1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
To me this verse strikes a very good balance between the reality that all power is God’s, but we are involved in the success of our lives too. Here we have the mental aspect as well as the physical. (The Japanese is a little clearer that “self-controlled” refers to our bodies.) However, the desired outcome is grace, not something we have earned by our own efforts. We get all confused about that, thinking that if it is grace, then we don’t have to do anything at all. In a sense that’s true, but passivity means we have no real appreciation for the grace that Jesus died on the cross to provide. “Setting your hope fully” is an active exercise, and we must not take it lightly. Our ultimate reward comes at Christ’s return, and that is clearly nearer than it has ever been before. In the middle of the mess of life, we need to be active in our anticipation of the revelation that Peter speaks of here. We are to be faithful in our obedience, serving God in whatever ways He directs by His Word and His Spirit, just as Peter goes on to talk about in the following verses.
As with all other Biblical truth, this is something I continue to grasp more fully the longer I walk with the Lord. At this point I have a lot of my own failures to look back on, as well as overwhelming proof of God’s gracious faithfulness. It is much easier to set my hope on what God has promised, and in that I rejoice. As a pastor I long to impart this understanding to others, that they too may have such a joyous expectation. With the new year and the new decade we tend to have all sorts of thoughts about the future, but the major sentiment I’ve been hearing has been, “I hope it’s not as bad as last year.” I need to keep my own focus on the reality that, as God told Jeremiah, “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) I’ve had some low moments in the past few months, so I’ve got to remember that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Corinthians 4:17) That’s the hope that Peter was talking about.
Father, thank You for being God. Thank You for Your plans that far outweigh and overshadow anything I could imagine. I pray that You alone would be glorified by Your solution to every issue that confronts us now, in the short term and the long, so that indeed Your name would be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!