Focal passage: 1 Peter 1:1-9
Most people have a thing – something they’re known for. John Wayne is iconic for his cowboy swagger, Michelle Obama for her intellect and poise, and my golden retriever Cooper for his relentless begging for whatever food you have.
Peter also had a thing. You’ve probably been at a Bible study where you were asked, “Who’s your favorite disciple?” And, inevitably, someone says, “Peter!”
He was the hasty go-getter, who said too much too loudly at all the wrong times but generally meant well. I love how the Bible doesn’t hide how unpolished Peter was. I imagine him with unkempt hair and dirt under his fingernails, but always right there up front with Jesus following along with all his gusto.
There are few others we get to see so plainly in scripture – their highs and lows on display for us. Peter walked on water with Jesus and witnessed His transfiguration. He also publicly denied even knowing Jesus.
And yet, here Peter is, against all odds, writing as a church leader to encourage others to continue to hope in Christ. Of all people Peter knew that circumstances, and especially our response to our circumstances, can’t undo our identity in Christ.
What we’ve done doesn’t determine who we are. Instead, who we are in Christ empowers us to live in a way we’d never think possible. We can humble ourselves, turn to Christ, begin again, and walk on with confidence because our hope isn’t us, but Christ.
The work isn’t ours. It’s Christ’s.