When I read the Scriptures there is nothing more satisfying or exciting to me than when I see the connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament. I love how the whole story fits together. Particularly, I like hearing the echoes of the Psalms ring out in the epistles.
This past Sunday our congregation spent time looking at the opening verses of 1 Peter. They go like this,
Blessed 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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so 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. 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 and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9, ESV)
I couldn’t shake this bit, “…who by God’s power are being guarded through faith…” The idea that God is using his power to guard our salvation really grabbed my heart. I am still pondering that reality and what all it means.
Then, this morning I was reading Psalm 5. The Psalm is all about David asking God to lead him in the way of righteousness and to protect him from his enemies. Check out this last stanza,
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover him with favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12, ESV)
David prayed for those who would take refuge in the Lord to be protected. Fast forward one thousand years and here we see Peter writing and stating that God is doing just that. As a result of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the things prayed for by David in Psalm 5 (and elsewhere) are now answered.
How remarkable is that? First, when we pray it is an eternal work because we are praying to an eternal God. Our prayers remain before him forever. Second, what we consider to be slow is not necessarily slow for God. Third, God is protecting our faith. He is watching over and caring for us. He is actively making sure that we are safe.
We can trust a God like this. We can have faith in a God who acts this way. The reality of this God who is active and personal and engaged drives me to want to pray more. His love and protection of me makes me want to step out in faith and trust him for ever greater things. I want to be his ambassador and proclaim his excellencies all the more!
How about you?