A Living Hope
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Peter begins this letter addressing Christians as pilgrims, “travelers in foreign lands” (Webster’s 21st Century Dictionary). This world is not our home. We, like Abraham, long and wait for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (1 Peter 1:1; Hebrews 11:10).
Through the Father’s great and abundant mercy Peter says He has “begotten us again.” The Father did not have to do this; but by His good pleasure and wisdom He provided a plan for us, who had no right and no hope, to become His spiritual children. Those who have been born again (John 3:5) have been born into a living hope!
It is in Christ and through the gospel that we have access to this living hope (Colossians 1:23). Consider what it means to be born again. We are a new person, born into the family of God—one of His own (1 Peter 1:22-23). This new birth and living hope is made possible and certain through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Living hope is more than a wishful fleeting thought or moment. It is a firm conviction trusting the faithfulness of Him who has promised—that He is able to do and fulfill every word that He has spoken. In living, it is active, growing, moving forward toward its source.
The power of such hope is evident in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the power that raised Christ from the dead is the very same power that shall raise our bodies from the dead. The power is found in the Son of God, who became one of us (John 1:1, 14), that He “might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:9). Jesus was in all points tempted as we are, yet He chose not to sin (Hebrews 4:15, 2:18). For this reason He conquered death; death and the grave were not able to hold Him.
“ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:55-58).
For those who put their trust in God, we do not hope in the futile things of this world. We do not hope in politics. We do not trust in chariots and horses or military might. Our hope is not in Wall Street. Our hope is in the living God! “But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King” (Jeremiah 10:10a).
This is a hope that we can safely build our lives upon. This is the firm foundation that the wise man built his house upon (Matthew 7:24-28). When trials and difficulties come, this living hope is real and made secure by Jesus Christ. It will not fail, because He never fails.
As children of God, we are promised an inheritance that is the substance of the living hope. It is an inheritance that is not subject to decay; it will never perish. It is clean and pure; death cannot touch it. It is eternal; time cannot prevent it.
This inheritance is in heaven, being kept safe by God in heaven for those who have right to it. No one can rob you of the hope that you have in Christ and the eternal inheritance God has reserved for you in heaven, except you. The heirs must cooperate by being faithful until death and He will give us the crown of eternal life (Revelation 2:10c).
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
Everyone who has this hope of seeing Jesus and being like Him has such an incentive to cleanse himself or herself and strive to be like the Lord. We shall see the King!
If you have never trusted the Savior and His promises in obeying the Gospel of our Lord, why not? What is holding you back? This is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. If you have drifted away from the Lord and His plan and people, why not turn (repent) from your sins to serve the Master (Romans 6:17-23), firmly taking hold of the living hope He offers?
“but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).