As I look back to examine how in the world I could have ever trusted God and moved on the other side of the Earth, I think I would have to say because we had heat in our home.
I know that sounds crazy, but it is true. Let me tell the story.
There was one year back in America we were struggling financially. It was late Fall. The weather forecast predicted the weekend to be very cold... bitter cold. Dangerously cold. We had a baby in the house at the time. Ben was so little. At that time, we only had one source of heat in the house, a fuel oil furnace. Jason had been keeping a close eye on how much fuel we had left. It wasn't good news.
I Peter 1:8 "... ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"
When my Dad passed away a couple of years ago, I experienced this "joy unspeakable" in the midst of sorrow and trials. His passing was very unexpected. Quite a shock actually. But as I look back, I see so clearly how God's hand moved in the situation, and how He comforted my heart. I should have been falling to pieces, yet, there was an overwhelming peace and joy and thankfulness. I truly could not explain it.
What I can explain is that God used His Word to produce the joy. The truths that I had been reading in devotions and had studied, they all came back to remembance when I needed them most. I knew He had gone before me and prepared my steps. I was safe during a time when I should have felt most vulnerable.
1 Peter 1:9 “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”
We have done a lot of counseling and Bible studies on Biblical Salvation. One of the first questions we always ask is, “Are you saved?” followed by, “How do you know?”
The answers we have gotten to the second question have been wide ranging.
“Because I felt ____________…”
“Because I remember praying…”
“Because I went to the altar…”
“Because I gave my life to God…”
“Because I believe in God…”
“Because I am faithful to church…”
1 Peter 1:10-12 "Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."
The prophets knew something special was coming. They were gripped, consumed, hungry. They searched diligently. Why? Because they knew everything... EVERYTHING hung in the balance on this. The past, present, and future all rested on this one moment in time. The suffering of Christ. While most people were looking for a revolutionary man to set up a kingdom, these prophets knew that suffering was the means of salvation. So, they searched diligently. They wanted to know how, when, where. And what was amazing is that they knew they would not see it in their own lifetime. They knew they were ministering to future generations. Yet, they still searched. They looked forward into the future and saw the world's only hope and His intense pain. They also saw the glory to come afterwards.
There is a battle raging.
It is on an amazing battleground. Not on land. Not on sea. Not in the air. Not in space.
This battleground is way more valuable than those, and way more tragic if the battleground is lost to the enemy. It is the battle for our minds.
I Peter 1:13 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind..."
Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is teaching us how to secure the battlefield... how to build a fortress around our minds so that when trials come, we are not defeated. He starts off with "Wherefore." That means "through which thing" or "because of this." Because of what? Because of all those things he just talked about in the previous 12 verses. To gird up the loins of our mind, we must build the walls of our mind fortress with the truths he just covered.