OUR LIVING HOPE  (1 Peter 1:3-5)

March 11, 2018

 

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.”

In our text the Holy Spirit inspires Peter to give us hope, a living hope, A life-giving hope, a hope that is sure and steadfast, anchored in a living relationship with God. Hebrews 6:19, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.”  

People are always hoping! But many are looking for hope in all the wrong places. The lottery, casino’s, card clubs, and race tracks come to mind. I was behind a man in a market one day, as he cashed his welfare check and bought dozens of lottery tickets. They are just hoping for their ship to come in. When my ship comes in, I will probably be at the airport!

Hope is one thing that keeps us going and gives us something to live for. Without hope we could never deal with life’s problems. We would never be able to bounce back from life’s obstacles. Even the slightest glimmer of hope that our situation will turn around keeps us going. Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.

But just because people are  looking for hope in all the wrong places. and just because people get the hopes dashed on the rocks, does not mean that hope is unavailable for every person who looks in the right place.

The only thing that is hopeless is to be without Christ! Ephesians 2:12 NLT, “In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.”

Now to our text: 1 Peter 1:3-5, 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.”

First let’s do a word study:

•Blessed is from the Greek word Macharios, which means to be happy or blissful, it is a self-contained happiness. The world didn’t give it to us and the world can’t take it away. And when referring to God, it has a sense of praise, as in 1 Samuel 25:32, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel.” But where man is in mind it is used in the sense of "happy" or “favored.”

•Abundant: Plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with.

•Mercy: God’s love in action. John 3:16, “For God so loved…That He gave…” It is not getting what I deserve!

Begotten us again: To produce again; brought forth; to procreate or generate (offspring).

Living: To live, experience God's gift of life, possessing real life.

Hope: Joyful, confident expectation.

Loose Translation: “Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to His great, plenteous and intensely active love for us has given us real life, true life, and has given us a joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

It is through our loving God that we have a living hope, a hope that is sure and steadfast, rooted in a personal relationship with God. So we give Him praise and glory!

From where does our hope come?

1. Our hope comes from an eternal God.

Psalm 90:1,2, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

Deuteronomy 33:27, The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms…”,

Psalm 48:14. “For such is God, Our God forever and ever…”

Habakkuk 1:12, “Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One?

 

2. Our hope comes from an eternal person who never changes.

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Revelation 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the One who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”

3. Our hope comes from an eternal promise.

Hebrews 13:5 NLT, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

2 Corinthians 1:20-22 MSG, “Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In Him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting His Yes within us. By his Spirit He has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what He is destined to complete.”

Joshua 23:14 NLT, “Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!”

4. Our hope comes from an eternal plan.

1 Timothy 1:15, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

1 Corinthians 15:3,4, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

5. Our hope comes from an eternal perspective. Our eyes are always on the prize.

Philippians 3:12-14 MSG, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

2 Corinthians 5:1 NLT, “For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.”

Colossians 3:1-3, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

 

6. Our hope transforms lives. Too often hope is placed in the wrong source.

Some people hope in others. Jeremiah 17:5 NLT, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.”

Psalm 40:4, “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”

Psalm 118:8,9, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.”

Some people trust in themselves. 2 Corinthians 1:9, “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.”

Proverbs 28:26 NLT, “Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.”

Some people trust in their future. Proverbs 27:1 MSG, “Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.”

Some trust in doctors, some trust in their savings accounts, some trust in their retirement, but all of these can fail. Only one hope is found in God, who says, Proverbs 3:5,6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

•Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest.

•Hope motivates in the midst of discouragement.

•Hope energizes when the body is tired.

•Hope sweetens when bitterness comes.

•Hope sings when all melodies are gone.

•Hope believes when evidence is lacking.

•Hope listens for answers when no one is talking.

•Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping.

•Hope endure hardships when no one is caring.

•Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing.

•Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking.

•Hope presses toward victory when no one is encouraging.

•Hope dares to give when no one is  sharing.

•Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.

1 Peter 1:4, “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.”

Did you ever inherit anything? I have been left out of everyone’s will! You know the old saying, “Where there is a will…there’s family fight!” Where there is no will…it’s even worse.  Probably more families are torn apart by who gets grandpa’s wristwatch than any other post-mortem family problem. I have the perfect solution, don’t leave anything! Spend it all before you go!

But, even though I have no rich relatives here on earth, my Heavenly Father owns it all:

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,

The wealth in every mine;

He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,

The sun and stars that shine.

Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell,

He is my Father so they're mine as well;

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills

I know that He will care for me.

–John W. Peterson–

So, my hope is an inheritance! My inheritance is “Incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven!”  Matthew 6:19-21 MSG, “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”

My real hope is found in 1 Peter 1:5, where God tells me, I am  “Kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” What a colossal inheritance, “Kept by the power of God!” Ephesians 4:30, tells us, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” I am never going to die! Oh, I know that someday, if Jesus tarries His coming I will leave this world by the instrument of death, but that is only physical death. 1 Corinthians 5:1,6-8, “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

My mom’s last words were, “I going to a better place than this one!” Ain’t it the truth!

D.L. Moody said before he died, “Some day you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East Northfield is dead. Don't believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now!” That’s the power of hope!

As Mr. Moody was dying, his last words were, “Is this dying? Why this is bliss.
There is no valley.
I have been within the gates.
Earth is receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling; I must go.”

My Father is rich in houses and lands,

He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!

Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,

His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

My Father's own Son, the Savior of men,

Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;

But now He is pleading our pardon on high,

That we may be His when He comes by and by.

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,

A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,

But I've been adopted, my name's written down,

An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care?

They're building a palace for me over there;

Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:

All glory to God, I'm a child of the King.

Refrain

I'm a child of the King, A child of the King:

With Jesus my Savior, I'm a child of the King.

Words by Hattie Eugenia Paeck Buell, (1834-1910)

Music by John B. Sumner, 1878 (1838-1918)

More Scriptures about hope:

 

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NLT), “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,  and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.  And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”

1 Peter 1:3-5 (MSG), “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

 

Romans 5:1,2, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

Titus 2:11-13, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,  teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 2:16 NLT, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope.”

Hebrews 7:19, “For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”

1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

1 Peter 1:20,21, “He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

1 Peter 3:15, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

1 John 3:2,3, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

Hope Psalms: 33:18, “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy.” 33:22, “Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.” 38:15, “For in You, O Lord, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God.” 39:7, “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? my hope is in You.” 42:5, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB). Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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