Saturday, July 16, 2011
Saturday, July 09, 2011
1 Peter 1:3-9
1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded thorough faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with Glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
John Calvin, the theologian and protestant reformer, wrote “We should ask God to increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and raise it up when it is overthrown.”
Does this resonate with you? Do you know this kind of hope? I realize, of course, where we are today. For many of you, it can be very difficult to find hope if you’re lonely, or if your health is failing. It can be very difficult to find hope, when you watch all the things that happen on the news. Hope, in our day, can be very hard to find.
But there is something in this quote that, for me, at least, is comforting and helpful. This is true for two reasons. First, it’s comforting that we have something to hope for at all, and second it’s comforting that when our hope is weak, we can ask God to increase it, to strengthen it, and He is inclined to do it.
Peter has quite a bit to teach us about hope in our passage today. We can see why we have hope, and we can see why He’s inclined to strengthen our hope when we ask Him.