June 04, 2011

Hope-filled Children of God

1 Peter 1:3-6; Revelation 21:1-5

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ …
1 Peter 1:3


Many of us have experienced hard times. And during those times we all hope things will get better. Though financial crises, broken relationships, and terminal illnesses each tell a different story, they share the same question: “Is there hope?”

The answer is yes. Through the resurrection of Jesus, the Lord has turned “mourning into gladness” and sorrow into joy (Jeremiah 31:13). This gift has been received through our “new birth into a living hope.”

Christians are privileged to live as God’s new creation. For them “the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). The old way is defined by fear of judgment, shame for sin, and despair of life itself. The new way is defined by grace that welcomes home the wanderer, forgiveness that frees the shame-filled, and love that equips for new service.

The newness we receive gives us the privilege to hope for even greater things. As strangers in the world, we live for the day of Christ’s return, when “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” Our ultimate hope is to live with God forever in his renewed creation!

People who have this hope embrace lives defined by Christ, the living Lord of all things, who will come again.

Will you fix your eyes on Jesus?

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of life and hope. Give us strength to face each day, courage to walk your path, and hearts ready to meet Jesus. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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