This passage provides further comfort to suffering saints by providing assurance that the pactum salutis, God’s eternal plan of redemption, and all that arises from that plan, including the sanctifying trials of life, are for the sake of those of us who are believers in Christ. For this reason, we may trust completely in Christ not only for our ultimate salvation but in and through all of the otherwise mystifying events of our short lives on this planet. An exposition of 1 Peter 1:20-21.
So I want to prepare for these two verses—the significance of these two verses—by starting off asking a few questions. You don’t have to answer them out loud, but answer them in your mind. Are you anxious? Are you worried about something? Are there things in your life that worry you, that cause you to be afraid? Think about what those things are.
I think I’m speaking overwhelmingly to Christians, so I’m somewhat assuming that today. You are a believer in God, aren’t you? Believer in God. And I mean the only God, the true God, the God of the Bible. Do you believe what the Bible says about your God? Do you believe that God is sovereign? Do you believe He’s in control of every single thing that happens to you, even that thing that could cause you anxiety or despair? Do you believe that everything that happens is part of His eternal decree? Do you believe He’s good? Do you believe God is good? Do you believe that He knows best, that He has your interests at heart? Do you believe that His way is the best way?
Or do you think you might be better off if you had something that He has said is not for you? Or do you think you’d be better off if you didn’t have something, some trial that He has said is for you?
Do you think you know a little better? Do you reject His providence, in other words? Do you oppose His will? The question is, do you trust Him? Do you trust that He’s able to provide for you perfectly? Do you trust Him to do good and be good?
And I think we’d have to admit, if our eyes are open and our hearts are repentant, that we don’t. We don’t believe Him. We don’t believe as we should. We don’t trust Him as we should. We don’t trust Him as He deserves. He is perfectly, absolutely, completely worthy of your total trust. And we don’t give Him that trust. And we do believe. I’m speaking to people I would describe as believers. We trust in Him for our salvation. But I’m praying this morning that we expand the scope of that trust. As trustworthy as He is for your salvation, He is equally trustworthy for all things. So we can trust Him in everything, even in the trials of this life.
We let our minds—even though we believe, we say we believe, and we do believe. We do believe in the sovereignty and goodness of God. We let our minds, the sin nature that still dwells within us, we let that take our minds down very long paths of distrust, of enticement to sin. We let our minds wander down those sinful paths.
We don’t believe as we should, but we can. We can believe that way. We can trust Him. We can be at peace. We can be happy and content. We can be full of joy inexpressible.
We can feel safe, even in the midst of trials, even terrible trials, threats to our health and our relationships, our reputation, our finances, whatever it is that is causing you to fear. Psalm 9:10 says, “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Yahweh, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
Psalm 33:20–21: “Our soul is patient for Yahweh; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. “
Psalm 118:6: “Yahweh is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
I had a lot more, but I told Diane that it was about forty-five minutes and she said, “No, it should be more like thirty-five,” so I had to cut some out. But the Psalms is full of these types of psalms telling us that we can trust in God.
Now, as we read the book of 1 Peter, it’s very refreshing. It’s full of nourishment for us. Remember, it’s written to suffering Christians, to persecuted Christians, Christians who are suffering in ways that are the worst possible ways. But I think more generally it’s written to Christians who are just suffering the way that we suffer. It’s kind of a manual for living a good and happy, holy life in the midst of that kind of suffering in the real world.
Now we understand what this world is. I’ve referred to this world in prior sermons as a sin-cursed asylum of a planet, and that’s what it is. It’s madness. It’s a crazy place. It’s not our home. In its present condition, it is not friendly to us. It’s not our place. We are sojourners, exiles here, aliens. We worship here in the tabernacle, not yet in the temple. We’re not home yet.
And Peter tells us how to live here, how to live in this place and how to live here God’s way. And God’s way is a good way. It’s a happy way; it’s a pleasant way; it’s a peaceful way. Even though it’s accompanied by a lifetime of trials and sorrows, persecutions, even temptations and pain. That’s the message of 1 Peter.
