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"Peace amid Pain "
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Words from the first epistle of Peter
2 – Hope

Faith, Hope and Love are the three principles of Christianity.  That’s why the apostle Paul has spoken and wrote many times about faith and explained the certainty of faith, and also he is the one who wrote: “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).  Thus apostle Paul is considered the apostle of Faith, for he wrote the most about faith.

However, apostle John is the apostle of Love, for he said twice that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8 & 16). And also said: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) He is the one who wrote the most on Love, and his epistles verse after verse spoke about Love, especially his first epistle.

Whereas the apostle of Hope is  apostle Peter; in the beginning of his epistle and in verse 3 , he speaks about hope saying: “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).  He is speaking about the living hope and how wonderful is the word “living” when it comes in the Bible; a living hope means an efficacious hope that has the absolute efficiency and that never ends or dies. 

He then wrote about this efficiency saying; “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12). How could we be not surprised of the trial when it comes?  Beloved, it is strange and weird if we don’t suffer, as the normal thing is that we should suffer, because “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:19).  Our Lord did not promise us a life free of troubles, sufferings and grief; believers are subject to physical and psychological sufferings as sorrow, depression, deprivation and desolation; but based upon God’s words we are certain that there is hope. What is hope? How not to grieve?!

“Not to grieve” doesn’t mean not to grieve at all, but this means, not to grieve like others who have no hope. “You may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1Thessalonians 4: 13).  We are at the last days; they are days of pain and sufferings, days of misery and sore travail, but we believe that with the pain there is hope. Wherefore, apostle Peter says, “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” ( 1 Peter 3:15); this means that you have to be ready always to answer whoever asks you about the reason of your hope while you’re in pain. God has said that we will face tribulations in this world but He also said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

If we can cite from God’s words in the Gospel of John, we would say that this epistle is the epistle of “Peace amid pains”. It’s a message that does not say that, believers must not suffer; for God did not say “I have spoken to you so that in the world you might have peace; but He said: in Me you might have peace. Our hope is that amid our pains there is Peace.

Magdy Samuel

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