Have you ever had a situation arise or walk through a season that threatened to derail your faith? Me too. It doesn’t seem to matter how long we’ve been walking with the Lord, there are those times or things that shake our faith to its core.
As a new believer, the trials that come our way often catch us off guard. All of the sudden life is really hard as we realize sin’s role in our lives and the hold it has on us. Life’s trials can also catch seasoned believers off guard also. Suddenly something happens that shakes our world and the devil seizes the opportunity to plant seeds of doubt. No one is immune to that phenomenon.
The trials that meet us in life expose our sin and open us up for the Lord to work in our lives. If we are one of His own, those trials are designed to drive us closer to God and He will rescue us, drawing us closer to Himself. This process leaves us changed and produces spiritual growth in our lives.
Trials are painful but those pain points have a holy purpose. In 1 Peter 1:13-16, Peter reminds his Jewish Christian friends that because of their faith, the hope they have been given in Christ, and the testing of their faith, they are now to forsake the way they formerly lived. The trials propel us to forsake our former life. They cause us to set our hope on God’s grace.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:13-16
The people he wrote to were first generation Christians which meant they were likely still very familiar with the Torah and Jewish customs so he quotes a passage from Leviticus 11:44 where God commands the Israelites to be holy because He is holy. Being holy means that we live a life that stays away from the pleasures of the flesh.
Our new life in Christ comes with a calling or command from the Lord himself. As exiles, we are representatives of heaven. Living a holy life is how we best represent our homeland and our King. We are able to do that when we fully realize the mercy God has shown us and we set our hope fully on that grace toward us and his gift of eternal life.
Peter uses language that shows action when calling us to holy living. He tells us we are to prepare our minds for action, meaning consider our thoughts and theology and put away wrong thinking. He also tells us to be sober-minded, which means that we need to be on guard and aware of what’s going on around us. While God’s grace and mercy are extended to us on no account of our own, we are called to do something with it. Being holy is a choice we make in response to the gift of eternal life we have been given.
Those trials bring about the perspective that allows us to set our hope on grace. What a gift!