So I have to review. Because I only preach once in a while, I have to do a long review, but I think this is good. Let’s start with the first nine verses of this.
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as exiles, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to the obedience of Jesus Christ and the sprinkling of His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to obtain an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in heaven for you,
5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
8 And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Pet. 1:1–9 LSB)
I want to draw your attention to verse 6. “In this you greatly rejoice.” In what? What is the this in which we greatly rejoice? You see it in verse 5. Look up in verse 5. What we rejoice in is our “salvation ready to be revealed.” We rejoice in our salvation ready to be revealed. Our ultimate salvation, our eternal state, getting to be with Christ forever and ever and with you forever and ever without sin, without worrying about self-control—just together, blissfully together. Our eternal state.
We rejoice in that. We rejoice in our great salvation. Of course we do. Of course we do! Of course we’re happy in that. Of course we rejoice when we consider that. We look forward to that, our long life, our real life, our eternal life.
But because of that we can look through and past this life. Now, we don’t deny this life. Look at verse 6 again. “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” We have, in this short life—a little while—we have necessary and various trials. These trials cause grief. Your version may say distress or heaviness. We are grieved by various trials. That’s reality. So which is it? Do we rejoice or are we grieved? Peter seems to be contradicting himself in one verse.
Of course he isn’t. We suffer in trials; we are grieved in trials; we feel the heaviness of trials. And we don’t rejoice because of trials. We’re not happy because of trials, but we’re happy, we rejoice, because of our salvation, even through the distress and grief of trials. That’s the structure of the sentence. “In this you greatly rejoice, even though . . . you have been grieved by various trials.” So because of that perspective of eternity—that’s a perspective that we as eternal beings ought to have—that perspective of eternity, we can kind of put trials in their place. We can put them in their category of necessary and temporary, and we can rejoice in our salvation. That’s the idea: through trials.
Beyond that, we get to see the purpose of trials. Look at verse 7. “So that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
We see what trials do. They serve a purpose. They prove our faith. They prove our faith to be a God-given, enduring faith. It’s a faith that has a divine source; it’s invincible. And we see that in the sanctification process. Trial is that chisel that God uses to form us into His image, to sculpt us into His image. That’s the idea.
So for this reason—now we don’t want to invite trial, we don’t want to invent trial. But because of our salvation, we can rejoice in and through—we can rejoice in the promises of God through trial. Let’s say that right. Why? Because we know who’s in control. We know that God is sovereign and we know that God is good, and those two pillars give us hope and faith, as we’ll see.
So Peter makes that emphasis on perspective very clear. Look at verse 13, that heavenly perspective: “Therefore, having girded your minds for action, being sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” That’s the perspective, the eternal perspective. Our hope fixed on the grace, and so because of that, we can live through the sanctifying and purposeful, temporary, necessary, God-ordained trials of this life.
Then there are implications for this way of living. Look at verses 14–17. “As obedient children, not being conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your conduct; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’ And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your sojourn.”
So the Christian, having fixed his or her hope on eternity in Christ, now lives through the trials of life in joy and triumph, in a sanctifying manner, by living as children of obedience, by living as you actually are: holy as He is holy. That’s the command. We agree with the revealed will of God, living through these trials that make us more and more into His image.
What’s the motivation for this? Why would we do this? Living holy lives in the midst of this life of trial? It requires effort, doesn’t it? There’s much in the Scripture that is about—it’s commands. It’s about striving. Striving to be holy. You just saw—be holy because He’s holy. That takes effort. It means we do things like avoiding temptation and mortifying the flesh. Even loving one another requires sacrifice, doesn’t it? We take the lesser seat. It may mean we take the lower position. We set aside the desires of the self. All of this is hard. It can even mean persecution. It can mean financial loss, material loss. It can mean torture, imprisonment, even death. What’s a motivation? What would motivate us to live through that kind of thing this way?
