Hope: Humanity's great need
May 26, 2012
People who see no hope almost always wind up in depression. Hope is a great need of humanity. 1 Peter 1:3 promises something even better: “a living hope”. The great emphasis of First Peter is on the Christian living the life of a pilgrim passing through this earthly life, willingly submitting to others doing unfair things to him. Thus this epistle necessarily includes much about hope in the midst of suffering. This living hope is solely the gift of God. No hope is as sure as that which is based on the promises of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.” NASU Our hope is securely based on the living Word of God.

Secondly, this living hope is based on the living Son of God. Jesus flatly declares in John 11 that He is the “Resurrection and the Life”. Corinthians 1:15 is a tremendous statement on Christ’s well documented resurrection as irrefutable evidence of our resurrection to come. The living Son of God is great confirmation of our living hope.

Commentator Warren Wiersbe shows great insight in noting that “a living hope” has life and imparts that life to us. Because life has been imparted to us through Christ, it will not remain stagnant but will grow and grow. Its influence over us and impact on us will get larger and larger. It will certainly become more glorious and precious to us. It is a wonderful thing to be close to aging saints who know they are quickly approaching the end of their pilgrimage. They have a long track record with God. They have observed His faithfulness for years; the living hope in them has had time to grow into something big and bright and beautiful and glorious. We are blessed to be in their presence; They have a “living hope”.

Every part of life is a gift from God; every part of the Christian experience is a gift from God. The sacrificial death, the calling, the drawing, the believing, the justifying, the sanctifying, the future glorifying are each and every one the result of a gift from God. Romans 15:13 prays, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” NASU The Spirit of the God of hope will cause us to abound in hope! Hallelujah, we serve an awesome God!

I think Romans 8 sheds light on 1 Peter 1:3. Verses 18-25 form a paragraph which begins, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” NASU That seems to be a virtual commentary on all of First Peter. The middle of the paragraph speaks about the final culmination of our salvation at a future time. The paragraph concludes with “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” NASU Our “living hope” is somehow intertwined with our faith in a way that the two cannot be separated. The norm for the Christian is that his faith and hope will not be dead but rather it will be alive and growing. This living hope ought to reproduce itself in others. If my living hope is not alive enough to take root in another person, maybe I just think I have this living hope.

Commentary is by Pastor Steve Ellison, Harvey's Chapel Baptist Church, Hot Springs, AR. Ellison's purpose in writing is to lead readers to examine their own walk with God and their relationships with other people. He enjoys giving presentations on the religious beliefs of America's Founding Fathers and preaching series of messages which some call "revivals."

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