1 Peter 1: 2-9
The Apostle Peter wrote two letters to Christians scattered across five Roman provinces. Christians were isolated by their beliefs, by geography, by lack of Scriptures – no streaming of church services, no radio to transmit teaching, a diverse international minority group figuring out their beliefs and facing persecution. Those days were not that dissimilar to today with political polarities, medical quarantines, and immigration challenges. Peter addresses his “exiles” as people chosen to be God’s people and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. But let’s keep reading.
Peter goes on to say that these people have been given
“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.”
“Living hope” are the words that jump out to me. Hope and living hope are somehow different and cause me to stop and think and reflect. “I hope I pass my test,” does not sound so very confident. Living hope gives the feeling of growth towards certainty. Living hope is something that is part of my personality, that is breathing and growing. It feels positive and not doubtful.
We have living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Living hope believes that we are not at the end of the road. We are not defined by our mistakes but there are still future options that can open up for us. Jesus resurrected from the dead three days after crucifixion and was seen by many. Our dark times can also be turning points that become new beginnings. Our pasts are our foundation upon which we build by learning lessons that can prepare us for the future. Living hope develops as we grow in faith in a God who walked through death.
Secondly we have an inheritance that is kept secure for us and unlike interest rates that fluctuate, property that devalues, or wealth that can be lost, we can look forward to an inheritance that is secure for us to collect for eternity. We can leave behind old habits and fears because there is something ahead. Someday there will be rewards and life will be fair. That gives hope, living hope.
Now at the beginning of the 2022 we can look back on 2021 and perhaps name some of our mistakes. Perhaps take a moment to pray and chat with God about how you would like to grow in living hope this year and be a sharer of hope with those you love. Blessings.