffering and the trials that they are walking through. God, we pray specifically today for women in Afghanistan. We pray for our sisters in Christ. Lord, help them to endure amidst unjust treatment, amidst lack of protection in a variety of ways. God may they look to Jesus, find in Jesus, hope and salvation and security.
Like we see in 1 Peter 1, we pray this over our sisters in Christ there. We pray this over women there, girls who don’t know you. May they find the security and the hope and the salvation, the imperishable inheritance that’s found in you, Jesus. God, we pray for brothers and sisters. God, we pray for the church in Afghanistan. We pray for the spread of the gospel in Afghanistan in Jesus’ name. Amen.