Monday, October 20, 2008

A Living Hope

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope.” (1 Peter 1:3a CSB)

What a great way to describe what we have in Christ – a living hope! We have hope that is alive, vibrant, and working.

This living hope we have is founded on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. If Jesus died and was not resurrected, then our faith is dead and so is our hope. The resurrection is an absolute essential to this living hope. Our hope is alive because Jesus is alive.

The nature of our living hope is an “imperishable inheritance.” We have hope not because of anything we have done but because of the active grace of God in which He has now claimed us as His children. Since this life we have is eternal, the inheritance that comes with it is eternal and, therefore, imperishable.

We also have a guarantee for this living hope. It is found in the protection we enjoy from the power of the Almighty God. This does not mean that we are protected from all kinds of physical threat. It simply means that there is no power anywhere that can destroy our personal relationship with the Lord, nothing that can take us away from Him. Our relationship is eternally protected.

This living hope further has a “refinement” aspect to it. Sooner or later, as a result of our faith in Christ, we will undergo various trials and difficulties, but we should understand that these are part of the process God uses to refine our faith, much in the way that gold is purified by fire.

Then, there is the joy of a living hope we enjoy. Our faith leads to our eternal salvation, and that salvation produces an indescribable joy, a joy that can endure anything. It comes not from us. It is not something we can manufacture from within. Rather, it comes from the presence of God’s Spirit within us. It is His joy we experience.

Thank You, Lord, for this living hope You have given us. Amen.

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