Trust and Obey

 

Therefore, buckling the belts of your minds for action, keeping level-headed, set your hope entirely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.   1 Peter 1:13

The encouragement that comes in suffering is not mystical; it doesn’t just suddenly appear from nowhere. The Christian himself is responsible for it. If he doesn’t experience the joy, gladness, and hope mentioned in the previous verses, that is his own fault. He cannot complain against God, the church, or anyone else; this verse makes it perfectly plain that he is responsible for developing the hope that will sustain him in trial.

Encouragement in trial is not merely a matter of trusting in God’s promises in some purely intellectual manner. Surely that is important—indeed it is a theme that Peter never really leaves behind—but there is another side to the page; the suffering believer must do good. That doing of good begins with the matter of hope. Right here, at the outset, the believer’s trust in God’s promises is pictured as a matter of obedience: “set your hope on the grace . . .” That is a command, involving a duty. Consistent with the major thrust of the entire epistle, Peter already strikes the note: Trust and Obey! There is no other way to be happy in trial, but to trust and obey. God holds the individual believer responsible for his behavior in times of trial and trouble and says that these two elements constitute that responsibility.[1]

[1] This post is an excerpt from Dr. Adams’ short homiletical commentary on 1 Peter entitled Trust and Obey (now out of print).

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