Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 13, 2011

Anchor for Life’s Storms

The book of 1 Peter is a great book if you need encouragement to cope with life’s storms. Peter wrote this letter on the verge of a great persecution that broke out against Christians.  It was a very tough time to be a Christian.

Storms of life still rage. Families break apart, children and parents are deeply scared. Political leaders disappoint us. There are storms of unemployment and economic uncertainty, medical emergencies, and prodigal children. People are hurt by alcohol and drug abuse. People experience grief and all kinds of trails.

What does God offer to the believer in Christ during all these storms? Hope! Peter wrote to encourage those in the storms with an anchor of stability. He writes for those in the storms not only to persevere but to be victorious in a life of hardship.

In answer to all the problems you are suffering I might casually say your salvation will carry you through. That is true but it might mean little more than a cliché. Not so with Peter. He can identify with pain, suffering and failure. That is what makes the book of 1 Peter such a blessing. Peter was the outspoken disciple of Jesus. He was one of the inner three of the disciples. Yet he denied the Lord. He blew it spiritually.

Yet after such disgraceful failure Peter preached the Pentecost sermon when 3,000 people got saved and baptized. Who better than Peter to write a message of encouragement to persecuted suffering Christians of the first century and to us. This book is a call for us to stand firm in Christ.

Peter did not just say cheer up, don’t worry be happy you are a Christian after all. He articulated what salvation really means, and clarified the great strength Christians can gain from our salvation in the midst of trails.

The message of salvation isn’t just for the lost to become saved. It is for the Christian to find strength and joy amidst suffering.

1 Peter 1:1-12
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

These are some very encouraging words for the believer in Christ. You are: God’s elect, chosen by God, sanctified by the blood of Christ, you have a new birth a living hope, an incorruptible inheritance; you are shielded by God’s power. That is some eloquent theology for a fisherman that was known to put his foot in his mouth.

Peter brings out in detail how your salvation will sustain you in the times of suffering and trails. In Christ you are God’s elect chosen by the foreknowledge of God. God knew even before you put your faith in Christ that you would do so.

Peter writes to Christians scattered, strangers in the world. This world is not your home. Your real home is a heavenly home with no more tears, no more pain and no more dying. He writes to Christians who are suffering because of their faith.

The outcome of you salvation is obedience to Jesus Christ. Peter’s description of salvation includes the Trinity. Chosen by the foreknowledge of God the Father. Sanctified (set apart) by the work of the Holy Spirit by the blood of Jesus Christ. To the suffering Christian Peter says Grace and Peace to you in abundance.

I am encouraged and this is just Peter’s introduction to his letter on encouragement. No wonder the body of the letter is an exclamation of praise. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have a New Birth into a living hope. Peter is talking about real hopes based on the resurrecting of Jesus Christ.

Peter suffered failed Jesus denied Christ, but at the resurrection the message was, go tell Peter and the disciples He is risen. Peter saw the resurrected Jesus and there was no longer despair. Jesus is alive and so is our hope. Our salvation is a living hope. It is eternal, imperishable, undefiable and unfading (verse 4).

The message of the gospel will shake some people up. But just lost people. Believers in Christ stand unshakable. You cannot lose your salvation, it never perishes. If you have opened your heart to Jesus, turned to God in repentance and asked his death on the cross to count for your sins, you have a salvation that is eternal and incorruptible. You have an anchor for life’s storms.

A genuine Christian has a reservation in heaven that can’t be cancelled. I have had a hotel reservation lost before when the hotel had a change in ownership. Your reservation in heaven is sure. There won’t be any change in ownership.

Peter tells the Christians of his day, suffering though they were, you are privileged. The prophets (verse 10) were looking ahead trying to find out when and how what the Holy Spirit revealed to them would take place. Even the angels long to look into these things. We often take far too lightly the great privilege we have. We have the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. We have the privilege of sharing the good news.
Jeremiah, Isaiah, Abraham, Moses, David and even angels could only look ahead and long for what we have in Christ. No wonder Peter tells persecuted Christians, you are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy. All of this to say that you have an anchor for life’s storms.

In this salvation you greatly rejoice (verse 6). Though for a little while you suffer trials. The suffering is brief in light of eternity we spend with Christ. Trials suffering and hardships are like gold in the refiner’s fire becoming purified.

Your faith is proved genuine and this brings praise honor and glory to Jesus. Tradition says that Peter was sentenced to crucifixion. He claimed he was not worthy to be crucified as Christ and requested to be crucified upside down. Christians can expect to suffer, but this proves your faith genuine.

Christianity has a strong here and now dimension. People face old age, the terminally ill have a peace. Don’t wait to put your faith in Christ. This is your anchor for life’s storms.

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Responses

  1. so if i am saved and i backslide into a life of sin, real sin, and i die in that sin. you mean that my salvation never perishes?

    • Yes Muni,

      If we are in God’s hand we will remain there, protected and safe forever.

      I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28

      When you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord you have assurance of eternal life.

      He who has the son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:12


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