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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“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.”—1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”—Lamentations 3:22–23 (NIV)
It always amazes me how two people can go through the same or similar hardship so differently. You can have two cancer patients with the same kind of cancer, same stage of cancer, same treatments, but very different attitudes about what they are going through, which will definitely influence the quality their daily living, as well as those around them.
In 1 Peter 1:3, Peter opens the letter praising God for giving us a “new birth” through His son Jesus Christ to a living hope through the miracle and power of His resurrection from the dead. It’s interesting he would open this letter with praise, when in this letter he explains the origins of suffering in sin itself. The letters of 1 Peter and 2 Peter present Jesus as a role model for those who must suffer and endure. Now, why does he praise God for this? Because as Peter reminds us, suffering has its purpose in God’s hand as a tool for growth and ultimate blessing.
In the context of 1 Peter, these Messianic Jews, along with the Gentiles, have been born again to a living hope. The hope is living because it is hope in Jesus who is alive, resurrected, and at the right hand of the Father interceding for His people (Romans 8:34). As renewed, redeemed, and “born again” people, they also hope and get to look forward to an “inheritance” that is not corrupted or damaged and will never fade away, reserved safely for them in heaven (1 Peter 1:4).
There is always hope. Because hope—real hope—doesn’t rely on us, but on our sovereign Creator. Even before Jesus walked the earth, the people who trusted in the one true living God could hold on to hope in Him. We can see this in the Old Testament Book of Lamentations. This book expresses lament for Jerusalem’s punishment and destruction, but in the same book we find the writer praising God for being eternally faithful and His mercies and compassions being new every morning! (Lamentations 3:22–23) Each day brings new adventures and challenges, but also new hope, new opportunities to repent, and new purpose.
Isn’t this amazing news? If I have no more cancer (or whatever ailment or hardship) it is something to celebrate. If I pass away due to it, I have an “inheritance” in heaven through hope in Jesus’ sacrifice for those who repent and believe. And if I don’t pass away and I’m still fighting it, it is still something to celebrate as He has given another day to share of our eternal and living hope with others; that they may grab a hold of it too!
Pause: Has your will to fight for another day wound down? Do you need to stop and recharge for today’s battle?
Practice: Observant Jews recite a prayer called the Modeh Ani upon waking up, where they lift up thanks to God for breath of life for another day and close the prayer acknowledging God’s great faithfulness. Make it a daily habit to thank God for another opportunity as you open your eyes each morning.
Pray: Dear Lord, as I face a new day and a new battle, I thank You that hope in You is hope in someone living and eternal who is always faithful and whose Word is true and unfailing. Please equip and give me wisdom for whatever mission You have for me today. Great is Your faithfulness. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.