Read Introduction to 1 Peter
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
and rest your hope
God wants hope to predominate our lives. He wants us to live in hope. This was especially true for suffering Christians such as those in Asia Minor to whom Peter was writing. Those who suffer need something beyond their present circumstances. They need a transcendent life.
Christian hope is transforming hope. It opens a new world. It supplies new guarantees. To the Christian, hope is no dream; it is absolute anticipation of certainties. The Christian hope appropriates eternity now. We can enjoy the grace of our eternal future now.
The meaning of hope in the Greek language is not like the anemic English connotation: “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow.” Rather it is the robust idea of confidence in the future (Romans 5:1,2). That is why we call the Lord’s return the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
God gives the Christian confidence about the future.
Our problem is not that we do not have hope but our hope is anemic. We preoccupy our minds with present problems.
In life, we often promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears. The Lord, however, wants us to perform according to our hope. One of the earmarks of the Christian life is that it is a life of hope. This is not hopefulness: it has nothing to do with hope as it relates to length of time. It is a quality of hope. It is no nebulous and vague hope.
The Christian can look death in the face without flinching. No non-Christian can do that. To them, there is nothing as final as death. They are afraid of death (Hebrews 2:14,15). But for the Christian, death is just the room attendant who ushers us into the presence of God.
Anyone can endure suffering if they are certain that it leads somewhere. Athletes will rigidly train for an event if they feel sacrifice will help them win the competition. Students will spend hours in study if they feel they will get better grades. If Christians suffer with a view to fulfill God’s purpose, their sufferings have eternal purpose.
God wants us to have hope without reserve for what Christ will bring in His coming. This will bring buoyant hope to present suffering. This is transforming hope. It opens a new world and supplies new guarantees.
Hope is no pleasant dream for the Christian. It is far more than a pretty thought. It is absolute anticipation of the certainty of God’s grace when we meet Him. Increased energy and mental health are the result.
Human hope is the anticipation of good without certainty; it is anemic and preoccupied with present problems. The Christian hope is absolute anticipation of certain benefits. The future for Christians is as certain as the past. Their future is unalterable because God is unalterable. His promises are unalterable. We hope, not because of who we are but because of who He is.