Verses 18 and 19: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your futile conduct inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
There’s your motivation. There’s your motivation. That’s the price of your redemption. The blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect sinless Son of God. That’s the price of your salvation, your redemption. That was the price paid for you by Him.
Now that ought to be enough to motivate us through any trial, to live godly lives through any trial no matter how grievous, no matter how distressing or heavy it is. And if that doesn’t motivate you through trial, if it doesn’t motivate you to avoid temptation, nothing will. There is no such motivation if this won’t do it for you. The Son of God died for you, shed His blood for you.
Now, that’s kind of by way of review. Now, you see, we’ve made it to verses 20 and 21. We get the big picture here in verse 20. You see, you get the long view, from eternity past to these last times. That’s what we’re going to focus on today.
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Magnificent. Now that word that’s translated “foreknown,” it’s full of meaning. It requires a little bit of consideration. It’s the Greek progin?sk?. Pro-, meaning “before,” and gin?sk?, meaning “to know.” So it means to know beforehand.
In some translations, you may have “foreordained” or “chosen” or “destined.” So we’ve got multiple English words used to translate this word. And those English words have some subtleties of meaning. So we want to understand exactly what is being said here. So we’ll spend a little bit of time on this.
So let’s start with who did the foreknowing? Who had the foreknowledge? Before the foundation of the world, who could have known something? Only God. Only God existed. So the foreknowledge is divine foreknowledge. So that part we get.
But what exactly did He know? What did God know before the foundation of the world? Well, kids can answer that question. What did God know before the foundation of the world? Everything. Right, so He knew everything. But Peter is talking about something specific here. What did He know specifically? Well, your translators add the word “He” or “who” at the beginning of that verse to indicate that it’s a reference to Christ, that God the Father knew Christ. And that is true, but there’s actually something specific about Christ, something about the identity of Christ that’s known here. It’s obviously true that God the Father knew God the Son in eternity past, but Peter is making a point here that God knew something about Christ. The triune God knew something about the person of Christ in eternity past. And what is that? Well, Peter told us in verse 19: “You were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your futile conduct inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, of Christ.”
He knew that Christ was the Redeemer. God knew that Christ was the blood price, the price that would be paid for your redemption. The triune God knew the Son as the Deliverer and the Deliverance, as the Savior and the Sacrifice. That’s what was known.
So this is a high thought. This is what Peter’s saying: God’s plan for your salvation was part of the eternal decree of God. It was eternally known that Christ would die for you. It was His decree, it was His intent, it was His plan that Christ would die for your sins and for mine. Christ had always planned to die for you. The Spirit had always planned to regenerate you and give you the faith to believe. The Father had always planned for your home to be in heaven. It’s always the plan. “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This is for our good and for His glory.
Now, we are, of course, Calvinists here. If you didn’t know that, welcome to Kootenai Church today. We believe in the sovereignty of God in salvation. We believe in the sovereignty of God in all things. I’m kind of an absolutist when it comes to God’s sovereignty. We believe that God chose His elect, and that means every individual human being that He determined to redeem. We believe that God planned every aspect of the redemption of His elect. And you think about that, there’s a lot that goes into that. Right, for Ed [speaker gestures to a member of KCC sitting in the front row] to exist, there’s a lot that went into that, a lot of decisions in history and things that happened through the years. And they were good things that gave us Ed just as he is. But they all had to be controlled; they all had to be determined.
We believe that God determines, controls everything, everything, every aspect of the redemption of the elect. In fact, nothing that happens is not ordained by God. There are no surprises; there’s no reactions. There’s no changes in God’s plan. There’s not one act in all of history or one molecule in the entire universe that defies the will of God. God is sovereign. That’s what we believe. God is sovereign.
That’s what the Bible teaches us. God planned it all; He does it all. What God intends, He does. God doesn’t try. Available online and in stores soon. No 1-800 number. We’re going to put a thing on there. We’re writing a book that’s called God Doesn’t Try, in case you didn’t know. That was a reference to that. But it’s an important fact. And that’s in fact what the book does. It defends the sovereignty of God in different aspects.
