“To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 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.” 1 Peter 1:1-2
I read these verses during my devotional time a few days ago, and – at first – these verses appear to be just another of Peter’s opening greetings; but if you take a closer look – and really read what Peter is saying – you’ll learn so much about God’s sovereignty over our lives and our trials.
This letter was written to the “elect exiles.” That almost seems to be a contradiction. The exiles were Jews who had been persecuted out of their homes and countries and chased all over the known world. They probably thought that God didn’t know or care about their plight. However, the word elect means “chosen specially by God”. How does that work?
Read further. Peter says that these Jews were exiled “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” God knew about His people, cared about His people and planned this for His people.
The verse also says that God was working through these struggling Jews to accomplish their sanctification. James 2:2-4 tells us that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness!
Finally, Paul encourages the exiles that through their trials they were identified with Christ. Christ told His disciples, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20) When we are identified with Christ in our trials, we bring glory to God!
When I’m struggling to understand ‘Why?’, I need to remember this: God chose this specific trial just for me! He has put something in my life to sanctify me and to make me more like Him.
-Janaya Richards, Editor
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