Living Hope; January 2, 2021

1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

I had to pray about what part of this magnificent section I was to write about, because this is so packed with good stuff. Actually there are many places in the Bible like that, because it is the living Word of God. This particular verse hit me just now because so many people are short on hope at this point. It has seemed that forces of evil have triumphed and lies rule the day, but God’s truth is always greater and stronger than any lie. Looking back over the past 2000 years there have been many dark moments in the history of the Church, but God has never been defeated, whatever it might have looked like “on the ground.” That’s still the case today, and the next week is going to be climactic in a number of ways. Exactly what method, and whom, God will use is something I cannot say, but the two divergent courses presented to America, and the world, today could hardly be more starkly different. God’s people need to fix their eyes on Jesus and be faithful in prayer, in speech, and in action, so that His name may be acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done. Trials come to cleanse and strengthen us, and we need to accept the discipline and training the Lord is supplying. We can do that only as we hang onto the living hope that Peter speaks of here. The devil wants to kill and destroy our hope, through politics and pandemics and anything else he can use, but as the hymn says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

This is intensely personal for me. Over the past two months I have had some very low moments, envisioning a tsunami of filth, lawlessness, and rejection of God washing over the US, but God is still God. As I said, I have no idea how God is ultimately going to triumph, but He still has faithful children in every state, and even in Washington DC. From a completely different angle, about two years ago God gave Cathy the vision of an audio CD to help people who are feeling suicidal. We made progress on it, recording some tracks, but then it seemed to just die. Over the past two months God has resurrected that, and we are moving forward again. The title of the CD is to be Living Hope, just as it says in this verse. If I let go of the hope God has for me, how can I impart hope to others? I need to pay attention to the messages I preach, living out God’s truth in all its fullness and not deceiving myself. (James 1:22)

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. I pray that all of Your children would take firm hold of the hope You have provided in Christ and stand up, a mighty army to defeat the forces of falsehood and evil, for the deliverance of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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