HomeVisionStatement Of FaithArticlesPhoto GalleryEditor's NoteLinksContact

Living Hope


1 Peter 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled
and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith
for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,
if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire, may be found
to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Whom having not seen you love.
Though now you do not see Him, yet believing,
you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

How are you today?

The answer to this simple question may be difficult to answer these days.

There are many problems in life. It is so difficult for many people to say, "I am fine." 

In our world, there are wars, terrorism, earthquakes, tsunami, nuclear contamination, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, snowstorms, famines, sicknesses, diseases, unemployment, financial crisis and future uncertainties.

Sometimes we too may feel hopelessness and helplessness. And how can we prevent ourselves from feeling hopeless and helpless? I believe the answer comes from the living hope of God.

Hope is the driving force of the things we do. Farmers plant in hope of a harvest. People invest in hope of a profit. We spend money in hope of enjoyment and satisfaction. We marry in hope of a lifetime of happiness together. Children are the hope for the future. Without hope, life is empty and meaningless.

Other hopes are uncertain. Other hopes are changeable! Other hopes are dead. But the living hope of God is certain. It is unchangeable and is living. It does not disappoint. It is not false. It lives. Even though we give up in our hearts, this hope lives on. This hope is built on what is real and true whether we believe it or not. This hope lasts forever and remains unchanged, even though this world changes, decays and perishes.

The Holy Spirit stirs up this living hope in us. We know and believe that this hope is alive inside of us. It lives because Jesus' resurrection has given us a new birth. Because this hope is alive, our faith can rejoice even in trials and difficulties. This hope is alive! A new birth gives us a new hope.

Jesus has resurrected from the dead! His resurrection is the unchangeable truth our hope is built on. Nobody can put Him back in the tomb. No one can change history. His tomb is empty. None of His bones can be found. Jesus has resurrected from the dead! This truth is the solid foundation for our living hope. Nothing can ever change this truth.

How does this hope come to be alive in our heart?  In His great love, He has given us a new birth into a living hope. When we are born again, we are born into God’s family. God is our Father in heaven, and we become His children. His love saw our helplessness and hopelessness. His love changed us from a condemned sinner to a beloved child of God. His love places a living hope in our heart. This living hope is built on our resurrected Saviour.

When our hope seems dim and begins to fade away, we need to go back to our birthright in Christ!  We must remember that we are born into the family of God! We are baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We belong to God. He loves us more than any earthly father or mother. He has given us His Son, Jesus. We become the Father's children.

This hope helps us to realize our inheritance we have in Jesus. When we are born into the family of God, we become His children. We become joint-heirs with Christ! He has given us an inheritance. This inheritance can never perish nor fade away. It is kept in heaven for us. Right now through faith in Jesus, this inheritance belongs to us. We eagerly wait for that time when we can enjoy it in full in the glorious presence of our God and Saviour.

This inheritance is eternal! It cannot be removed from us! It cannot be stolen. It cannot be bankrupted. In our life today, inheritances can be eaten away by medical bills, nursing homes or economic troubles etc. But this eternal inheritance cannot be destroyed. It is kept safely by Jesus in heaven! Nobody can break in, steal or destroy! No rust, decay and age can touch it. It will never perish nor fade away. A living hope lasts forever! This is the wonderful news! This inheritance is safely kept for us who believe in Christ.

What will keep us safe from the attacks of the devil? God Himself is shielding us. Stay safely within His tabernacle. His Word is our shield of protection! Never forget His Word! Don't worry! Hope does not worry. Hope rests securely in God's word. Hope anticipates that God is doing something good for us! Hope remembers our inheritance in Christ!

This living hope helps us to rejoice even in trials and difficulties. Trials and difficulties are part of our life. Yet no matter how severe the trials are, we can face them with faith and hope. Even in the worst of trials, we can rejoice. As we can see, the trials of life test our faith. They test our faith to prove that we genuinely trust in Jesus alone as our Saviour.

When times are good, we often trust other things such as our own strengths, our own friends, our own money etc. But when times become difficult, we are tested by fire! Only Jesus remains as the pillar of our life! True faith believes and relies on Jesus alone. The people in the world will laugh at us for trusting in a God we can't see. But in the end, we will be the ones rejoicing when Jesus comes again in glory.

Our faith is proven by the trials of life. We will bring praise and glory and honour to Jesus! Even though what we hope for is not yet here, we still rejoice right now. Because we know Who we believe in! Because our present trials cannot be compared with the eternal inheritance we have in Jesus. Keep our faith focused on Jesus. This will keep this living hope alive in us. This will keep us to rejoice even in trials. Keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

How can we focus on Jesus? We cannot see Him. If we try to focus an automatic camera on something that's unseen, it doesn't know where to stop and take a picture. So how can we focus on Jesus Whom we have not seen? That's why God gives us His Word. His Word is the spiritual lens that brings Jesus into sharp focus so that our faith can see Him.

We believe in Him, even though we have not seen Him with our eyes. We love Him because His Word focuses us on His great love. He sacrificed Himself on the cross and died for us! His Holy Communion brings us back to have sweet fellowship with Him. Our daily prayer times become delightful, filled with love, joy, peace, gratitude and thanksgiving! Our faith begins to see what human eyes cannot see!

What is faith? In Hebrews 11:1-3, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."

Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see. We believe in Jesus and begin to see Him with our spiritual eyes, knowing that everything was made by Him, the Word of God. What are seen are made of things which are not seen!

So we don't live our life pursuing other worldly hopes. We have only one living hope. Jesus Christ and Him alone! We have an eternal inheritance. This living hope will not fail. So we can rejoice no matter what trials we are in.  

Amen.

Written on 15 May 2012