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1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and [be] ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
I've been meditating on this verse concerning out hope in Christ Jesus. As I was formulating my thoughts, I recalled this devotional that was sent out in January of 2009. Given the turmoil and despair in the world around us, isn't it a great comfort that we are able to rest in the peace that only Jesus can provide. When troubled people inquire, we can have a ready answer concerning our hope in Christ Jesus.
Hope, a Firm Expectation Based on the Word of God
1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Last week we talked about the fact that there are only two kinds of people in this world, believers and unbelievers. Those who accept and believe God’s word and those who deny it. One is certain for damnation and the other has the hope of eternal life with Jesus.
How do we define hope? Is it just wishful thinking? Is it a hope so, or a maybe so? Is it placing our trust in random chance? No! No! No! Hope is a firm expectation that God is going to fulfill His word and keep all of the promises written in His word. Hope overcomes our fears and leaves no room for doubts. Hope makes us fully alive as we walk in fellowship with God and trust in His provision.
Our hope is strengthened by our past experiences. When we take a matter to the Lord in prayer and He gives us a positive result, we then have a hope or a firm expectation of an answer, the next time we pray. When He touched our bodies once, we are confident that He will touch us again.
When we believed the gospel, we were told that we had a hope laid up in heaven (Col. 1:5). Hope, along with faith and charity, is one of the three main elements of Christian character (I Co 13:13). Hope is the exact opposite of seeing and possessing (Rom. 8:24). Jesus told Thomas that he had believed because of seeing the Lord’s nail scars, but that those who believed without visual proof were more blessed (John 20:29).
Our future hope is seeing the Lord Jesus face to face and living with Him eternally. We do not know all heaven holds for us. We do know that Jesus said that He was going to prepare a place for us, that where He is, we may be also (John 14:1-3). We are the children of God and we long for His appearing. Desiring to be found pure and faultless in His sight we continually purify ourselves according to the standard of the purity of Jesus.
Colossians 1:21-23 tells us that we will be found unblameable and unreproveable in his sight, if we are not swayed from the hope of the gospel. I Peter 3:15 tells us to always be ready to answer anyone who inquires concerning our hope in the gospel.
Paraphrasing Ephesians 1:15-23: Paul prayed for the Ephesian church, that God would give then the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. He prayed that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened, that they would comprehend and know without a doubt that they had a hope in Him. That they would know the hope of His calling and comprehend the greatness of His power, which He demonstrated when He raised Jesus from the dead and set Him at the right hand of power on His throne in heaven (Rev. 3:21). He sits there now with all the fullness of the godhead dwelling in Himself bodily (Col. 2:9). From the throne He is far above all evil power, might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but in that which is to come. If scripture declares all of this concerning Jesus, and if I believe the scripture, do I not have a reason to have a hope and firm expectation that God will perform what He has declared? If I don’t believe it, I need to do some serious examination of myself.
We have a hope and firm expectation of seeing Jesus face to face, but unbelievers do not have this hope. They have no hope and are without God in this world (Eph. 2:12). Our hope is in Jesus. We do not fret over the world’s economical and political messes. That which God’s word has predicted will come to pass, but we’ve read the back of the book and we know how it is all going to end. If we are in the grave, we have the hope of rising again and meeting Jesus in the air. If we are alive at that time we have the firm expectation of joining the resurrected dead with Jesus (I Thes. 4:14-17). Paul said that we were to comfort one another with these words (I Thes. 4:18). Yes friend, look up. Our hope tells us that we will be caught up to meet Him in the air and we will be with Him eternally.
Titus 2:11 calls the return of Jesus our , blessed hope. Because we have a fervent hope of seeing Jesus, we watch the way that we walk and talk in this world. We deny ungodliness and worldly lust and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.
Peter said that we have a “lively“ or living hope, which was purchased for us by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and given to us at our new birth (I Peter 1:3). We know that because Jesus conquered the grave, we don’t have to live in fear of dying. The grave will not hold us down when Jesus appears. Our ashes may have been scattered to the wind or dissolved in the sea, but that will not keep us from meeting Jesus when He returns. He will know where every molecule is. Concerning that He spoke the world into existence by the power of His word, it won't be any great chore for Him to reconstruct it. We will have a new body fashioned according to His glorious body (Php.3:21).
Whatever life may present us, we rejoice in hope, and hold steadfast in faith as we anxiously await the fulfillment of our hope (Rom. 5:2).Life is short and is nothing more than a staging area for eternity. Our destiny which was determined before the creation of the world is to see Jesus face to face and living with Him for all eternity.
Everything else takes second place! Wouldn't you think?
"In our sad condition our only consolation is the expectancy of another life." - Martin Luther
Keep Looking Up!
Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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