by David Cawston

Concluding Hope
David Cawston
I Peter 5:12-14

You've noticed that throughout this Book of Peter there have been no pity parties for the struggles and trials that the early Christians had been going through.
Peter capitalizes on the benefits that come from hard times.

How easily we forget that growth occurs when life is hard - not when it's easy. However, it is not until we move beyond the misery stage that we are able to find a magnificent lesson to be learned.

The Apostle Peter so masterfully presents in his letter that suffering is not the end. It is only a means to the end.

Best of all, God's end for us is maturity - it's growth. It is the reason for living and going on.

I. Let's take a look at five observations in these last four verses:

1. Peter wrote the letter.
This may seem like a simplistic observation, but this fact offers us a unique encouragement. Along with James and John, Peter was one of the ''inner circle'' - one of the three confidantes to whom Jesus revealed Himself most fully.
Of the twelve disciples, Peter was regarded as the spokesman. He was never one to tether on the fence of indecision.
He was impulsive, impetuous, outspoken.
However, he often put his foot in his mouth.
He knew the heights of ecstasy on the Mount of Transfiguration and the depths of misery during the night of his shameful denial of Christ.

Yet, in spite of his flaws and failures, he is called an Apostle of Jesus Christ - what grace!
This should be of itself and encouragement to all of us who fear that our flaws are too numerous or our failures are too enormous to be given another chance.

I'm sure that Peter looked back over his life and said: ''I wish I hadn't said that'' many times.
Peter in effect is saying: ''Yes, I wrote this.
I am the disciple who blew it.
I failed Him when he was under arrest.
I spoke when I shouldn't have, but I write now as one who has learned many things the hard way - things a ...

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