1 Peter 1:1-9
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To the temporary residents dispersed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. — 1 Peter 1:1-9
Have you ever had something happen to you that changed your perspective on life entirely? I have. I remember as a kid, all I wanted was for Christmas was a bicycle called the “Whiplash.” It was the best and coolest bike ever. I had earnestly hoped to get it for Christmas, but when the morning came, it wasn’t there. I was devastated.
However, my parents had forgotten they hid it in a neighbor’s garage, so my poor little heart leapt from the drudges of despair into the heights of a hope realized. I remember that Christmas morning more than any other because it was such a visceral experience of a realized hope.
But it was just a bike. And even so, it impacted me. Peter says we have been born again into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. And what Peter communicates to us is that it changes our perspective on everything for the rest of our lives. Our new life with Jesus is one that is fundamentally characterized by hope: our hope to be with Him, to be like Him, and to know that joy inexpressible. This kind of living hope is not easily drowned.
But Peter also warns there will be things seeking to overtake it. The trials we face and the grief we experience in the midst of life’s hardships are the very things that prove our hope is alive. In fact, the more our faith is tested, the more we see how precious it is.
But what is our hope in? What has Jesus given us by being raised from the dead? The reason your hope can withstand trials is because the object of your hope—the salvation of your soul—has already been accomplished. Jesus has done the work to purchase that imperishable, undefiled, unfading inheritance for you. Sure, it might seem like it’s in the neighbor’s garage, but it is kept for you. Keep hoping. It’s worth it.
- Do you ever find yourself drifting away from hope in God?
- Have any specific hard times kept you from believing this promise?
- Go to God with those things in prayer, and ask Him for His perspective.
Brad Cleveland is the Music & Worship Minister at The Church at West Franklin. He is originally from Mobile, Alabama, where he graduated from the University of Mobile. From there, he went on to earn a Master of Divinity in Worship Leadership from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
Upon graduating, God called him to East Tennessee to serve as the Worship Pastor at Lyons Creek Baptist Church. He has traveled to many places on mission journeys including Mexico, Germany, Russia, Kenya, India, and the Dominican Republic. He is passionate about seeing people grow in their love for Jesus and His kingdom through music.
Brad is married to Meredith, and they have two children. Meredith graduated from Liberty University with a Masters in Counseling, and she is passionate about helping hurting people in difficult situations. Brad loves spending time with his family, playing musical instruments, and watching Alabama football. Roll Tide.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.