January 18, 2015

Something New: Hope

1 Peter 1:3-12

He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

—  1 Peter 1:3

Are you without hope?

It's easy to lose hope in our everyday lives. Months of unemployment, years of dealing with disease, constant bickering in the family, a lengthy prison sentence—any of these situations will quickly sap our hope and leave us despairing about our future.

In the midst of such circumstances, the apostle Peter writes of hope. Jesus has risen from the dead! This new reality does not mean all of our suffering will disappear. But just as Jesus' sufferings gave way to resurrection, so also our trials will be followed by glory.

Through Jesus, God has given believers "a living hope." So ­often we place our hope in something lifeless: a new job, a better education, a new year. But Jesus is not lifeless: he is alive! In him, we have an inheritance, a constant source of strength and life, because our hope comes not from someone who is dead but someone who is alive.

The greatest good news of all is that God has given us hope. We do not remain victims of our sins or of our circumstances. Jesus has the power to redeem every dying expectation and replace it with living hope.

Do you live with hope in Christ? In his strength, you can!

Living God, we praise you for the gift of hope. May the life of the risen Christ inspire us to hope and confidence today, even in the midst of our struggles. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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