Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. . . .
— 1 Peter 1:3

These words of Peter remind me of the need for training and practice in all kinds of sports, music programs, drama, dance, and more. Athletes, musicians, actors, dancers, and others all practice and train so that when the time comes to play or perform, they are ready.
Peter’s advice is sort of like a pep talk to early Christians in the Roman Empire. He writes to encourage them to give praise to God and to focus on all the good things God has promised in Christ. “In his great mercy,” God has given “new birth into a living hope” through Jesus’ resurrection—and this includes “an inheritance that can never . . . fade.” Peter knew that some believers in Christ were facing hardships and persecution because of their faith, so he wanted to remind them of these reasons to praise God.
My first reaction to spiritual trouble might be to complain, curse the world, or even question God’s care. Peter’s regimen is to exercise our worship muscles and to offer praise to God—to stay in spiritual shape. In other words, hard times require training, and we can train best by praising God for all he has done to save us.
Here is a spiritual tip: In light of Easter and the resurrection, practice praising God now so that when tougher times come, you will be prepared to do what you need to do!

Thank you, Lord, for your mercy and for the living hope that helps us face the challenges of life in this world. Amen.

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