How do we become okay again? We must prepare our minds for action by first acknowledging that we are not okay and that we need to do something about it. When we don’t take the time to acknowledge that we are not okay, we find ourselves running away from God instead of toward Him. We have to acknowledge that the situation is overwhelming, and we cannot handle it by ourselves. The Message version of 1 Peter 1:13 says that we have to roll up our sleeves and put our mind in gear. We have to take every thought captive to obey Christ. We must take control of what we allow our minds to dwell on. We should prepare our minds to be hopeful of what is to come and of Who is to come.
Peter doesn’t allow the early church to wallow in their current situation, and that still applies to us today. In order to shift our thinking, it’s time for us to get to work. As God’s children, we know that we are in this world, but we are not of this world. We are in the world, so it’s okay to acknowledge that these trials are bothering us and weighing us down. We may not want to go through these challenges, but we have been called to represent Christ and to represent His Kingdom even in the midst of trials. Our desire is for Him to be known through our work, our families, and our lives. It’s all right to say that the trial hurts. It’s okay to be scared. Our human reaction is real and has to be acknowledged.
Even after we acknowledge that we aren’t okay, we still prepare our minds. We don’t stay stuck in the way the world sees the trials we face. The preparing of our minds gets us to move toward action – to move toward what we’re called to do. Peter is aware that the people and the church are persecuted, but he doesn’t allow them to stay stuck with the “persecuted” label. He shares with them in 1 Peter 1:6 that there is wonderful joy ahead, even though they must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that our faith is genuine. There was still life and leadership that had to happen during their suffering. And there is still life and leadership that we are called to do today, no matter what trials we face. Peter tells the early church, and us today, that it’s time to roll up our sleeves because we still have work to do.