“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible” (1 Peter 1:8)
As Peter writes to the believers scattered across the Roman empire in the first century he is well aware of the challenges that they face. For many the pressure to conform would have been immense and the risk of identifying as a believer in the crucified Messiah would have been high.
With this as his backdrop, Peter gives us a wonderful window through which to view the impact and intended result of all gospel ministry. Preaching, praying, planting and partnering should lead more and more people to love and rejoice in what God has done for them in Christ Jesus. Our partners in the work, both those living cross-culturally and locally, face equally challenging circumstances. The days of the roman empire are long since passed, but the oppressive shadow of man-made agendas and spiritual darkness still cover many aspects of life in Asia. For this reason, we turn to pray and I would invite you to pray in these two points
First of all, we see that in challenging circumstances it is crucial that we remember there is an imperishable inheritance (1:4). So many of the things we cherish can spoil as life progresses. Not the gospel and the inheritance of the gospel. This news of God liberating believing people from sin and the power of sin never decreases in value and never succumbs to the passing sands of time. When we pray for our partners in the work, ask the Lord to confirm again the imperishable inheritance which is theirs and ours in Christ.
Secondly we see this; every believer is being guarded by the power of God (1:5). Do you realise that in this moment God is guarding those who trust in him? There is nothing which will come to pass outside of his sovereign grace because his decree on your life is entrance into the fullness of the salvation which he has promised at the revealing of Jesus Christ as the king of Glory. Challenging circumstances can easily make us look down and in. Peter encourages us in another direction telling us to look up and out. As we pray meditate on this wonderful truth. He holds his people and will keep them through all the trials of a fallen world. “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2).
We turn to God with great confidence to bring the needs of East Asia’s peoples and lift up our co-workers in this ministry. May there be many more people who turn and put their trust in the Son.