Around Thanksgiving 2019 I started thinking about where I was headed concerning preaching at church. As I was praying and reading, I felt led to I Peter. Part of the draw was the weight of living more and more in a culture that doesn’t just ignore Christian thought, but has become more and more antagonistic towards it. To be honest, I was only mildly aware of the background to 1 Peter.
I had heard of Nero and knew of his antics. He wanted to rebuild Rome and is famously thought to be the one who set it on fire. The aftermath meant many sacred structures were burned out as well making the population angry with the situation. Being a good politician, Nero blamed Christians for the fire. These incidents happened around 64 AD and the result was Christians being burned at the stake and eaten alive just for fun, Nero’s fun. I had assumed Nero was a little later in Roman history, not just 30+ years from the death of Christ
As we have gone through I Peter there are great inspirational moments, instructional moments, encouragement to face challenging days, a call to remember who you are and proclaim the “excellencies” of Him who called you.
In chapter 4 we are back at the instruction about suffering and a word that came up before has come up again. In chapter 2:23 we see Jesus “entrusting” Himself to the One who judges justly. Who do I trust while suffering? In Chapter 4:19 we are invited to “entrust our souls to a Faithful Creator.”
Again to definitions… en·trust/ənˈtrəst/verb :put (something) into someone’s care or protection.
What does it mean to entrust ourselves? What does it mean that God is my fortress, my refuge, a rock, shelter, strong tower, shield, hiding place, shade, dwelling place, salvation, glory and the lifter of my head. And what would it look like if for the rest of my life, I took a great big break from building my owns walls, my own shade, my own sense of protection because I have entrusted myself to the only one capable of doing all the things I want for myself? I hazard to guess that our lives are filled with more of our self built walls than we imagine. And that we spend a lot of our time tripping over the crumbled walls laying on the property. What does it mean to tear down, remove debris and walk freely? What does it mean to entrust myself to God?
“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will
entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.”
I Peter 4:19
The Bible says that without trust, it’s impossible to please God. “Lord I am entrusting myself to you on this and every day. I know your care, shelter, wall has infinitely more strength than anything I could come up with in my own strength. Thanks for being my shield yesterday, today and tomorrow. Free my fearful heart and let me be about your business today, to the one who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine, Amen”