According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you… In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-4, 6-7
I was thinking today of how different heaven will be than the world we know here. God has promised an inheritance to those whom He’s adopted as His children. And that inheritance is imperishable, undefiled and unfading.
This life contains so many things that are perishable, defiled and fading away. I bought two carrots 3 days ago and put them in the fridge. When I got them out last night to use in a recipe, they were mushy and limp. In a matter of 3 days, they went from being healthy and crisp to completely unusable.
All you have to do is look around this world and you see so many things defiled by sin… greed is rampant, jealousy affects relationships and you hear of corruption practically every time you turn on the news.
When I wake up in the morning, I am aware that my body is also perishable and fading away. Aches and pains remind me that I’m weak. Migraines remind me that I need the power of God to simply make it through the day. Instead of feeling great, I’m sore from my killer workout at the gym. My body is weak. This world is defiled by sin. Everything is perishing and fading away.
But 1st Peter gives me hope. Even when everything around us is perishable, defiled and fading away, we have the promise that an inheritance awaits us. That’s why, even in the middle of various trials, we can rejoice. Whether it is something as simple and inconvenient as a recipe ingredient going bad and causing me to make an extra trip to the store, or something as serious as corruption in the workplace or major health issues, 1st Peter reminds me that my trials are for a purpose… they prove the genuineness of my faith, they are producing fruit in me and they are causing glory to be brought to God.
Let us praise God for the trials in our lives. Trials remind us not only of our frailty, but also of the inheritance that God has waiting for us. Like the folks listed in Hebrews 11, let us also run with patience the race that God has set before us, looking to Jesus and trusting in the promises and hope awaiting us.
[copyrighted, 2009, Emily Schankweiler]