Ever-living hope in the ever-living God

1 Peter-1-3The Verse of the Day for October 3, 2015 comes from 1 Peter 1: 3 (KJV) and brings to mind the concept of hope, which should be the bedrock of our lives as Christians:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The Amplified Bible offers a more detailed explanation:

1 Peter 1:3:

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant and boundless mercy has caused us to be born again [that is, to be reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

This verse speaks of “a lively hope” which is rendered “a living hope” in other translations, while the New Living Translation states that because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, “Now we live with great expectation.” For believers our “great expectations” involve more than a novel by Charles Dickens. Indeed, “the expectation of a future good” is one definition of hope.

As Christian believers, we go to the Word of God where we discover what God says about hope. Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

In 1 Peter 3:15 we find a related verse:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

The Psalmist offers this marvelous reminder:

Psalm 71:5

For you are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence.

Jesus Christ is described as our “blessed hope,” and because of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, sickness and even death itself, we have hope that lives eternally.

As a child I have fond memories of singing in the Junior Choir, where I recall “leading” my first song at the age of eight or nine. Actually I did not “sing,” but I narrated the verses while the choir sang the lyrics to “On Christ, the Solid Rock, I Stand,” a “vintage hymn,” resounding with “hope”:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

In the midst of the most difficult situations, we reflect upon the goodness of God who has been faithful in past instances, and the Word of God assures us of His steadfast love, as we rejoice in hope, so expressed in this poem:

Rejoice in Hope

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, 

and keep on praying.

Romans 12:12 (NLT)

 

And we now truly know God is able to do

Exceedingly and abundantly above all

That our finite minds can ask or could even think.

He uplifts and strengthens us each time that we fall.

Our paths lead to disaster, to the very brink.

Despite delays and setbacks, His Word is still true:

God is faithful to His promise; He will come through.

When life begins to unravel, we may ask why

The fulfillment of His will seems to be delayed.

All those who call on Him, He will never deny.

We are assured He will reward all who have obeyed.

Our faithful God is not a man that He should lie.

Through every trial, we are covered by the Blood,

We rejoice in hope, knowing that the Lord is good.

The Book of Romans concludes with this final benediction, an appropriate ending to this discussion:

Romans 15:13 (Amplified Bible):

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.

The musical group, Avalon, offers a moving rendition of “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, ” the timeless hymn that has come to mean even more to me over the years.

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