There are a lot of things in life that get old, fade, spoil and eventually go away. Relationships end. Health fails. Money is squandered. Old t-shirts become rags. Possessions end up at the dump.
It gets old that everything in life gets old. It’s all temporary. And the suffering that results from our grief is inevitable. Because, sadly, the momentary, transitory nature of things applies also to the things we love the most.
But in the gospel there is hope. We have the promise of something that will never, ever get old. Something that will not fade or spoil. Something that will never perish.
There is something that is permanent.
That something is our eternal inheritance being kept for us in heaven. This is the inheritance that Jesus won for us through his death on the cross and three days later, his resurrection.
When the apostle Peter thought of the permanence of this inheritance, he couldn’t keep himself from rejoicing. The joy overflowed from his heart, tumbling from his lips in poetic words of praise.
Even in the midst of suffering, Peter proclaims, this promised inheritance brings us great joy. It gives us patience and perseverance. It stills our troubled hearts.
As the Psalmist wrote, “Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV). And Peter says it this way:
“Praise 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, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:3-6, NIV).
Heavenly Father, I praise you for your gift of heaven, and I thank you that because of your Son, Jesus, I can be confident that by faith in him, this inheritance is assuredly mine.
Our Bible reading for Sunday, November 22, is Ezekiel 41:1 – 42:20, 1 Peter 1:1 -2:3 and Psalm 131:1-3.
Header image based on "Entrance to heaven" by Wonderlane, CC By 2.0