This set of notes is designed to drive home a controversial theme. This theme, one that is rarely taught in church, is this idea that we should expect insults as Christians. Deeply loving the earth and everyone in it is powerful. But what we should know by now is if Jesus was hated, insulted, and spar at—shouldn’t we expect the same?
Walking with Christ should not be sunshine and roses all the time but should exhibit our wholehearted devotion in times of ‘fiery troubles.’ Peter writes to us saying that we should not be surprised by these fiery troubles—but expect them to come, (v.12).
These troubles are designed to test the level of faith we have and create a deeper understanding of happiness. Its in the deep cavern of our spiritual nature that purity is formed. Through this tugging of our faith, it becomes more precious than gold.
We are to expect fire. Fire as an essence is meant to burn away what cant stand the heat. In the same way, our own fleshly desires might not be able to stand the heat. It is the fire of the Holy Spirit that burns away fleshly desires, revealing the strong structure of character beneath it! Through this trying process, faith in Christ becomes even more valuable in the Kingdom. So if you have been through a lot, the testimonial scars reveal His glory.
In this expectance we are also called to ‘love warmly’ because it covers a multitude of sins (v.7). We do this because the end comes nearer and nearer every day. It is something that we hold unto in joy not fear. The end is near! What does this mean? It quite literally means that life is too short and every day is closer to the coming of Christ.
The second coming of Christ on earth is near! It comes closer to our lives in proximity to His. It is so near, that we are called to love warmly, because love covers. Now love does not make excuses for the habitual sins of others, but it is a tool used to be a covering. Just as Christ is a covering, so is His love a covering. In His love we cover through prayer!
In verse 17 it says that judgement will come through Gods family first. What does this mean? It means that first it will happen to the church, and then it will spread throughout the earth. There is a monumental judgement day coming through Christ when He reigns on high. The significance of this is so much greater than what we understand it to be. We are to share in Christ’s sufferings, or at least be prepared to, if we are to call ourselves Christ followers.
My personal notes for this chapter is this: expect fire in the Kingdom. Expect to be shaken up to pursue Him who first pursued you. Expect hardship, for how much more did Christ suffer? Expect these things so that there will be no disappointment when they come. Expect it, be prepared for it, and watch faith grow deeper than ever before!
Destiny Rose Nielsen.