“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you…”
Right at the start of his letter to the churches, the Apostle Peter describes the wonderful transformation which takes when we encounter Jesus – when we are born again and receive new life. And this new life is marked by a “living hope” – one that is sure and certain, anchored in the resurrection of Jesus.
When the Israelites were travelling through the desert for forty years, they were sustained by keeping their eyes fixed on their destination – a new land which God has promised them as an inheritance.
In the same way, those who receive new life through Jesus are also sustained by a promised inheritance – the promise of eternal life. And our hope in this inheritance is sure and certain, for it was secured by Jesus’ resurrection. We can be certain that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives beyond our wildest dreams!
How is it that hope sustains us on the journey? It helps when we hit the inevitable ‘bumps in the road’. When we things don’t go our way, when we run into obstacles, when life is tough and difficult. There are two responses to trials and suffering:
- We can fix our eyes on our wounds or our pain, and end up living in brokenness and bitterness;
- We can fix our eyes on our certain inheritance of eternal life – and live in glory through hoping in Jesus.
This is our choice. If we choose to set our hope in Jesus, we receive a joy and a peace which sustain us even in the most difficult of circumstances. Then trials we face will not deter us from our path, but instead will refine us so that we become more like Jesus!