The Foreknowledge of God, Trials, and Peace

When going through trials, it is easy to get discouraged.  This is true of people ever since sin first entered the world through Adam and Eve in the garden on Eden.  It will be true until the return of Christ.   In the early church, the believers were suffering persecution for their beliefs and had been scattered in the dispersion following the reception of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  They needed encouragement, and the Apostle Peter gave it to them in his first letter.

1 Pet 1: 1 ¶ Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

This letter, begins with a reminder of God’s sovereignty and that everything they were going through, as well as everything we go through, is supremely orchestrated and under God’s sovereign control.  God knew of their struggles before the creation of the world, and in some divine way those trials fit into a master plan for the whole of God’s created world in such a way that His glory is magnified.  Those who love Him and are called according to his purpose can rest in the satisfaction of knowing that they will partake of his glory for eternity and their good will be likewise magnified.

This passage calls out to God for grace and peace to be multiplied during their tough times and for help to endure and wait on God’s deliverance.  Like those in the early church, those of us who are struggling can similarly cry out to God for extended grace and peace in our times of trouble and for wisdom in dealing with out trials.  God knows the perfect timing for everything in accordance with his purpose and we can trust him knowing that he has our ultimate good in mind.

We must be careful, however, that the trouble coming our way is not the result of discipline coming from God and need to humbly come before Him in repentance of any known sins in our lives.  We need to ask him to examine our hearts and reveal any unknown issues, sinful tendencies, or hidden faults and allow him to work in and through our lives.

Above all, we need to learn to fear God and stay focused on Jesus.   God is with us through our pain and He sees the big picture and glory that awaits us in eternity.

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