This is a rich portion! We could fill many pages expounding these verses, but with limited space we’ll take a brief look at each one. May the Lord bless and encourage us as we do.

Verse 3 declares: “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” (NKJV). Because of God’s “abundant mercy” we have a “living hope!” Sometimes we use the word “hope” as we anticipate something that may, or may not, come to pass. But the “living hope” we have is a SURE HOPE, because it’s based on “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” As sinners we had only death and judgment to look forward to, but because Christ died for our sins and God raised Him from the dead (as proof that He was satisfied with the sacrifice Christ made on the cross), we have heaven to look forward to. That’s what we see in the next two verses.

Verses 4-5 say, “to obtain 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.” Dear fellow-believer, we have a heavenly inheritance before us! We learn here that it is INCORRUPTIBLE, which means it’s DEATH-PROOF. It’s also UNDEFILED so it’s SIN-PROOF. And finally we see that it DOES NOT FADE AWAY, thus it’s TIME-PROOF. We need not worry that we won’t obtain our inheritance, for it’s “reserved in heaven for you.” If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, your reservation has been made! Add to that the fact that you are “kept by the power of God.” So, heaven is reserved for us AND we are being preserved for heaven! Peter then says God keeps us “through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” A believer’s faith in Christ continues until the last phase of our salvation, when we receive our new bodies and are translated to heaven at the coming of the Lord Jesus. Philippians3:20-21 states, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” Until that happens, we are left in this world where we experience all kinds of trials, yet even in these the believer has cause to rejoice. We see this in our last four verses.

Verses 6-9 read, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory and the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” God allows our faith to be tested to prove to everyone around us that it is REAL. In God’s eyes it is “more precious than gold that perishes” for when Christ is revealed it will bring “praise, honor and glory to Him! There may also be the thought here that the believer’s faith will be rewarded at that time; that is, he will receive praise, honor and glory from God. 1st Corinthians 4:5 seems to indicate this: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. THEN EACH ONE’S PRAISE WILL COME FROM GOD.” Peter ends on a high and lofty note in verse 8 by reminding us that even though we have never seen Christ with our physical eyes, we LOVE him and through faith we “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” Jesus spoke of this same thing in John 20:29 in His words to Thomas, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The world has a saying, “Seeing is believing,” but the Christian can counter that by saying, “Believing is seeing!” Through faith we see Christ as our Savior, and because we do our souls have been saved. This is what brings TRUE JOY, thus we “rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.” (236.9) (DO)