Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 04/12/2009 – 14:37
Bible Book: 1 Peter / 1 Petrus
Verse: 17 – 23
1 Peter 1:17-23
How do we go on when the going gets tough? Peter is writing to people who are experiencing a “tough time”. In verse 17 he describes his readers as “foreigners” (NLT – compare “the time of your exile” in RSV). From many other passages in this letter it becomes clear that Peter writes to Christians who experience many tribulations (for example: 1:6, 2:19-21, 3:14, 3:17, 4:1, 4:13, 4:16, 4:19 and 5:10).
Hardship brings its own temptations. And if hardship results from being a foreigner (outsider), being different from the rest, the temptation will be to conform to your surroundings. “Blend in! Do as the Romans do!” you may say to yourself.
But this is not the advice Peter gives to his readers. He admonishes them to be sober (verse 13), not to conform (14), to be holy (15), to live in reverent fear of God (17 – NLT), to be obedient and to love one another (22). So what Peter is saying is: when the going gets tough – go on!
But how? How can he say this? What will motivate people who are experiencing tough times to go on?
The one answer (there are many answers in this letter) to these questions that struck me is Peter’s argument in verses 18 and 19. Peter reminds his readers who they are and what they are worth. “You know that you were ransomed”, Peter says. God “paid a price” for your salvation – and this “price” cannot be expressed in terms of the gold and silver of this world. The “price” was much more – it was “the precious blood of Christ” (RSV)!
And that is what you are worth!
When we remember our value in God’s eyes it will be our motivation to remain faithful even when we experience tough times.
To think about (or discuss): Does Peter’s argument in verse 18 and 19 motivate you to be faithful to your principles or is there something else that motivates you?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)