“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – 1 Pet 1:3.
Without HOPE, man soon loses his will and purpose for living. There are false hopes and there is true hope. We all hold to one form of hope or another. For you see, within each of us lies a yearning for something that is missing; a purpose for which we believe we were created or a homesickness calling us back (or forward). It is the hope of fulfilling that yearning that drives each of us on.
The story is told of prisoners being held during World War II in POW camps driven to survive by only the hope that something better existed outside the fences of their prison. They believed the life they knew and their daily misery would end when rescue came from beyond the fences. But when a prisoner lost hope, that rescue wasn’t coming, nothing motivated them to go on or even live for that day. They would crawl into a fetal position and there they remained. Food, friends, loved ones, even the threat of punishment or death could not force them to move from their sleeping mats. They had lost hope.
Other times it is simply a feeling of homesickness, that I don’t belong, that there is someplace else I have been made for. It is the sense that I am truly a pilgrim passing through and that home lies beyond. I’m not at rest and I long for that rest. It is hope which drives the human spirit on each day.
God’s word tells us that we have been made alive to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not an ‘expectant optimism’ that things will probably get better but a ‘confidant assurance’ that we are currently fulfilling a purpose and that our future state is secure. It is the sense that our ‘homesickness’ is only temporary and that hope absolutely lies beyond the fence.
It also tells us that it is a “living” hope which means that it is not simply a future assurance but it is the confidence that we, in our current situation, be it delight or suffering, have a merciful Comforter who walks each step of this journey with us giving grace, comfort and hope. Our motivation for assurance lies in the ‘resurrection of Jesus Christ’, in the fact of an empty tomb. He is not dead but alive and it is ‘He’ that is currently keeping our inheritance secure in heaven. It means that our future is secure and our daily life can be lived with purpose and assurance.
Our Hope lies in the mercy and grace of our Lord, not in our own merit. We can do nothing to earn favor with God and it is favor that we need. He has provided the way of that favor through his Son, Jesus Christ. It is only through our faith in Him and His finished work and our repentance of our sinful lives that we can enjoy this LIVING HOPE!
Please contact us for further encouragement and to answer any questions you might have about your hope in life and death. We would love to hear from you.