(Today's post by Tim David)
Letters used to matter, a lot. Today, I don’t think emails quite have the same level of importance that letters once had. I attended a very strict Christian college that demanded my creative writing abilities in order to communicate with the girl who would later become my wife. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, we found a lot of those letters. They are pretty laughable now and even though I’ve matured a bit – the feelings I have for her haven’t changed in the 14 or more years since they were written. We faced plenty of trials (she had many more attractive guys to date, 1200 miles of separation for 3 years, my immaturity), but each one of our letters always assured the other of our commitment. Those letters were a visible representation of our love for each other that helped get us through some dark points of our relationship.
Anyone who has written a letter knows, the salutation matters…a lot. It sets the tone for the entire letter. There are several questions that should be asked/answered at the beginning of an epistle:
- Who wrote the letter? Peter
- Who is the letter written to? Strangers (or we can ascribe this even to us)…meaning they don’t know each other…who are scattered across Asia Minor possibly because of the persecution ravaging Christian
- Why write the letter? Exhortation – persecution is going to happen remember why you’re being persecuted and the promises that come with the Christian life.
It is impossible to break everything down in a blog post, so I do want to focus on a couple big things I took away. First, I am just going to stay away from the debate that is sure to erupt out of vr 2. There is this promise section I love: We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; We have an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and won’t fade away; We have protection until the last day. How about those promises? Those promises give me all the security of commitment any Christian could need. Peter is writing this while knowing he is being persecuted and will die for his faith…yet, he is still confident in everything Jesus taught him. It’s pretty easy to write an upbeat, positive letter while things are going good – it’s even harder when things aren’t easy.
Peter goes on to give “props” to those who haven’t seen, but still have faith. Our faith is going to be tried…and in the end, we will either come out golden or be burnt to nothing. That being said, the faith committed without sight is a stronger faith that will withstand the “fires” of trial. My faith, today, is my salvation. Trusting in that salvation, I know, there is nothing that come against me that is going to consume me. Peter’s assuring them through a letter that they can trust their salvation because it will last the trials of this life – no matter how bad it gets.
So, here’s the question I ask myself: Do I trust my salvation…Meaning, when I’m in the middle of the deepest valley experience, can I trust that God’s salvation is enough for me to keep my feet moving, one step at a time, all the way to the peak of the mountain?