Your Reservations

April 4-10, 2021 – Joyce Gregory

As our family pulled into the campground, anticipation was high. We were in Yellowstone National Park and were excited to see it. We also really needed to set up camp as dad was ill with a fever. The campground was quite large, but as we drove around and around we noted it was very full. Every site was taken. As we came to the end we began to despair. With a prayer, we circled again, hoping someone was about to pull out and we could take their place. Dad noticed one campsite where no one was there but something was left on the table. We stopped while dad inquired in the office. “No, an item there was sufficient to hold it for the owner,” he was told. We sat there for a while to see if the people would return. Nearby campers thought they had left. We decided to set up camp but be prepared to leave if someone returned. No one came. It had been reserved for us in someone else’s name.

Peter, the disciple of Jesus, wrote encouragingly to Christians (in 1 Peter 1) that were suffering severely with great trials. They were likely to face even more troubles. Christians were not readily integrated in the Roman world. They might be compared to the millions of refugees that cannot find a welcome anywhere. Despised, rejected people must have been strongly encouraged as the first words they heard from Jesus’ personal messenger were that they were chosen according to their Father God’s plan from before the time they were even born. This selection was for the purpose that they would obey Jesus but was being accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit. In the face of persecution, the disciples of Christ were able to recognize by these words that God’s purposes for them were being realized as they followed Christ even into these difficult trials.

An even greater joy and hope would have sustained them as Peter told them that they had reservations in heaven. YES! That is what God’s inspired word and promise to them was. The description of what was awaiting them was so far beyond their temporal hope that they might have wished for regarding the situations facing them. Anything that they might have dreamed of would have been temporary and would have had glitches and imperfections. And even if their dreams could have been realized, usually the satisfaction fades. But God promised that the believers’ inheritance would never come to an end, there would not be anything disappointing about it, and their appreciation for it would not diminish. Verse 3.

Not only the Christians of Peter’s time were experiencing trials. In 2021, Bible-believing people who live according to God’s word are increasingly rejected as bigots, haters and are being canceled. According to prophecy, Jesus’ followers will face much more than that. So as we journey through life, let us see how Our Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are providing “no fail reservations” in heaven.

I am amazed at the effort that God has exercised to ensure that troubled believers will claim their reservations. We already mentioned the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus applies the power of His sacrificial death. Verse 2 tells us that grace and peace are to be ours. Grace is the Divine influence and it’s reflection in our lives. In verse 3, Peter says that our Father causes us to be born again to a living hope. It is living because the Son of God, who is our hope, died but was resurrected. We must be born again because our hope is not to be in earthly comfort, ease and prosperity which is what our selfish heart longs for. Rather a new heart is given us so that the greatest joy comes from loving God and others as Jesus did.

Finally, God knows that there is one who has a viscous intent to keep us from claiming that inheritance that will never disappoint. So in verse 5, Peter declares that we are protected by the power of God. This is all ours as we choose to trust God’s promises and abilities to save us from our sins. That is called faith. Trials give us opportunities to practice trusting God to bring us through. Peter explains that as we practice this faith in Jesus, our salvation would be given to us.

Jesus has made the reservations for our inheritance. His name appears on that possession on your behalf. Are you on the journey towards that inheritance by reaching out to Jesus in faith for the work that He will do in you as you face the tests of life? You will never be disappointed when you claim your inheritance. God never lies.