God doesn’t try to do anything. God’s not capable of trying. God merely does. We try, but God doesn’t. He simply does as He pleases. His foreknowledge then, is foreordination. It’s destiny and it is necessity. So those translation choices—He was foreknown, He was destined, He was foreordained—they’re all good translation choices. For God, to intend is to know, for Him to know is to have ordained, and for Him to ordain is to destine. What He knows will happen, will happen, because He intends for it to happen, has ordained it; He will cause it to happen.
So here in verse 20, the fact that the triune God had before the foundation of the world identified the entire plan of salvation, it includes the identities of all who would be redeemed. We see that back in the beginning of chapter 1 where he calls us chosen. Here we see the identity of the Savior and the price paid by that Savior. All of those things were determined in eternity past. All of it, up to the bloodshed on the cross. This is what the theologians call the pactum salutis, or the covenant of redemption.
There was a council or a meeting before time began between the Persons of the Trinity as part of the eternal decree to do all that was necessary to glorify God in the redemption of His elect. So the Father would exalt the Son by giving Him a kingdom and a family through the resurrection of the Son. The Son would exalt the Father by submitting Himself to the work of redemption. He took the place of the elect voluntarily. The Spirit would then exalt Father and Son by applying redemption to the individual in time through the sharing of the gospel, the call of the gospel, and conversion. All of this, Peter tells us, all of it was part of the plan of God in eternity past.
So on the one hand, Peter says, “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world.” “But,” Peter says—there’s a little conjunction in there. That isn’t all. Christ as Redeemer has also appeared or was manifest. So there are two phrases in the verse, two truths that Peter’s sharing with us. The first, God’s foreknowledge of the plan of redemption. And the second is this idea of the appearing of Christ in these last days. So we know that part. That’s easier for us to understand, what His appearing is all about, what being made manifest is all about. That’s the life and death, the resurrection, the ascension of Christ. It’s Him doing all that was necessary in time. He revealed the pactum salutis. He revealed the plan of redemption in time, showing what was necessary, showing who the Redeemer was and what the redemption price was. He did all the work that secures the justification of the elect in time.
This was done, it says, “in these last times.” This is obviously a reference to the time in which Christ appeared. I’m not going to go too much into what “these last times” mean because I don’t want to do eschatology. Because I absolutely don’t need to here is the nice part of it. “These last times” clearly refer to the time of Christ and the time of Peter, and by extension would mean any time after that until the end of time. But the focus here is on Christ’s work on earth, the time when that plan of God was made manifest in the person and work of Christ.
OK, here’s the part that may be a little bit hard to preach. I get a little stuck here because of the majesty and the impact of this. It’s very encouraging to hear and to contemplate this. This is kind of the crux of the matter. So if you can grasp this, remember this long after my voice rolls around this room, much will fall into place for you. “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, and appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God.”
He appeared. He came here, laid in a manger, born to average people, needed to be fed, needed to be cared for, grew up, started to teach, was ridiculed by idiotic, vile creatures of dust. He was contradicted; it’s ridiculous. He was mocked by His own brothers, by His friends. We know what happened in the Passion Week. The beating and the spitting and the torture. Stripped and beaten, put on a cross, yet always on mission. Always on mission to the last breath. He appeared for your sake. He appeared for your sake.
The “you” is plural, or the “your” is plural, but we’ve got to take it in, into our individual souls. He appeared for your sake. The outworking of the plan, and the plan, it was for your sake. This is Peter’s point. All of this was planned in eternity past. All of it. He planned all of it. Planned what He would do, how He would die, every aspect of it. He knew. Christ knew He was the one to humiliate Himself, to suffer and die for your sake. He knew it and He did it. He made manifest that eternal decree of salvation through His work on the cross. It was done for your sake. He did it for you. He did it for you, for your salvation. Everything, the plan, all the activity and time, the work of Christ, the work of the Spirit, it’s all for your sake. For whose sake? Specifically, for “you who through Him are believers in God,” the Word says.
