2according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
8Though 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 and filled with glory, 9obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright (c)2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. http://www.esv.org
A few years ago, the Wall Street Journal published an article that describes the insecurity of inheritance. Whether it is massive or minute, one's inheritance can be notoriously hard to keep. It may be taxed, lost, stolen, broken, squandered, or at best, simply outlived. The Bible's ancient poems and parables warn us of these pitfalls (Ecclesiastes 5:10-13; Luke 15:11-32), and despite skilled attorneys and advisors they plague us still today. Undoubtedly, many of us could share heartbreaking inheritance stories, often resurfacing deep hurt and confusion.
In contrast, the Apostle Peter describes our salvation as, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1 Peter 1:4).” By God’s grace, the security of our inheritance is not dependent on us, but on Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3). And the experience of our inheritance is not imperishable because it is somehow immaterial or ethereal. Rather, it is imperishable because it will in fact be enjoyed in the glorious physicality of a redeemed body in an earth made new (Revelation 21:1-2).
For exiles, nothing seems certain or secure. But for elect exiles, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18).”
What rush of alleluias fills all the earth and sky!
What ringing of a thousand harps bespeaks the triumph nigh!
O day, for which creation and all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes a thousandfold repaid!
from “Ten Thousand Time Ten Thousand,” by Henry Alford