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Hope

Updated: Aug 18


Hope is very powerful. Without hope we will often lose our purpose. In the song, "Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?", the final verse speaks about the great hope we have in Christ. It speaks of the hope of our salvation.

“Till Jesus comes I’ll sing His praise, And then to glory go, And reign with Him thru endless days, Because He loved me so!” [1]

Have you ever experienced disappointment? A time in which your hope was let down? It could have been that your trust or confidence in someone was betrayed. Perhaps it was a certain expectation that you had, an expectation that was unrealized. This led to disappointment, discouragement, confusion, pain, possibly even doubt. At some point, I imagine we have all experienced times of disappointment, times when our hope was let down or our expectations crushed.

I have heard it said or I have read, although I don't remember where now, as we read the Gospel and letters of John, we could say John is the apostle of love. Reading through the writings of the apostle Paul, we may see the importance of faith. Peter we could describe as the apostle of hope. Looking back on Peter’s life, could we understand why God may have chose Peter to write about hope?

Peter, at one point in his life had lost hope--even denying he knew Jesus at all! He was a person tossed into a sea of doubt and confusion that more than likely filled his mind and filled him with discouragement. Suddenly unsure of the call of Christ, the fisherman returned to what he knew - fishing (ref. John. 21:1-3). Hope was gone - that is until the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

Yet as we read the words of Peter in our New Testament, we do not read the writing of a man filled with doubt and discouragement. We read the words of a man who was filled with a living hope.

1 Peter 1:3-9

"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. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls."

This text is not filled with words of despair. We are not reading the words of a person who is full of disappointment or discouragement. Instead, we read the words of a person who is filled with excitement and hope. Notice again his words as he writes to the Church of our Lord and Savior: 1 Peter 1:3 "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." Can you hear the excitement, the joy in Peter because of the hope he has? This hope has filled him because of God’s abundant goodness.

It is a living hope that has been born again in the life of Peter through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Put this in the context of Peter’s story. Upon the death of our Lord, his life had lost hope. When Jesus was laid in the tomb - Peter’s hope was extinguished, it was gone. But now, the hope Peter has is because death could not hold Jesus. It is a new and living hope, alive in Peter because Jesus was raised from the dead! This hope is not just for Peter. The Lord has begotten us again to a living hope. The application is of a living hope based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and it is for all who have a new birth in Christ.

In 1 Peter 1:13, he speaks about the hope that we are to rest fully upon; grace brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter continued to write:

1 Peter 1: 22-23 "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever"

We are born again through the word of God. God’s Word is living. It is active. It is incorruptible. It is not like our physical birth, a birth that ultimately leads to decay and death. Christians are born again not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, the word of God. This life, the life of new birth, does not decay with the passing of the years. We are born again through the word preached, believed, and obeyed as we are those who have been added to His church (ref. Acts 2:47).

Through new birth, Christians are born again into a living hope. It is a hope that does not disappoint or let us down.

We are born to a new inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4 "to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" The inheritance which awaits faithful children of God is incorruptible. It’s not affected by the passage of time. Unlike the things of this earth, this inheritance is eternal. It's an inheritance that is undefiled. It does not partake in, nor is it contaminated with the characteristics that so often define this world. It's an inheritance that is unfading. It will not wither. The beauty of our inheritance is like that of a flower in constant bloom, it never fails.

Peter is describing for us the rich treasure of our hope, it is an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading. The hope that we have in the resurrection of Christ from the dead, as Peter is describing for us, is unlike anything we know here on this earth. It is a hope that is only found in Christ and only in a new birth.

The hope that we have in Christ is a hope reserved and kept for those who are faithful in Christ.

1 Peter 1:4-5 "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."

The hope that we have cannot be found in the things of this earth. It is in heaven and found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is the hope of eternal life and it is a hope that is guarded carefully. It is kept careful watch or custody over.

John 14:1-4

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

The hope we have as Christians is guarded, it is watched over by Christ who has gone to prepare a place for us.

“Till Jesus comes I’ll sing His praise, And then to glory go, And reign with Him thru endless days, Because He loved me so!” [1]

Is there a greater hope than the hope we have in Christ? The promise of this life is not that we will be exempt from experiencing discouragement, doubts, or disappointments. We live in a world affected by sin and decay and we certainly will experience times of discouragement in our lives. However, the hope of Christ is received in new birth and lifts us beyond this earth. It lifts us to the heavenly places where Christ is seated at the right hand of God (ref. Ephesians 1:20). It is a hope that inspires us to more than the offerings of this world. It is a hope that causes us to look beyond this earth to the living hope found in Christ.

Peter was a follower of Jesus who, upon the death of Jesus, returned to what he knew: fishing (ref. John 21:1-12). Yet he could no longer be content with the things of this world after the resurrection of Jesus. The hope we have in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead raises us to a new life in Him. It is a life filled with new and living hope.

Blessings!

Steve Ellis

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1] Dailey, J. G. (1892). “Why Did My Savior Come To Earth?.” Songs of Faith and Praise, Shape Note Edition. Howard Books. Copyright 1994. West Monroe, LA. 382

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