Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
—1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)
Do you need encouragement? Has life thrown you something that seems beyond your ability to endure? In today's Scripture, Peter writes to believers to encourage them that the hardships they experience are a part of God’s grace for them. “My purpose in writing,” Peter shares, “is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.
—1 Peter 5:12b (NLT)
Peter encourages believers enduring hardship not to give up, but to stand firm. How does Peter encourage them? He begins by reminding them of who they are in Christ and what they have received. With abundant mercy, Jesus has given them an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled. Incorruptible means imperishable and everlasting. Undefiled means pure, unblemished, and unstained. Jesus, in His great mercy, has taken their sins and given these believers His righteousness.
Jesus gives you the same inheritance! Peter writes that this inheritance does not fade away. It guarantees a place for you in heaven. You believe by faith and that inheritance is held safely by the power of God. When you know your worth in Jesus, life is not able to shake you. His joy and peace hold you securely. And what is your worth in Him? You are debt-free. You are an heir to the most significant inheritance of all time.
“Dear brothers and sisters,” James writes, “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4, NLT). Allow the troubles of life to grow your understanding of Jesus’s grace. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind—in the way you think. Endure your trial, knowing who you are in Jesus, and you will be complete and lack nothing.
When you realize that the grace of Jesus has set you free from the debt of sin and that you have His incorruptible inheritance, you run life’s race with endurance. “Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us,” the writer to the Hebrews advises. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a, NLT). Yes, He is your champion who began this faith in you and who completes it. His work on the Cross for your salvation is finished. You believe by faith.
“I am certain that God,” Paul writes, “who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6, NLT).
You will flounder in life when you don't know your inheritance in Jesus. Believe you are the righteousness of God in Jesus. Don’t despair when life throws you a curve. Don't give up. Stand strong. Keep your eyes on Him and run your race with perseverance. Jesus cheers you on to the goal. Stand in the grace He has given you. He lives in you. There is nothing that you can’t handle in Jesus.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher