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Summary: What is our anchor to hold on when we face trials in life? How is your faith when the going gets tough? Well, I want to give you the key to endure difficulties in life: Remember our eternal inheritance.

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What is our anchor to hold on when we face trials in life? How is your faith when the going gets tough?

Well, I want to give you the key to endure difficulties in life: Remember our eternal inheritance.

1 Peter 1:3-5 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter is writing to a church that is undergoing persecution, hostility, and rejection. On July 19, 64 A.D., the great city of Rome was consumed by a holocaust of fire. Once the fire hit Rome, it consumed the place. It could leap easily across the narrow streets and consume the wooden buildings. The first three days and nights the fire spread rapidly. Before the fire was checked, it had consumed most of the homes. The Romans believed that their emperor, Nero, had himself set their city on fire. They believed that he did it because he had this incredible lust for building and he built a Grand Palace in the area that was cleared by fire.

Historians tell us that he was rather charmed by the flames, and some even say that Nero played violin when Rome was burning. So their resentment was bitter and it was deep and it was deadly. And Nero realized that he had to redirect the hostility. He had to have a scapegoat to blame for this and so he chose a group that were known as Christians. And he spread the word as fast as he could that they were the ones who set the fires.

You see, Christians were already hated first of all because they were associated with Jews and there was a very virulent anti-Semitism in Rome. In the second place, Christians were seen as those who would not fully cooperate in emperor worship and those who rejected all the other gods of the Romans and so they were hated for all of those reasons. And also, Christians were always talking about a day when the world would dissolve in flames. And it was very, very fitting to easily blame them for a fire.

As a result of this accusation, under Nero the persecution against Christians began. Tacitus, the Roman historian, reported that Nero rolled Christians in pitch and then set them on fire while they were still alive and used them as living torches to light his garden parties. He served them up also in the skin of wild animals, set his hunting dogs on them to tear them to pieces. They were also nailed to crosses.

In order to lift the believer’s spirits, peter is writing to them. Peter reminds them in the letter that it’s to be expected because they are foreigners in the earth. They are citizens of heaven. They are children of God. They are living stones. They are a holy priesthood. And they are a people of God’s own possession.

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Peter then is calling for jubilant worship, for enthusiastic joy, no matter what may be going on around them.

It’s a very hard time for them, and yet in the middle of it Peter says your focus has to get off the problem and onto God. Stop looking at what’s going on around you, and start looking at who‘s in charge above, namely God. So in writing to these persecuted Christians, he calls for praise, and he calls for adoration to be given to God.

What a tremendously important thing it is, in the midst of adversity, in the midst of trials, in the midst of tribulation, trouble, persecution, hostility, disappointment, anxiety, to learn to praise God. And if things down here are falling apart, be confident that things up there are absolutely secure.

What is the reason we Christians praise and worship in the midst of trials? We praise God for our eternal inheritance in heaven. 1 Peter 1:3-5 3Praise 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, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

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