” 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 Peter 1:3-5 ESV)
Being the start of the new year many people put their hope in New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a year of new beginnings… and with that people put their hope in seeing something new and good occur in their lives. Whether it is getting their lives more organised, getting fit, losing some weight, learning something new or spending more time with family and friends, it’s the hope of many to see these good things fulfilled in their lives. However in all these, in what is our hope placed? Who are we relying on? Ourselves and others. It doesn’t take long to realise that living in this broken world we will let ourselves down, not to mention those around us.
Then there is the hope to which we cling in the face of hardship and tragedy; illness, a lost job, severe debt, loss of our homes or our loved ones. Life is cruel and unpredictable. We strive to hope in something good that will see us through the calamities of life.
Whether we are striving to achieve a new goal or cling to hope during hardship in our lives, we often end up becoming self-absorbed and self-reliant in order to see things change. We hope that those around us will deliver and provide the answer. We hope for this world to be kind to us. This will ultimately lead us to frustration and further disappointment, because everything in this world will fade away. We live in a broken world whereby we all end up losing all we have as death comes knocking on our door.
However Peter directs our primary focus away from ourselves, away from others and away from anything in this world. He points us to the mercy of God, to the living hope we have in Jesus Christ. To understand this hope from an eternal perspective, we need to appreciate the calamity we are all in. Without Jesus’ redemptive work on our lives we all have no hope with only an eternal death and separation from God to look forward to. We think this world can be cruel, imagine a place without God’s presence at all!! No thank you!
However in His mercy God has given us a way to enjoy Him forever. Christ was sent to die for our sins so that through Him we could have a living hope. A hope that nothing in all creation can take away from us. A living hope that God is keeping an imperishable, undefiled and unfading inheritance for us in heaven. It will not be affected by any global financial crisis or a strained relationship or even death itself. It is kept for us by God.
Not only that but God also guards us through our faith in Christ ensuring that this inheritance won’t be snatched away from us.What amazing news that is! Given our salvation is a work done by God alone, when we come to faith in Him we are assured of our inheritance. We can rest in the fact that our faith and salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit and not founded on our ability to stay in God’s books or our feeble efforts. However it’s our perseverance in our faith despite our struggles and slip ups that proves that our faith is genuine and not a feel good fab in our lives. This proves and assures us that Holy Spirit is working in our lives and that our faith is not a temporary quick fix for our lives. The Christian life is tough and only a sincere faith from a regenerated heart will persevere in the hope we have in Christ.
In a world that has so much uncertainty, in what are we going to place our hope? Ultimately if we place our hope on anything in this world – other people, money, health, wealth, power, or ourselves – then we will be left empty and broken. Death will strip away any hope or assurance we have. But if our hope is in Christ, despite the struggles that will come our way, we have the joy and peace of knowing that we will receive an eternal inheritance, an inheritance will never fade or get damaged or taken away from us, but an inheritance that is kept secure by God for us, for us to enjoy forever. And what’s best is He keeps us secure so we are assured of receiving this amazing gift. How gracious and generous God is!!