We all hope for things: dreams for the future, happiness for a friend, safety and security in a time of distress… What are you hoping for?
As Christians our hope reaches further than the hope of the world. Our second birth, which is baptism (John 3:1-8, Romans 6:1-7, 1 Peter 3:21), delivers us into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are promised an eternal inheritance that is kept in heaven for us.
1 Peter was a letter that was written for Christians who were displaced and scattered. During the time the letter was being written, Christians were being slandered and persecuted and attacked with accusations, often false to get them into trouble with the government. Rome wasn’t friendly to people who claimed to follow Jesus.
Peter wanted to encourage the scattered Christians to be loyal in their faith, even during suffering.
Things that the world hopes in passes away; but as Christians our hope is in the eternal. Ours is a living hope, one that never perishes or fades away. Our hope is in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 6:8-10 says “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
We as Christians need to be optimistic. We have a hope that reaches further than the hope of the world; we have a living hope.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8,9
A song that we sung during worship fits this message very well: We Have Heard the Joyful Sound by William J. Kirkpatrick and Priscilla J. Owens.
“We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves! Bear the news to every land, climb the steeps and cross the waves; Onward!—‘tis our Lord’s command; Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
“Waft it on the rolling tide, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; Tell to sinners far and wide, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; Sing, ye islands of the sea, Eco back, ye ocean caves; Earth shall keep her jubilee, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
“Sing above the battle’s strife, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; By His death and endless life, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; Sing it softly thru the gloom, when the heart for mercy craves, sing in triumph o’er the tomb, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.
“Give the winds a mighty voice, Jesus saves, Jesus saves; Let the nations now rejoice. Jesus saves, Jesus saves; Shout salvation full and free, Highest hills and deepest caves, This our song of victory, Jesus saves, Jesus saves.”