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January 17, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”—1 Peter 1:3 (NKJV)
About thirty years after Peter saw the risen Lord, he wrote these extraordinary words. A man who was once a simple fisherman wrote under the power of the Holy Spirit—not just for that time, but for the ages to come.
Peter began his benediction with “Blessed be the God.” It is the governing thought of the rest of the letter, for everything that follows is predicated on the fundamental belief that we are to speak well of God and act according to His grace.
The word “blessed” here in Greek is eulogetos, meaning “to speak well of.” If you’ve ever heard or written a eulogy, then you can see the connection. Peter is writing to Christians scattered throughout the region who were suffering great persecution—pretty much the same persecution we experience today. They were slandered, reviled, and labeled as civil miscreants not wanting to conform to the patterns of this world, but still trying to find their place as pilgrims within it. Sound familiar? Sure it does.
Between pandemics, politics, and personal trials, I think we all feel the pressure. The enemy is attempting to isolate us, divide us, and discourage us. But it’s time to square off with him and boldly speak well of God; speak aloud of His abundant mercy. This is the God who has saved us! Speak of His grace and fix our minds on all holiness (1 Peter 1:13). Speak of the living hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We should enjoy this hope, act according to this hope, and be strong within it. It’s a gift from God that enables us to look forward to the kingdom to come while rejoicing in the place we are now.
Granted, persecution and suffering should not come as a shock, but Peter would extol us to speak “as one who is speaking the utterances of God” (1 Peter 4:11 NASB)—to declare His whole counsel (Acts 20:27), to share His whole truth taught through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13), to proclaim the gospel without fear (Philippians 1:14), and to trust that though we are hard pressed, we are not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Without doubt, neither the enemy nor the world has any defense against the Word of God.
And finally, I’ll leave you with this: Peter was a simple fisherman, empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak life. Who are you, and what can the Spirit speak through you?
PAUSE: How does the word “blessed” in today’s verse differ from your understanding of the word blessed (as used in the Beatitudes, for instance)?
PRACTICE: When faced with overwhelming persecution, speak well of God, whether by yourself or to others, and see what a difference it makes.
PRAY: Lord, we bless You! We want to always speak well of You, especially in times of suffering. Lord, in those moments, we invite Your Spirit to speak through us to encourage, inspire, and bless others through Your words. Thank You, Jesus, for what You suffered for us, and may we aspire to rejoice as we share in Your sufferings . . . “so that in all things [You] may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever” (1 Peter 4:11 NASB). Amen.