“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...” (I Peter 1:3, NRSV)
On what does our hope in Christ rest? What is the foundation of our hope? What is the anchor that keeps us stationary when the world swirls around us? What is the fundamental truth to which we return to be sure of our hope?
Peter's early letter to the Christian church answers the question squarely and sufficiently: it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That God made the dead live again-Jesus-is the truth upon which we pin our hope. God raises the dead. God does what humans consider impossible.
It is by faith that we believe God raised Jesus from the dead. I Peter tells us that it is through this faith that our hope, our inheritance, is kept secure as we wait for Christ to be revealed (I Peter 1:3-6). In this life, we will have trials-sufferings-that we must endure.
As the “heat gets turned up” in life, we have yet another opportunity to stand firm in a living hope and strengthen our faith. Trials and sufferings prove our faith in that they make our faith stronger, more resilient, and more genuine. Just as fire burns off impurities in metals, such as gold, the trials we face bring impurities of our lives to the surface and burn them off. What remains is an even purer faith.
Hope is not like an insurance policy that we buy once and keep in the drawer. Hope is not like cash stored away for a rainy day. Rather, hope lives with us every day. And, because our eternal hope is “living,” we must tend to it. The energy that helps our hope to become every more refined and pure is standing on our faith in times of trial. No matter how difficult things may appear to be, those difficulties cannot take away our hope. Nothing can rob us of hope.
May our hope result in the praise and glory and honor of Jesus Christ as, by faith, we trust in him..