1Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Hope…that is what this passage is about. Hope is an essential ingredient to human life. Without hope we cannot live.
Viktor Frankl was a psychiatrist who barely survived a concentration camp in WW2, and here are a couple of his observations on people who gave up hope.
“When a prisoner no longer saw hope for the future, he would quickly begin to shut down mentally and physically. Then, one day without warning, he would simply give up. No barking of threats would bring a response. The prisoner would just lie on his bunk uncaring…like a corpse.”
We need hope!!
The problem is that people look for hope in all the wrong places. Some people hope in the lottery, thinking that one day their ship will come in and all their problems will be solved – but it never works out that way, even if they win.
Some people place their hope in a new government through an election like we just had; but that never meets our expectations either.
If your hope is in your job, your doctor, your spouse, your pastor or your investments, you are setting yourself up for despair and hopelessness because they will all one day fail you. Where then is hope to be found?
Today Peter tells us that the hope of one who believes in Jesus Christ is greater than any of those things because it is rooted in God’s great mercy shown to us in Christ.
Jesus Christ, who gave up His throne in Heaven, lived a perfect life (because we cannot), and then gave His life as the perfect substitute for our sins so that all who repent and believe in Him will be born again as a new person.
In our first birth we are born enemies of God, but in our second birth we are re-born as God’s children with the inheritance of eternal life and all the riches of heaven.
How’s that for some hope in a hopeless world?
And it is a living hope, because God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and raised Him from the grave on the third day.
Because our saviour is living, so is our hope in Him, and it cannot fail because it is firmly anchored in Heaven in the person of our risen and living saviour Jesus Christ.
And so deep in the heart of every believer is a joy that cannot be contained…a sure and certain hope because nothing can reach down that far into your life and destroy what God has placed in the bedrock of your soul.
Friends, God loves you with an everlasting love and He wants to put a bounce in your step, gladness in your heart, light in your life, and give you a living hope in a world that offers no other hope.
Listen to Peter one more time, “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”
Pastor Clint Magnus,
redeemer Lutheran Church