Our Glorious Hope (Chapter 1 Verses 3-12)
The hope Peter directs us to is this glorious inheritance which Jesus has brought us into (v4). But this is no empty, pie in the sky hope, this hope we have is real. How did it all begin? Through our having been reborn (v3), born again (John 3.3), recreated (2Corinthians 5.17). And that through Jesus Christ, who brought life to our souls, the indestructible life of God. The source of it all is the heart of God. If you have ever, or are beginning to doubt it, then doubt no more, that there is mercy in the heart of God, great mercy (v3). I think that this is rediscovered when we take time to stop and think of what we once were, and what we are now as a result of this mercy. Sure we may be in trouble for whatever reason, it might not even be someone else’s doing, but the reality of our situation is that we are people with a real and living hope. It is not that deceptive hope of the world’s, that hopes something may turn up, it is not living because it is simply bright and strong. It is living, it is real and it is sure because it is guaranteed by God, the living God, because it is founded on his sure promises which secures its fulfilment. The stamp of God’s approval has been placed upon it, how? By Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. The crowning point of all that Jesus said and did, that which proves his claims to be genuine, his sacrifice on the cross to be satisfactory to God the Father (Philippians 4.18). Jesus’ resurrection is the heart of the gospel, the means by which we have been birthed into this living hope. There is no spiritual life, or hope without it. Because Jesus lives, we live too, and so we can face tomorrow.
But all this trouble we face in the meantime, persecution, afflictions, division and separation even amongst our own families and friends, you say I’m afraid I will lose hope, and maybe my inheritance too? No, says Peter, in fact that is his very reason for writing, that is how some of these down-trodden believers were beginning to think. No, it is reserved, kept for you (v4). That heavenly kingdom of glory is already yours, you are a born heir, and soon full possession and enjoyment of it will be yours. It is wonderful, certain and it is near. It is incorruptible! It cannot be destroyed like many of your other possessions by moths, by rust, or thieves breaking in and stealing them. It cannot spoil, it cannot rot, or go off either. Nor can it fade away, in fact the opposite is true, it is gathering interest. The reality of it transcends human speech. Our glorious hope.
(© James R Hamilton, written May, 1998)