And again, I assume I’m mostly speaking to people who would be referred to as believers in God. And that doesn’t mean that you believe in a designer or that you are a deist, you believe in a higher power or you’re a theist. It means you’re a Christian. It means you’re one who has repented of your sins and put your faith in Christ. You call Christ your Lord—Jesus Christ your Lord and Master. These are the people that he’s talking about.
Now, note the important phrase “through Him.” “He appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God.” Now, in what sense are we believers in God through Him? In any sense! In every sense! We have no part in our salvation. He has done everything that was necessary to make us believers in Him. Everything. Well and truly we say that salvation is of the Lord and from the Lord. That is our soli Deo gloria. Well and truly. All of it.
Now, it says here that He did this for your sake, but also for His glory. You see that. In this case, God, who raised Him from the dead, also gave Him glory. The covenant of redemption, these acts of redemption, they’re for your sake and for His glory. There’s no contradiction there. It’s for His glory and for your sake.
So what does that mean here? How does God the Father give Christ glory in the resurrection? What is God the Father saying in the resurrection of the Son? What is He doing there? Imagine if Christ had not been resurrected. What could we not say about Him? We couldn’t say that His sacrifice was sufficient to pay for our sin debt. It kept Him there, right? But He rose. That proves His perfection, that He had sufficient value, sufficient life in Him to pay for the sin debt of all of us. This incredible, eternal, infinite sin debt, He was able to pay it. Because He lives, we know that He had that within Him. Because He lives, we know that He is God, to His glory. So glory be to our resurrected and living Savior, right? We don’t serve a dead first-century Jewish carpenter. We serve a once-dead first-century Jewish carpenter who now lives and is also God incarnate. That’s who we serve.
Now, verse 21 ends with a little phrase that brings it all back to the theme of 1 Peter.
“He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
Your hope and faith are in God. Hope and faith. I was going to make a joke about sisters, but we actually have a pair of sisters—at least one pair in our church—that are named Hope and Faith. I guess if you have one more, then it has to be Charity. Great things to name your kids. Hope and faith. Beautiful things. They’re two sides of the same coin of trusting, trusting in the God that we know we can trust. Hope trusts Him for what He’s yet to do, and faith trusts Him for what He has done. Hope trusts for our eternal life. So this trust, again, it’s built on the pillars of God’s sovereignty and goodness.
So I want to make this argument: if God is truly all-capable—this is kind of a reverse of the problem of evil. So the problem of evil is if God is truly omnipotent and capable of all things, if He is truly good and He’s perfectly good in all things, then why does evil exist? Ha, we got you. There’s no God. It’s been asked and answered a million times. Let’s turn this around. If God is truly all-capable and all-powerful, and God is good and true, immutably so, immutably honest, then He will keep His promises. Think about it. An honest man may fail to keep a promise, not because he didn’t try but because he wasn’t able. Something came up. He didn’t have the ability to keep his promise. A dishonest man can fail to keep a promise because he’s dishonest. He may have the means to keep the promise but just chooses not to. He’s dishonest. God can be neither of those things, right? He is totally able, perfectly capable, and immutably, always honest and truthful. That makes Him absolutely trustworthy. Faith and hope then are properly placed with complete certainty in God.
So it brings us back to that eternal perspective for a minute. Why did Peter put this section here? Why did he put this here? If this is written to suffering Christians, people suffering terrible persecution but also suffering the way people suffer, the way you and I suffer—we don’t need to list out our trials, right? We know what trials are. If you have more than, what, sixteen years on this planet, you know what trials are about. It’s the way of this life. But we see Peter’s remedy. We see Peter’s medicine for living in this life of trial. We see it. It’s simple; it’s strong.
