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Confident about the Future

1 Peter 1:4-5
… and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. (NIVUK)

Troubles make us worried.  Yet the anxiety is not so much about being able to cope today, but the fear of not being able to handle all the tomorrows.  Peter was writing to Christians who were isolated and under threat of suffering because of persecution (1 Peter 5:10).  They faced the temptation of, ‘Shall I give up on Jesus today so that I will not have trouble tomorrow?’  Peter does not deal with that by simply encouraging them to keep going (although that is often good short-term advice); instead, he shows them what the long-term future will really look like, if they keep trusting Jesus.

The future for the Christian is not measured in days or even years, it stretches far beyond the grave.  In the perspective of eternity, this life is microscopic.  Although it may seem everything to us, it is only the first tiny part of the eternity that God has planned for us to enjoy with Him.  In this world nothing lasts, and everything will spoil and fade - but in heaven there is not the slightest hint of corruption, ever (Matthew 6:20). The New Birth, which starts the Christian's life with God, is just the introduction to our eternal life with Him (John 3:16).  

Our inheritance (the pleasure of entering into all that Christ has won for us), is personally reserved for us; and there is no risk of it being devalued in any way. It will be enjoyed by those who keep on trusting Jesus for everything.  Not only is our inheritance kept for us, but we are kept for it.  Believers choose to keep on trusting God to protect them from all that would harm their souls, including giving in to the temptation to give up before they meet Jesus. Until Jesus comes again or God calls us away from this life, believers are shielded by the same power which raised Jesus from death (Romans 8:11).

When Christ comes again, what joy we will have in welcoming Him as He welcomes us into His home (Matthew 25:23). On that day, all our earthly trials will seem insignificant (2 Corinthians 4:17).  That is Peter's message to troubled Christians 2000 years ago: it is still God's message to us today.  So, don't give up, remember all that is waiting for you!  And in that confidence, be a rejoicing person at work and not a grumbler!  Every day is shaped and coloured by what we expect tomorrow will be: let the expectation of Christ’s return motivate your working day. 

Dear Lord. Thank You for promising that You have already reserved a special inheritance for me. Forgive me when I chase shadows in the darkness when You have set treasures in the light ahead of me. Help me to keep remembering that this life is far from the whole story. Help me to work and wait patiently, enduring troubles so that I will not be a disappointment to you when You return. And give me a fresh confidence that You will keep me protected by Your power, until that day. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams