A Living Hope
Open Your Bible
1 Peter 1:1-12, Exodus 24:3-8, Psalm 51:1-19
BY Erin Davis
I have sepia-toned memories of wearing a pillowcase veil, grabbing a handful of dandelions, and marching my scrawny, little-girl legs down a grassy aisle, pretending to be a bride. To six-year-old me, the wait for my real wedding seemed impossibly long, but that didn’t stop me from actively hoping the day would eventually come. Nearly forty years of hindsight reveals that the gap between the hope and the reality was itty bitty. All too soon, I’d traded in cotton for tulle and weeds for roses in the blink of an eye.
So it is with the promises of Christ. Here, in the first chapter of 1 Peter, the apostle reminds us of our “living hope” (v.3). He doesn’t leave us guessing about what we’re hoping for. Through the resurrection of Christ, we have gained: rebirth and a salvation ready to be revealed, as well as an imperishable, undefiled, unfading inheritance (vv.3–5).
Like a little girl trying to picture her future groom, these promises can look a little fuzzy around the edges. Yes, Christ has saved us, and He is changing us even now, but so much of our hope is in what’s been stored up for us in the future, or as Peter reminds us, what’s being “kept in heaven” for us (v.4).
We have a storehouse of hope. It is the ultimate trust fund, a hope chest full of the promises of God. While we have yet to see our God face to face, we’ve been given the gift of faith to believe in Him, know Him, and love Him now. And we “rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy,” because even as we await His return, we are receiving the goal of [our] faith, the salvation of [our] souls” (vv.8–9).
Ours is a living and active hope in a living and active God, who has unfathomable blessings in store for His bride. And yet, there are days, lots of them, when our living hope seems to be doing little more than gathering dust. Peter alluded to this early on. We are the “chosen, living as exiles” (v.1). We are chosen, yet sometimes unpopular in this world, never quite at home here. Sometimes our very cells seem to groan for more.
When will we know what it’s like to be made new, fully shedding the broken version of ourselves? How long until the Lord shows His hand, demystifying the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”? (v.5). How much longer until we can open the hope chest to touch and feel our imperishable inheritance?
It will happen in the blink of an eye.
You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials (vv.5–6).
The gap between this present moment and future glory may seem impossibly large. Still we rejoice. Because we have a hope kept in heaven that can never be destroyed. One day we will trade in the suffering of these “various trials” for the many gifts God has tucked away for us.
It won’t be long now.
That is why, among the people of God, hope will always be alive and well.