1 Pet 1:3-25 chiastic structure:
1a) 1 Pet 1:3-5, Your inheritance incorruptible + undefiled, reserved in heaven for you;
1b) 1 Pet 1:5-9, Genuineness of your faith found praiseworthy at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1a) 1 Pet 1:5, Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation to be revealed in the last time;
1b) 1 Pet 1:6, In this you greatly rejoice, though now you have been grieved by various trials;
central axis) 1 Pet 1:7-8a, “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love;”
2b) 1 Pet 1:8b, Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible + full of glory;
2a) 1 Pet 1:9, Receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls;
1c) 1 Pet 1:10a, Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully;
1d.1) 1 Pet 1:10b, Who prophesied of the grace that would come to you;
1d.2) 1 Pet 1:11, Searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow;
central axis) 1 Pet 1:12a, To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering;
2d.1) 1 Pet 1:12b, The things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you;
2d.2) 1 Pet 1:12c, By the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—
1c) 1 Pet 1:12d, Things which angels desire to look into;
1b) 1 Pet 1:13-17, Rest your hope fully upon grace brought at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
2a) 1 Pet 1:18-25, Your redemption not with corruptible things but the incorruptible word of God.
The trials we endure in this life serve to strengthen our faith, making it genuine, if we will let them. Trials send us to God, who is greater than trials or the things of this earth. It is through our trials that we learn to trust God. We find His promises, we learn His admonitions, we change our course if we have a teachable heart, and do what we can and must, and we wait patiently to see the fulfilling of His promise.
Faith is shipwrecked when we allow bitterness or despair to knock us off this path. How does the enemy sow despair in our hearts? When we are in the middle of a trial, the enemy whispers to us, “God won’t help you.” It’s a lie, but it can seem believable because we put God on a timetable of our own making, and expect Him to resolve everything by an appointment we have set in our calendar, which makes Him, not our God, but our errand boy. And sometimes, His longsuffering in acting is because He knows it is far better to have this false premise purged from our thinking than it is to do x y z by such and such a date.
Bitterness is a deeper pit, after we have gone through despair. We conclude that because God didn’t help us, then He has rejected us, or He must not exist, or He must be impersonal toward us (like the force) instead of our Father, and all manner of related lies. But bitterness is likewise predicated upon the assumption that outcomes must match our preconceived expectations according to our previously determined timetables.
Now I am someone who has gone through deep trials, all my life. So I can thoroughly relate to anyone finding themselves in a pit of despair, bitterness, or any other negative trap. Here’s how to get out. Call out to God and ask for His help. Confess that you have strayed from believing in Him or the truth of His words, and ask Him to throw you a rope. Ask Him to rebuild your heart, your faith, and your life, laying down your expectations, timetables, and demands, submitting instead to His. And He will. ♥