The Last Word
Jesus has the last word on everything and
everyone, from angels to armies. He's standing
right alongside God, and what he says goes
1 Peter 3:22 MSG.
God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. This is what Peter tells the Christians that were living as foreigners in Northern Asia Minor. These Christians were not treated very well as the people around them didn’t accept their beliefs. In fact, they thought of them as strange and superstitious. So Peter was writing to encourage them to stay strong. He knew they may tempted to compromise their beliefs in order to feel accepted. He knew they may be struggling with doubt or confusion. He knew they might react in the moment.
At times, because of our circumstances, because we have a loved one that has walked away from the Lord to pursue a worldly lifestyle, because life isn’t easy, we may feel discouraged and be tempted to compromise godly living. It’s easy to forget in those moments that God is working, He is fighting our battles, and He has the last word. It’s tempting to quit praying or to doubt or complain or lose hope. If our prodigal treats us like we are strange and superstitious, we may get defensive or try to “preach” at them rather than be ready for it. All of these reactions are possible, but when we focus on Jesus, and we spend time in His presence; when we take time to be grateful and praise His name; when we are intentional about being prepared and when we ask God to give us His heart for our loved one(s)….then we are strengthened and ready for what comes. Instead of being taken off guard, we aren’t surprised. We hold on to the knowledge that God has a plan for our suffering…a plan to draw us closer to Himself and make us more Christ like. No matter what heartache your prodigal has caused you, it’s not too big for God. It doesn’t mean it won’t hurt and it won’t be hard at times, but we have Someone to run to with our pain and sorrow. We have God on our side.
Just like Peter wanted the early Christians to be strengthened and ready for what comes, the words he spoke are for us too. Here are a few of the things God wants us to know from His Word in 1 Peter. All verses are NLT.
Through your faith, God is protecting you by His power (1:5)
These trials will show that your faith is genuine (1:7)
Be careful to live properly around unbelievers. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior (2:12)
It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you (2:15)
Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and He will bless you for it (3:9)
Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! (3:17)
Don’t be surprised at the trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering 4:12-13)
There is no shame at suffering for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by His name (4:16)
If you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you (4:19)
Our suffering may not look exactly like the suffering of New Testament Christians, but make no mistake, we do suffer. Each story is a bit different, but God is the same. And He has the last word.
No, despite all these things, overwhelming
victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:36 NLT
I am the Alpha and Omega, the
First and the Last, the
Beginning and the End.
The storm rises from the deep And rages around me But I will remember When doubt wars within my heart The battle almost lost I will remember You have the last word It is finished My fear is silenced in your love My hope is endless Your voice that calmed the violent sea Speaks courage over me So I will remember The words that wake the sun to rise Are breaking through my night I will remember Your word stands through the ages Your voice shatters the darkness In you we are more than conquerors You speak strongholds surrender Your name overcomes the enemy In you we are more than conquerors