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 (1 Peter 1:3, ESV).
I have been fascinated by the phrase “living hope” for years.
In the Greek, this phrase has two of my favorite words. The first word is “elpis” or “hope” which means “great expectation” – not small or even medium expectations, but great expectations.
Anticipation of living with Jesus from now into eternity is the greatest expectation possible!
The second word is “zao” which means “to fully enjoy life.” The spirit of this age takes away joy and replaces it with discouragement, but when we experience hope found in Jesus, our frustrations are replaced with life!
I want to have a living hope. I believe that we all do.
Peter writes that we need God’s mercy. God’s mercy withholds what we deserve. It’s impossible to have a living hope if we live with the expectation of God’s judgment or in our own self-condemnation.
Mercy gives freedom and life.
Peter also explains that God’s mercy caused us to be “born again.” We all need a do-over. Are there days or even specific decisions that we wish had never happened? How much would we pay to go back and change what we did, to relive just that one day?
Hope is destroyed by actions from our past. But through God’s mercy, we can be born again.
Finally, Peter teaches that our living hope comes from a resurrected Savior. It would be a “dead hope” if Jesus stayed in the grave! But if Jesus could overcome death, He can give us victory over the death in our lives, actions, and thoughts.
A “living hope” – not dead, but alive; not based upon our good works, but the mercy of God; and proven not by false hope but the resurrection of Jesus!
How do we live this week with a living hope?
Let’s . . .
- Say to discouraging thoughts, “I have a living hope, so I rebuke this thinking in the name of Jesus!”
- Think when someone cuts you off in traffic, “They need to repent or face a lifetime of regret. Oops, sorry, God, please give them the same mercy that you have given to me.”
- Look for an opportunity to say to someone this week, “We can have peace in all things. That same power that caused the resurrection of Jesus is in us now.”
Fully walking in our “living hope” allows us to believe that our greatest desires are possible! Let’s not have small or medium expectations, as by God’s mercy, we are forgiven and have the power of the resurrection in our lives.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Our hope is not old and stale but alive and fresh daily.