We can all use hope! More than likely we have each experienced times of depression, anxiety, fear, and uncertainty. The apostle Peter recorded:
2 PETER 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (NIV)
Many have contemplated the question, “Why did Jesus come to earth?” This one question encompasses many different thoughts and raises questions of its own. Peter helps us understand, at least part, the answer to this question. God’s divine power has granted to us all things pertaining to life and godliness. Through His great promises, we can escape the corruption that is in the world. The fact that Jesus came to earth will both transform and inspire us. Through His great and precious promises, we have hope.
Hope can mean different things. We may hope that we lose weight over the holiday season. We can hope or trust that our studies this past semester will result in good grades. We know that hope is powerful. Bernard Williams, who “was a leading influence in philosophical ethics in the latter half of the twentieth century,” 2 said:
Although hope can mean different things when the Bible authors speak about hope, what do they understand hope to be?
THE APOSTLE OF HOPE
Some have described the apostle Peter as the apostle of hope. He wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
Peter acknowledges God as the source of all blessings and salvation. The hope of eternal life, the forgiveness of sins; all of the Christian's hope springs from God's abundant mercy.
Christians are born to a "living hope." This new birth is not a birth of the flesh, as Jesus explains in (John 3). Christians are born of water and the Spirit. Without this new birth, we will not enter the kingdom of God (ref. Jn. 3:5).
This hope is not like what we often think of when we think of the word hope. Biblical hope is confidence in God's promises and trust in His words. Biblical hope is in God's faithfulness and His ability to hold His promises. Christians come to a "living hope" through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. A hope that will not fail or fade - one that is reserved in heaven.
A WISE BUILDER
Jesus told of a wise and foolish builder in (ref. Matt. 7:24-29). A wise man, Jesus said, built his house on the rock. When the storms of life beat against the house and the floods and wind came, the wise man's house did not fall. There was a foolish man who built his house on the sand. When the rain, the winds, and floods beat against his house, it fell. Jesus said, of this house, "great was its fall" (ref. Matt. 7:27).
As Jesus tells this story, the difference between the two builders is that one hears the words of Jesus and does them. The other man hears the words of Jesus but does not follow them.
Jesus's words leave us with a question, "What are we building on?"
HOPE AS AN ANCHOR
We can all use hope in our day. The hope of the Bible is not wishful thinking. Biblical hope is in the faithful promises of God's word. Because of His great and precious promises (ref. 2 Peter 1:4), Christians share in great hope. Hope, as the Hebrews author records, that is an anchor for the soul (ref. Heb. 6:19).
Could you use hope for your life today? I invite you to turn to God's faithful words. Build the foundation of your life on His everlasting promises.
1 Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
2 Chappell, Sophie-Grace and Nicholas Smyth, "Bernard Williams", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2018/entries/williams-bernard. Date Accessed: November 27, 2020