Bible Society of South Africa

A new life, an everlasting hope – 4 April 2022

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

A Living Hope

3Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, 4and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away.

1 Peter 1:3-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

When we are living in challenging times, we can lose hope. We can feel overwhelmed by our circumstances, unable to cope. This can lead to a distorted view of who we are, and where we are going in our lives. Peter’s first readers knew the rejection of their communities, and the persecution for their faith by the Roman Empire. All these hardships were the result of following Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I imagine that they would have had doubts at times, if it was worth the suffering to follow Christ.

But instead of joining them in a song of lamentation, Peter chooses to rejoice in the Lord. He does not focus his attention and energy on the problems they are experiencing. He fixes his eyes upon Jesus, and sings a song of praise. Peter had discovered the mercy of our Lord first-hand, and he had received the greatest gift of all: a new life in Christ. This new life was purchased by the blood of Christ on the cross, the guarantee thereof his resurrection from the dead. Jesus conquered death, and paid the price for all believers to follow him to everlasting glory.

Jesus has called us in faith – Follow me! The journey of life with him is not always easy or comfortable. It demands dying to and denying ourselves. But this new life lasts for ever, and it gives us hope in difficult times.

Peter describes our hope with three concepts underlining the beauty and value thereof. It can never perish; it lasts for ever. It cannot spoil; it remains good. It cannot fade; it will always be beautiful. And it is God’s gift to us who believe in him, we who have received his grace and peace. (1 Peter 1:2)

Our new life has a destiny – the inheritance is being kept for us in heaven. The plan that God has for our lives is good. We learn to trust the Lord for our tomorrows, and that fills us with hope to endure today. Our suffering in this life is temporary, but we will enjoy God’s goodness for evermore.

Hope is one of the most precious gifts that God has given us. As new beings, following in Christ’s footsteps, we are filled with hope. Hope that never perishes, spoils or fades, and this hope carries us through all days, to the gates of heaven.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the new life I have received through faith in Christ. Thank you that you have given me new hope: hope eternal, pure and beautiful. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.12
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