Over the past few weeks we have repeatedly heard, “practice the basics.”
- Wash your hands
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Stay home if you are sick
- Don’t touch your face
- Clean all surfaces
- Practice social distancing
These basic habits were, of course, focused on protecting public health for all. In a similar way, there are basic truths related to our salvation that protect our hearts and keep us focused. One of the basic tenets of our faith is to keep the end in mind at all times.
Salvation is an incredible privilege. In I Peter 1:3-5, the apostle reminds us we have an inheritance that:
- Is imperishable, which means it is untouched by death, decay or disease. In practical terms, your eternal inheritance is always as healthy as it was when it was brand new.
- Is undefiled, which means it is not soiled. As a result, it has no stains of evil and it has not mutated from its original state. In practical terms, it is always as clean is it was when it was brand new.
- Will not fade away, which means it is unimpaired by time and is resistant to powers that would deteriorate it. It is, in effect, UV resistant to the darkness of this world. In practical terms, it is always as beautiful as it was when it was brand new.
- Is reserved, which means it is watched over with a supernatural surveillance system and it is protected by a supernatural guard. In practical terms, it is always as safe as it was when it was brand new.
There is proof that salvation is real. In verses 6-7, Peter points out two unexpected results the people of God experience. First, they are able to rejoice in the midst of trouble. The word literally means, “much leaping” as it pictures someone getting so glad they jump in celebration. It is the reaction I saw on Easter from youngest grandkids when we met online with the family. They are stuck at home and bored with their routine but the prospect of seeing the rest of the family caused them to smile, jump and run around.
There are various words Peter could have used describe trouble and the one he chose here is adversity from outward experiences, which sounds a lot like our current challenge.
Second, obstacles make our faith more valuable. God doesn’t sit around designing difficulties, but he does go to work in the midst of them to purify our faith. We don’t rejoice because we have trouble. We rejoice because our trials reveal our faith like pure gold. In Peter’s day, a goldsmith would heat up gold and stir it up so the impurities rise to the surface. He would then skim off the dross, heat and stir more and repeat the process. This method would continue until the goldsmith could look into the gold and see his reflection. In the same way, God us working alongside our earthly troubles so He can see His reflection in our lives. Just as an athlete is stronger after working out (self-imposed adversity), we become surprisingly stronger during struggles.
As you adjust to the effects of this virus that has redefined our lives, remind yourself daily that your eternal inheritance is as healthy, clean, beautiful and safe as the day God created it. In addition, thank God that He is at work in your life so He can see His reflection in you!
As we all try to process the changes in our world, we have been meeting in a Zoom room on Wednesdays at 6:06 PM PST. I hope you will add your presence to the #WisdomWednesday interactive evening that includes worship, a guest expert then a Bible devotional and discussion lead by Bill and Pam. We want to converse WITH you. It is free, just be sure to register to save your space. We can all practice the basics together!