OUR LIVING HOPE

October 18, 2016

 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

 

For children with chronic illness, one school had a program for children to keep up with their studies in the hospital. One teacher was assigned to a boy, needing to catch up on his English. She was told he was behind on nouns and adverbs, so would she please help him to catch up so he wouldn’t get too far behind. They had not told her that the boy had been badly burned and was I great pain. She was shocked at his appearance when she visited him. She helped the boy to learn his nouns and adverbs. Leaving she didn’t feel she had accomplished much. The next day his nurse called her asking, “What did you do for that boy?” The teacher thought she must have done something wrong, and began to apologize. “No, no,” said the nurse, “We were very worried about him, but ever since your visit, his whole attitude has changed. He’s fighting back, and responding to treatment. It’s as though he has decided to live.” Two weeks later the boy explained to the teacher, that he had totally given up hope until she arrived. He expressed it this way, “They wouldn’t send a teacher to work on nouns and adverbs with a dying boy, would they?” She had simply given him hope that he was going to live.

 

First Peter was written by the Apostle Peter (AKA: Simon, Cephas). Here was a man who was a bit bombastic in character. He was vacillating, impetuous, known for his failures, he even denied his Lord. He seemed to always have his foot in his mouth. I can identify with Peter, he was an accident looking for a place to happen! But this seeming failure preached a powerful sermon on the Day of Pentecost that kick-started the church. That reminds us of the saying, “Please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet!”

 

What is hope? Is it a wishy-washy perhaps, or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is, to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire. For example: “I hope I win the lottery!” There is no assurance that you will ever win the lottery! But hope in God is an absolute certainty!

 

In Scripture, the Hebrew and Greek words translated hope is an indication of certainty. Hope in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.”

 

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