We’re going to kind of go through some of the elements of what he has said in chapter 1 and come back to this part. He reminds us this life is the sanctifying work of the Spirit. That’s what Jim has been talking a lot about with discipline in Hebrews 12. He reminds us we were chosen. We think about our election, it immediately brings to mind thoughts of eternity, security. He tells us our eternal inheritance is ready to be revealed. It’s ready and waiting for us when the time comes. It’s ready. It’s already done. It’s a certainty. He reminds us that we rejoice in that salvation, again, even in the real trials of life. We’re told that those trials prove our faith, refine our faith, sanctify us. We’re told that the prophets of old longed to look into this, that the angels long to look into our salvation even. We’re told to live as children of obedience, to live in fear of our Father. We’re reminded of the high price of our redemption.
And then he lifts us up here. The covenant of redemption and eternity past is for us. All that He did in His appearing, all the work of His first advent was for us. And then he says all of this is so that your faith and hope are in God.
There’s your answer. That’s the answer to life. That’s the answer to the trials of this life. Your faith and hope aren’t in this life. Your faith and hope are in God. Your faith and hope are in God. And that’s the right Person to have your faith and hope in, right? That’s the only way to live. We have to have that firm, absolutely resolute confidence in the promises, the trustworthiness of God.
You can live a happy life. You know, I feel like Joel Osteen for a second, only truth-Joel Osteen instead of—well, I don’t know how to say that, but if Joel Osteen ever spoke the truth, he might say something like this: if you want a good and happy and pleasant and peaceful life, remember your faith and hope are in God. Always look forward to what God has promised you and understand what He’s doing on this plane. That’s a good life.
So let’s go back to your questions at the beginning, or my questions, I guess, at the beginning. Are you anxious? Are you afraid? Are you worried? Why? Why would you be worried? This was all for you. And your faith and hope are in God. What do you have to worry about? Nothing, really.
What sort of thinking would lead someone to seek that which He has said is not for you? Or to think you’d be better off if He hadn’t given you something that He has said is for you? What would cause that? Only faithlessness and hopelessness, blasphemous distrust in the God who’s worthy of our absolute trust. What are you saying about Him? Has He not promised you a happy eternity? Is He not strong enough to deliver on that promise? Has He not told you that the trials of this life are for His glory and for your good? He’s told us that. Is He lying? Is He just wrong? Is He just ignorant? Or maybe He’s incapable. That’s what we say when we put our faith or hope in something else. We grumble against His providence.
So don’t let your doubts or your flesh defeat His promises. Don’t let the trials of this life or the deeds of the worldly or the debates of the godless, the mindless whining and wailing of the inmates of the asylum—don’t let them overwhelm the clear, spoken, written promises of God to you. Placing your faith or your hope on anything else, placing your passion, your trust in anything else or anyone else other than—He’s the only one that even can be faithful! To trust anything else is foolish. It’s ridiculous. Stepping over dollars for dimes. You’re leaving behind rooms full of gold to snatch a penny up in the street, not even a penny. You’re ignoring, rejecting everything good to embrace nothing at all. Nothing lasts. Nothing lasts. Only your relationship to God.
When you leave this place, nothing else matters. Your brief years of life—look, I’m going to speak for myself. I’m going to die and be forgotten. Or worse, I might be remembered. This place is just not important in and of itself. We’ve got to understand what it is. It’s practice field; it’s rehearsal, right? We’re getting ready for the real life, our long life, our eternal life. Use this life to get ready for that life. And that purpose, that preparation for eternity, that’s only served by placing your faith and hope in God. God, who is faithful. Live in loving obedience to Him. That’s it.
Psalm 56 was our Scripture reading this morning. And this is verses 3 and 4 again. “When I am afraid”—this is a psalm of David. “When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” That’s it, right? When I’m afraid, I shall not be afraid because I trust in God. Those are David’s words.
There’s liberty in this. There’s joy in this, contentment, freedom. Freedom from those fears and anxieties, freedom from oppression. We have a pandemic in this country, and it’s not the one that we were talking about. The pandemic is anxiety and depression. There’s freedom from that.
Trust in God. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world. He has appeared in these last times for your sake, for those of you who through Him are believers in God. God raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Your faith and hope are in God.