1:1-2:11 - Do you feel like you can`t go on? Do you feel like giving up? Here`s God`s Word of encouragement for you: ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the Day of Jesus Christ’ (1:6). God finishes what He starts - ‘He didn`t bring us this far to leave us. He didn`t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn`t build His home in us to move away. He didn`t lift us up to let us down’. In all the changes of life, we must remember this: God is faithful. His love is unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable. We don`t keep going because we are strong. We are ‘kept by the power of God’ (1 Peter 1:5). In ‘humility’ let us live ‘to the glory and praise of God’ (2:3; 1:11). ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’ (2:11) - He will give you the strength to keep going when you feel like giving up.
2:12-3:11 - God’s command - ‘Work out your own salvation’ - must never be separated from His promise - ‘God is at work in you’ (12-13). We do not save ourselves - We ‘put no confidence in the flesh’. We are saved by the Lord - We ‘glory in Christ Jesus’ (3). We are to ‘shine as lights in the world’, directing attention away from ourselves to Him who is ‘the Light of the world’ - our Lord Jesus Christ (15; John 8:12). We have this testimony: “I have ‘no righteousness of my own’. ‘Through faith in Christ’, I have received ‘this righteousness from God’” (9). We are living in difficult times. This is ‘a crooked and perverse generation’ (15). We are called to ‘hold fast the Word of life’ (16). It will not be easy. We will face many difficulties. We must take encouragement from this: ‘God is at work in you’ (13).
3:12-4:23 - ‘Christ Jesus has made me His own’ (3:12). In Paul`s words, we hear an echo of Jesus` words, ‘You did not choose Me... I chose you’ (John 15:16). Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life. We are to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’ (4). We are to bring ‘everything’ to Him in prayer (6). We are to be ‘content in all circumstances’ (4:11-12). We are to face every challenge with confidence in His strength - ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (4:13). We are to trust Him to ‘supply’ our ‘every need’ (4:19). In every situation, we can come to the Lord, trusting in His promise: ‘the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (7). Whatever is happening, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him give you His peace.