My daughter in elementary school, fourth grade, loves basketball. I would often go with her to the court and help her practice her shooting. When she is tired and bored, I motivate her by telling her stories of great male and female basketball players, and how much they trained and persevered on their way to greatness.
To enable my daughter overcome the pain of practice, I elevate her thinking by showing her a bigger picture of what it takes to be a great basketball player. Apostle Peter is doing something similar in the book of First Peter.
Peter is writing to suffering Christians who feel like outcasts in society. In Chapter 1, he tells them that our faith is tested to examine if it is sincere. Testing hurts but it helps us stay focused and to support one another in sincere love. In testing times we should draw closer to God through Bible study so we can grow in faith.
Peter elevates their thinking by stating in 1 Peter 2:5-7 (Living Bible): And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house… you are his holy priests; so come to him – you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ – and offer to God those things that please him. As the Scriptures express it, “See, I am sending Christ to be the carefully chosen, precious Cornerstone of my church, and I will never disappoint those who trust in him.”
If the suffering Christians felt abandoned, Peter elevates their thinking, by saying no, you are not abandoned – “you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house… you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ… and [God] will never disappoint those who trust in [Jesus].”
In testing times, we should remember that God is building a “house”, also referred to as a “kingdom”, and in other parts of the Bible as a “nation”; and we are the members of that house or citizens of that kingdom. Our present life with its joys and testings, is a school of godliness to prepare us for the kingdom.
Lord, in testing times, show us the big picture, show us the end result, show us the glory, to inspire us to overcome, Amen!