1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore, get your minds ready for action by being fully sober, and set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Recently my wife and I started studying the book of 1 Peter together. It has been a rich time of encouragement for both of us. Specifically, I have been encouraged about the role that God’s future grace plays in my life now. To illustrate how this works, consider how summer vacations and Christmas breaks played a role in your life as a child.
When I was a young boy it seemed like the school days took forever, and weeks would linger. Depending on the time of year, my heart would yearn for Christmas break or Summer vacation. It is what drove me to get through the semester. I knew that there would be rewards of play and rest waiting at the end of weeks of hard work. My grades on papers and tests did not stir my heart to go on. Instead, I pressed on by looking forward to spending days playing outside, going on a trip, or enjoying some other rewarding experience that was in the future.
The same concept is what God’s future grace does for our life in the here and now. While we can appreciate the effects of present and past Grace that help us in the moment, such moments of the present and past are only intended to be a platform of trust for our faith to stand on. God’s past grace helps us to know we are not crazy to trust Him for what He has promised for our future. Past grace is not the only means of encouraging us and stirring us on through life- just like papers and quizzes in school substantiated our studies for the moment but failed to drive us through the semester or year.
Looking forward to greater rewards has enormous value for our faith. Knowing God’s promises helps us to know what we are working toward. There will be a day when Jesus Christ is fully revealed in the lives of believers. In that day, there will be no more death, sickness or pain. Injustice and unrighteousness will no longer exist. Our hearts will be fully and permanently repaired, and we will forever enjoy the fullness of God’s grace on our lives as He originally intended. This is greater than any summer vacation or Christmas break, and it should spur us on towards love and good deeds as we that day coming near.
Knowing what our future holds should empower us for our decisions that we will make today. Living for the future is not about being spiritually AWOL and oblivious to present needs. Instead, we ought to see our present struggles and experiences in light of God’s grace. From that, our faith should rest secure for the glory that is yet to come, and we can be moved to overcome anything that stands in our way or tempts us to go astray. How has God’s past grace on your life helped you to trust Him? Do you know all that he has in store for you? How does that empower you for the present moment?